From books to candles, experiences to wine, here’s The Florentine’s pick of the presents this holiday season for the Florence lovers in your life.
I’Candelaio (via del Leone 36R) has been crafting candles for years down to committed volunteers from the Ronda della Carità e della Solidarietà association. The charity helps the homeless through the sale of candles and jewellery as well as encouraging social integration, including working in the Oltrarno lab. The workshop is open Monday to Friday 9am-12 noon and 3-5pm. A symbol of ambition, historic ceramic company Ginori 1735 / has lit many a desire with its Il Favorito candle (140 euro) this Yuletide. Made from wax melted inside a porcelain container featuring a face covered by the words LIGHT MY FIRE, it’s a call to keep the flame of faith alight, even in adverse times.
Robbin Gheesling’s photography celebrates Florence’s wine doors, through which the nobility sold their wine from the Medici years to the early 1900s. The slim, 96-page book, Wine Doors of Florence, documents some of the 179+ buchette discovered inside the ancient city walls. Gheesling demonstrates the creative repurposing as restaurant menu shelves, intercoms and letterboxes. Available on www.robbingheesling.com and at the Paperback Exchange (via delle Oche 4R). Pair your vinous reading with a premium red wine box from Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano (Via Poggio al Mandorlo 1, 50011 Bagno a Ripoli / www.ruffino.it), including the newly released Modus Primo, a winter-warming blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.
Treat a friend to the super soft Lidia hat this holiday season. Handmade from 100% alpaca wool in the Mugello by Alpacabrado (50 euro), a small alpaca farm about 40 minutes driving from Florence. Sandra and Lorenzo started Alpacabrado back in 2018, with the dream of turning the venture into their dream job. Lighter and warmer than normal wool, it’s also hypoallergenic. If going outside is too much of an ask this winter, indulge in pure silk pyjamas designed by young Sicilian stylist and Polimoda graduate Giorgia Papa Salerno (390 euro). The long palazzo pants and long sleeves with side slashes will bring glitz to your festive lounging.
TYPIQO’s Maxi Classic Box (40 euro) is a Christmas hamper packed with delicious and genuine products that’s an ideal gift for friends and family. Inside you’ll find wine, soup, coffee, flour, pasta, jam, biscuits and salt to keep your larders filled with Tuscan goodness this winter. Place your order, pay by credit card, and choose your delivery time slot. Delivery in the Florence metropolitan area. Alternatively, opt for an artisanal Panettone Nobile from online food market Grazie a Bio (19.90 euro), whose proceeds go to Fondazione Claudio Ciai, a charity that helps victims of road accidents.
Gift giving can be tricky, but the process becomes easier when you’re presented with the option of wrapping up the city under the Christmas tree. This year, Destination Florence presents their Plus campaign, with some of the best-loved hotels in the city available at once-off prices. On offer until December 31, 2021, now’s the chance to embrace overnight stays at exceptional prices. Whether you’re looking for something stylish or a historic hotel your special someone would cherish, the range is endless, meaning that wherever you choose, it’s bound to be unforgettable. Unwind this winter with a mini-retreat at The22 (via de’ Ginori 22). The relaxing treat includes a 30-minute massage, a locally made dosha candle tailored to the client and a class of the gift recipient’s choice, such as Yoga (Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Shivananda or Breathwork) and fitness (circuit training, pilates barre, free body weight training). Prices start at 95 euro.
Start 2022 as you mean to go on with a cultural course at The British Institute of Florence. From history of art to language learning, il British provides an array of learning choices, both in-person and online, so that your Florentine education continues, wherever you are in the world. Or simply support this historic institute with a donation or a library membership. Give the gift of learning Italian with Europass, Italian with Davide, Valentina or Barbara. The options are endless, so there’s no excuse not to learn this beautiful language!
Carrying + serving
Head over to 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino (piazza San Paolino 1) to pick up this cute Canvasco bag (135 euro). Made in North Germany, the nautical theme dives much deeper since the item is made from a recycled sailcloth, blending sustainability, design and creativity.
Florence’s rich hues are the inspiration for these exquisitely detailed cinnamon and citron table linens from Julia B (via dei Fossi 33R). Not just for Christmas, they’re perfect for a pop of Tuscan color year-round, plus the linens are sourced from the finest mills in Europe and expertly embroidered and appliquéd by hand.