Words by Katia Amore

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is not only about religious celebrations and family gatherings, but also about exchanging gifts, those small or big boxes under the Christmas tree that make both children and adults curious and excited.

Italy offers great gift options, from beautiful handy-craft objects found at a Mercatino di Natale to designer jewels, from traditional Nativity scenes to kitchen tools, there are plenty of excellent options, as we say "per tutti i gusti e per tutte le tasche", for any kind of specific interest or budget.

If you do not have the chance to come to Italy before Christmas, below is a list of possible ideas for a Made in Italy gift available on-line, just to bring a little piece of Italy under your Christmas tree.

1. Nativity Scene

First suggestion for a perfect Italian Christmas "regalo" is obviously a Nativity Scene. Preparing Nativity Scenes is the oldest Christmas tradition in Italy, since Saint Francis times; churches, families, schools, towns prepare their Presepe at the beginning of December, as this truly reminds us what we are celebrating about.
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2. "My Christmas" songs

This year, to have a perfect Christmas atmosphere at home, you cannot miss the much-anticipated release of Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas", his first-ever Christmas recording, a heart-warming collection of seasonal favorites including "White Christmas", "Oh Holy Night", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "Jingle Bells", "Silent Night", "The Christmas Song" and "What Child Is This" among others.
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3. Fellini Movies Box

And how could you miss the chance to place a Fellini Movies Box set under your Christmas tree? A perfect Italian gift for all occasions! Here you have four of the director's masterpieces: 8 1/2 with Marcello Mastroianni, La Strada Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Nights of Cabiria, Oscar-winner for Best Foreign-Language Film and Amarcord, a carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy during the Fascist period, another Academy Award-winning classic.
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4. Lingerie "per lui", "per lei"

Many Italians choose lingerie as gifts for their lovers and friends, this is usually a present to wear at New Years Eve and "red" is often the favourite colour as it is supposed to bring good luck. Here are a couple of Italian lingerie options:

Per Lei (for women) an elegant Silk Gown:
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Per Lui (for men) a classic Cotton Tank:
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5. Kitchen Tools

Made in Italy kitchen tools are also great gifts and offer a choice of either traditional tools or fantastic modern design. We chose a must have for all Italian coffee lovers, produced by Alessi:
a 4 cups moka expresso machine, which is found in every Italian household:
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Giovannoni's Pinocchio funnel:
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6. Jewellery

If jewellery is what you have in mind, look at Morellato and Zoppini stainless steel fashionable options:

Per Lei, a steel necklace with diamond and white crystals:
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Per Lui, Zoppini's stainless steel cross cufflinks:
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7. Italy T-shirts

You can also choose one of Italy Magazine T-shirts or mugs as your "Italian" Christmas gift. For example, you could give your friends an Italy T-shirt as a way to announce your intention to take them to Italy in 2010.
Italy Magazine T-shirts.
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8. Charity donation

Finally, Italy Magazine's best Italian Christmas present is a donation to one of Italy's most hard working charity, Emergency. An independent, neutral and non-political which provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to civilian victims of war, landmines and poverty.

The best way to help Italy helping the world!