12 Days of an Italian Christmas

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Wondering what to get the Italian in your life this Christmas? Don’t fret about it any longer. Ciao Pittsburgh assembled a list of 12 great gift ideas!

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 6.40.05 AM12. A Box of Torrone

An Italian candy of sugar, egg whites and honey, torrone is often enjoyed around the holidays. In Italy, torrone is usually sold in long rectangles—a light-colored confection with sliced almonds visible throughout—like an oversized candy bar.

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 6.44.31 AM11. An Italian Cookbook

We love this book from Aliza Green, Making Artisan Pasta: How to Make a World of Handmade Noodles, Stuffed Pasta, Dumplings, and More.

You’ll learn how to use the best ingredients and simple, classic techniques to make fresh, homemade pasta in your own kitchen. Calling for just the simplest ingredients and a handful of unique kitchen tools, making pasta at home has never been easier, more fun, or more delicious—just like your nonna used to make!

Inside, you’ll find:

– Recipes for pasta doughs made completely from scratch, with such delicious ingredients as buckwheat and whole wheat flour, roasted red pepper, asparagus, and even squid ink and chocolate

– Fully illustrated step-by-step instructions for rolling, shaping, and stuffing dough for gnocchi, lasagna, cannelloni, pappardelle, tagliatelle, ravioli, and dozens of other styles of pasta

– Detailed instructions on how to make the ultimate in pasta: hand-stretched dough

– Chinese pot stickers, Polish pierogi, Turkish manti, and other delectable pastas from beyond its traditional Italian borders

– Artisan tips to help anyone, from novice to experienced, make unforgettable pasta


Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 6.53.34 AM10. A Cheese Grater

Italians absolutely love their cheese. And nothing is better on your pasta than freshly grated parmesan. Check out the OXO Good Grips Box Grater. It features coarse, fine and super-fine grating surfaces and a slicing surface.

This grater is made of durable stainless steel construction with a soft, comfortable non-slip handle. You can catch, measure and store freshly grated ingredients in the storage container and seal with the included lid.

There is a non-slip bottom ring on both the Grater and the container. The slim construction easily fits into a drawer for compact storage.

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 6.57.51 AM9. Set of Wine Glasses

The perfect gift for every wine lover. This particular set contains the Vina series 16-1/2-ounce stemless red and 17-ounce stemless white wine glasses.

Popular for their affordable elegance and durability, it can be used as an everyday wine glass or for elegant occasions.  Salut!

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 7.05.10 AM8. 3-Cup Stove Top Espresso Maker

This aluminum, stovetop espresso maker by Bialetti, produces 3 demitasse cups of rich, authentic Italian espresso in just 4-5 minutes. The unique aluminum stovetop coffee maker is the #1 coffee maker in the world with over 200 million units sold, and its design is featured in the Museum of Modern Art. This is a classic, sure hit for moms, dads and grads!

Featuring Bialetti’s trademark figure, L’Omino, the little man with the moustache, the Bialetti 3-Cup Stove Top Espresso Maker has become a trusted symbol of Italian quality.

20141014 1959357. Rear View Mirror Novelties

Decorate your rear view mirror with your Italian pride from Italian tassels to the corno, Gobbo, and much more!

Check out our listing of products on our Product Page.

6. Gift Certificate to an Italian Deli

There’s something about these mom-and-pop shops that oozes nostalgia. They just remind you of the old country. Rather than suggest a deli — let’s hear from you! What’s your favorite Italian deli in Pittsburgh?

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 7.17.03 AM5. Italy Track Jacket  

Wear what the pros wear! The PUMA Men’s FIGC Italia Walk-Out Jacket is official training apparel of the Italian national football team’s players.

The jacket comes with the official badge; high-performance fabrics; powerful design; Italian traditional colors. Cat branding print, FIGC official woven badge, Italian flag sleeve prints, translucent.

417157702_MV_ZM4. Italian Horn Charm

Many of our Italian relatives believe in superstitions. One of the more popular superstitions is the “malocchio” (mal=bad occhio=eye) or the evil eye.

What can you do to prevent the malocchio?

Many Italians wear a horn (cornuto, corno, or cornicello) which resembles a chili pepper. The horns are usually made of coral, gold or silver and are either worn as a necklace or hung in one’s home to ward off evil spirits.


3. Jimmy Faiella Mandolin CD

Jimmy—as his famiglia and friends call him—is a proud, professional Italian-American mandolinist performing traditional Italian Folk Music on the mandolino. It’s a tradition that’s been in his family for four generations.

Born and raised in West Aliquippa and Aliquippa, PA, Jimmy still lives in the 15001 zip code—an old, beat up steel mill town that’s still trying to find its way since the collapse in the mid 1980’s.

Two tracks from Jimmy’s CD were featured in Episode 64 of HBO’s “THE SOPRANOS.” While Jimmy says that it was just by pure luck that his music was featured, after listening to his CD, you’ll know that it was certainly his talent. 

watch2. Italian Wrist Watch from Mondo Italiano

Mondo Italiano, friendly language service Pittsburgh-based provider, works hard to provide you with the most qualified language experts in your area. Whether you are a busy professional, a corporation or a language student, MONDO ITALIANO can help you.

Check out their product page for some fantastic and affordable gift ideas including this Italian White Silicone Women/Mens Quartz Wrist Watch.

20140914_1346311. Ciao Pittsburgh’s Aroma Seasoning

Everyone loves Italian food — you can now add more flavor to your favorite dish with our Aroma Seasoning. Comprised of high quality, premium ingredients, Aroma comes in both a salt and salt free version. It consists of garlic, bell pepper, tomato, salt, herbs and spices.

Part of the greatness is the mixture, but the other part is the high quality and freshness of the ingredients. It tastes like you went into your garden and cut fresh veggies, herbs, and spices and cooked with them.

This Italian seasoning is great on pasta, salads, eggs, pizza, dipping oil, veggies, chicken, fish, pork, beef or anything you want to give an exceptional flavor to.

And now — you can get two bottles of Ciao Pittsburgh Aroma Seasoning for just $10.

Give it a try—we promise you won’t be disappointed!