ITALY AT HOME: 10 Essential Items For the Italy Obsessed
Italy is just the best. There, I said it. (I know, there are many amazing places to visit in this world, so any of them which I love unconditionally, but for me, Italy is one country that I can’t wait to get back to, time and time again.) Between the gorgeous landscapes & architecture, the warm welcome received by the Italian people (so many becoming instant family, really), and as it should go without saying- the food.
But alas, we can’t always get to Italy (ahem, 2020), so we have to be creative and find other, non-physical, ways of transporting ourselves there.
Here are 10 items that will take you to Italy, without use of a plane, train or automobile…
“This is not just a cookbook, it’s a fairytale.”
What better way to emulate life in Italy than through an authentically Italian meal? In this carefully curated collection of traditional Italian recipes, Mimi Thorisson explores the beautiful coasts and countrysides of Italy. For me, every photo is an international trip down memory lane, as they capture not only the visuals, but also the feelings of being there in person. Old World Italian features simple, authentic recipes inspired by the country’s devoted producers and rich food heritage.
A beautiful coffee mug to remind you of your travels is one of the best souvenirs you can buy. You’ll get tons of use out of it (even if you prefer tea!) and there’s nothing better than reminiscing about a favorite trip, first thing in the morning. This hand-painted ceramic mug has the traditional Raffaelesco design- which traces its origin to 16th century, and the graceful arabesques of Raphael’s famous frescoes- which is commonly seen on pottery hailing from the Umbrian town of Deruta, like this one here.
And what good is an Italian coffee mug without strong Italian coffee? This Bialetti high-quality polished aluminum coffee-maker will make just enough coffee to fill your morning mug- with enough left over to top it off and keep things warm. Need to make more at once? Try the larger version here, or if you prefer to add a pop of crimson to your kitchen, you might want to go with this one. Whichever you choose, your whole house will smell like an Italian “bar” in no time.
4). Italian Wine
Alright, we’ve covered Italian food + coffee, so it would only be rational to add some wine into the mix. A wine capital of the world, Italy has a wide range of variations for the grape lover and connoisseur. When you can be there (in real life), there is no better wine-tasting experience than a wine tasting at an Italian vineyard (we’ve been to vineyards where we were given giant samplings of incredible Italian food paired perfectly with each sip- and there was even a playground for the kids to play while their parents indulged). But when you can’t, a nice, Italian wine can trigger some of the best of memories from past trips, and/or give you a glimpse of future trips to come. Dry Farm Wines specifically is a wine club (you can also order on an as-needed basis) that I’ve discovered is one way to enjoy wine straight from Italy, that tastes so natural and pure, it’s as if I am right back there in Italy, sitting at a vineyard. While the assortments vary, there is always at least a few bottles from Italy, and even the non-Italian wines are fantastic. With guaranteed natural, organic, lower-sugar and “hangover free” variations, I honestly can’t recommend Dry Farm Wines enough.
Hand-made in Italy, Cenzo offers a variety of quality leather bags for men and women. Whether you’re in need of a new briefcase, pocketbook or weekender-style duffle bag, Cenzo offers the perfect the stay-at-home alternative to buying your goods on the streets of Florence.
If you’re a true Italophile, you likely already speak Italian, or have been wanting to learn. In the the case of the latter, there’s (literally) no better time than today to start. Rosetta Stone is a great tried + true program that has successfully helped thousands of people to learn second (and third, and fourth) languages with ease. All it takes is practice, dedication and determination, and you’ll be speaking Italian like a native in no time!
Kick up your Sunday Dinner a few notches with the iSiLER 150 Roller Pasta Maker. With nine different noodle settings to choose from, you can mix and match your spaghetti, fettuccini, linguini and more, and decide which goes best with which sauce. It’s easy to find fresh pasta in Italy, and with one of these bad boys, it will be easy to find on your dining table, too.
This vividly colorful coffee table book by photographer Gray Malin is the visual vacation we all need right now. From the Amalfi Coast all the way up to Lake Como, Gray captures the essence of Italy in this beautiful book. Offering an idyllic mental escape, ITALY takes us straight to “the boot”- no passports (or quarantine) required.
9). Ferrara Torrone
Whether enjoyed with a cappuccino or by itself as an afternoon sweet snack, Ferrara Traditional Torrone always reminds me of being in Italy as a kid. I remember when my parents, brother and I were in Venice when we stumbled upon “Sweet Sweet,” the most incredible candy store my then 6-year-old self had ever laid eyes on. It was beautiful, it was magical and it was the first place I ever tried torrone. The Italian candy was just as delicious to me then as it is now- especially at Christmas time when it is most commonly served in Italy. This Ferrara assorted box of the nougat pieces comes with vanilla orange and lemon flavors- each of which I love equally.
These gorgeous hand-bound, magnificently marbled journals from Il Papiro have a special place in my heart. My Dad introduced me to them years ago when he asked Ryan and I to pick one up for him during a Eurotrip of ours. We were at the Florence location where the shopkeeper showed us how they make and marble the paper with paint, and gave us some sheets to take home. Since then, we have also visited the Il Papiro shop in Siena, Italy, which I loved just as much. Fortunately, Il Papiro products can also be shipped directly throughout the U.S. on their website, and I highly recommend getting yourself a journal where you can record all your Italy travel memories, thoughts and plans for years to come.
Do you own any of the above products? Let us know in the comments, below!