Once again the holiday season has crept unmercifully upon us. One minute it’s Thanksgiving and the next, hordes of bleary eyed shoppers can be spied muddling through a seemingly unending vortex of holiday marketing to a soundtrack of Elvis’s “Blue Christmas” heavily on loop. As if congested malls and window shopping becoming a contact sport weren’t painful enough, one must exhaust all intellect to try to buy that one perfect gift. The gift that says, “I cared enough not to send Hickory Farms.” Have no fear, our very own holiday gift guide is here. Well more specifically, the ultimate gift guide for any sophisticated, in-the-know, globetrotting…ahem, Italophile, in your life.
A Donation to Help Rebuild Vernazza
During this special time of year what better gift could be given than to those that desperately need support and compassion from both friends and strangers? The Cinque Terre town of Vernazza on Italy’s Ligurian Riviera is undoubtedly one of the world’s most breathtaking examples of human ingenuity amidst a wonderland of natural beauty. But on October 25th, 2011 the UNESCO World Heritage site would be changed forever as the town was tragically destroyed by mass flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rainstorms. In the wake of the natural disaster, three citizens were found dead while countless more were injured and left homeless. Vernazza lay buried beneath more than 13 feet of mud and debris as homes, businesses and civic spaces were completely destroyed and millions of dollars in damages were incurred. Today, Vernazza remains evacuated with a multitude of families displaced and the town itself left in an ongoing state of emergency. Save Vernazza is an Italian non-profit organization founded by three American women who have called Vernazza home for many years. Their mission is to “rebuild, restore and preserve the town of Vernazza by raising funds for immediate reconstruction” and institute cultural and sustainable initiatives to benefit the community of Vernazza. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of experiencing the majesty of the Vernazza that once was – its people, its natural splendor, its heritage, its history – will understand the importance of rebuilding this real community of people that everyday preserve an invaluable piece of human history and world culture. Give the gift of a donation to SaveVernazza in the name of a friend or loved one by visiting http://savevernazza.com or by clicking the image provided above.
You Too Can Prevent Intestinal Fires With The Help of Lidia
You have finally forced down your last forkfull of spaghetti slathered in…say it isn’t so…sauce from a jar. No! Today you can rejoice because with one small token of holiday generosity you will bestow upon your most enthusiastic but recipe challenged loved one the magical power to cook like Lidia Bastianich. The face of authentic Italian cooking in America, Bastianich brings you the “All of Italy Book Package: Recipes from the 20 Regions of Italy”, a two cookbook set featuring authentic recipes from all over Italy. A delicious journey through Lidia’s childhood and her many travels, the books showcase lush food photography, detailed gastronomical descriptions of Italy’s regions and recipes that Bastianich has made painfully easy for any burgeoning Italian home chef. Let’s just say that once your loved one has reached the end of these books, you too will be hearing the siren song of “Tutti a tavola a mangiare.” Everyone to the table to eat indeed! You can purchase the two cookbook set at http://shopping.lidiasitaly.com or by clicking the picture provided.
Give Espresso On The Go
For the busy caffeine fiend in your life, look no further. The Illy Handpresso Travel Set is your go to gift for anyone that is short on time but big on espresso. This light and compact gadget is the world’s first portable, eco-friendly and non-electrical espresso machine on the market. Now you might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone need a portable espresso machine?” And then you would immediately answer your own question with yet another question, “Have you ever slurped the gasoline infused sludge found simmering atop the circa 1980 coffee maker in your office break room?” Enough said. Be the coolest gift giver this season with yet another stunner from the espresso innovators at Illy. You can purchase the Handpresso Travel Set at www.illyusa.com or by clicking the picture provided.
Style Can Apparently Be Bought, At Least In Book Form
From MOMA’s illustrious design series comes “Italian Design” by Giampiero Bosoni, a detailed study of Italian culture through design movements of the last fifty years of the 2oth century. From fashion to product design and graphic arts to furniture, this chic tome aims to explore Italy’s self-made and instantly recognizable brand through its most innovative creations. More than standard coffee table fodder, this full color homage to Italian bella figura features 148 illustrations and an introduction written by Paola Antonelli, the Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MOMA. You can purchase the book at www.momastore.org or by clicking the picture provided.
Happy shopping everyone and Buone Feste!
About the author
Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.