Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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5 ideas for a unique Christmas gift from Tuscany

08.12.2012

5 ideas for a unique Christmas gift from Tuscany

08.12.2012

florence italy christmas Picture this scenario – you booked a ticket home to visit family and you want to bring a gift for someone special – parents,  friends, grandparents, your friend Steve, favorite childhood cat 😉 but have run out of ideas of what to bring as a ‘typical’ unique item from Tuscany. Yes everyone loves the wine, or the truffle oil, or the colored pasta or the multi-covered scarves from the San Lorenzo markets {big hit in my family}. But you’ve been there, already done that. Welcome to my world – the world of “what to bring” after living in the same city year after year.

The double annoyance for those from the USA is that you can literally get everything in America – I mean everything! You want a snuggie for your shih tzu, well never fear the tv network has you covered! Someone even made a blog about ridiculous christmas presents –  really, who the heck needs a “sushi panic game?”

That being said, here is my top 5 list of cool unique gifts from Tuscany to bring home. Please let me know by commenting on the post what  you would recommend, I am sure this is something many are thinking about before making that mad shopping rush before flying home. grazie!

  • A Print from Clet. You probably have seen Clet’s work from around town anytime you slow down at a local stoplight. He’s the guy who cleverly messes with street signs and makes them into contemporary street art. Maybe you happened to see the artificial nose placed on Torre San Niccolo awhile back, that was him! He is well-liked and has a cozy store in the San Niccolo area of Florence – via dell’olmo,8, 50125 Florence, Italy. I recently got a good friend a print from the store that he adored and I think this is a really unique present so he gets my number one vote! The price of the print was under 20 euros and you can get it framed elsewhere. His official FB page is here.

cletprint

 

  • Rose water tonic from the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella -Via Delle Scala 16, Florence, Italy. My friend Amanda actually got me into this awesome product when she asked me to bring her a bottle from Florence a few years ago. I ended up getting two, one for myself and fell in love with this heavenly scent and classy bottle. I use it as a makeup remover & toner and I love it. It’s the perfect gift for your mother, grandmother, favorite aunt or anyone who appreciates a rose scented item. The price recently increased, from around 9 euros a bottle to I think 11. The Santa Maria Novella pharmacy has a variety of other great gifts such as perfume and special honey gift sets. I definitely recommend checking it out and if you want to learn more about this awesome pharmacy, check out this great article about it here. {I take everyone who visits me to this place}. Munstermann is another historical pharmacy with unique gifts located in nearby Piazza Goldoni.

  •  Giglio Cufflinks. Gigli is the Italian word for “lily flowers” and it also happens to be the symbol for Florence as well. You can  and will see it everyone – from the wall-paper in many palazzi to the Christmas tree in piazza Duomo pictured above, you can’t escape it! I actually think cufflinks are pretty classy {even if I am unsure that t-man even has a shirt that requires them} and this could be an awesome gift for a guy. There are several really nice jewelry stores around Florence, I would avoid the Ponte Vecchio unless you happen to have a lot of money. You are probably going to spend from 60-300 euros on a pair of special cufflinks like these. I found this pair on via angolo and I am sure you can find something similar nearby. Side note – A really amazing jeweler worth noting is Alessandro Dari, whose shop is like a museum, check out his beautiful collections here.

  • Profumo del Chianti – a beautiful Tuscan sea salt infused with herbs and aromas including lavender. This summer {yes if you can believe it spring once existed} we went to Panzano to visit the famous Tuscany butcher Dario Cecchini with our friends. We left fat and happy with this awesome sea salt in tow that we put on everything! On top of steak, salad or even mix it with olive-oil and dip fresh veggies inside. YUM. Everyone will love you, I promise. You can email him directly here. Price depends on the size but shouldn’t be more than around 12 euros.

prfofumodichianti

 

  • An awesome metalwork object from Florentine Giuliano Ricchi whose workshop is located in the heart of the Oltrarno {handicraft mecca in the city}Piazza Santo Spirito, 12 . Ring the bell and take a look inside at his amazing work – including pictures frames, boxes, bracelets and other items in silver or brass for very reasonable prices, no more than 30 euros.
picture from Cross Pollinate blog https://www.cross-pollinate.com/blog/571/made-in-italy-handmade-gifts-by-florentine-artisans/

Some other great “made in italy” shops worth mentioning are Paolo Carandini’s beautiful modern-meets-leather items on borgo allegri, Abacus (stationary made in the traditional Florentine way) & Francesco da Firenze shoe-maker on via santo spirito. I bought a pair of leather sandals earlier this year that I love, love, love. Also there is a temporary christmas shop of handmade goods by young designers and artists located on via de macci 81/r {Piazza sant’ambrogio area} called ‘Bazart’. It will be open until December 23rd and they are offering hot tea to customers :-). A very cool way to support locals! The facebook link is here.

*The Florentine last year wrote an article that included the rose-water I mentioned above and some other cool ideas for presents, so you can check this as an additional ‘gift’ reference.

Happy shopping and don’t forget to treat yourself to a little something – Babbo Natale would approve 🙂

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GirlInFlorence

Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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About Me

About Me

Hi There!

Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!

Georgette

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