Back in 2015, Amazon launched a “made in Italy showcase”, which blossomed into a long-term collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now, Made in Italy Days is an annual celebration that in 2023 takes place from May 29 to June 2nd, corresponding with the Italian Republic Day (June 2) which is also a holiday weekend in Italy. The collaboration is intended to assist Italian small and medium sized companies in adopting innovative solutions like e-commerce through training and promotion for the 2500 participating companies to date.

For those of you who can’t make it to Italy this year but are craving that favourite coffee or toothpaste, I’ve curated a list of my top Italian buys on the American .com website – all things I can verify are authentically Italian and in use in our home!


My top Amazon Made in Italy Days buys: household items

Alessi: iconic Italian design

Get a Bialetti moka

If you don’t already own a bialetti moka coffee maker, it’s time to grab one. My husband makes his morning and post-lunch coffees in this simple and sustainable device that uses no pods. We recently moved to an apartment that has an induction stove so bought the appropriate steel-bottomed moka that works like a dream. To think that this ingenious device was recently in crisis due to the convenience of pod-systems, but luckily they’re still alive and I think people are picking up on the fact that they’re cheap, make good coffee, and don’t pollute.

The perfect wedding list item

If you’ve got an Italy-lover to give a wedding gift to, or if you just want to get yourself some iconic design, anything by Alessi would be awesome, in my humble opinion. On our wedding list we inserted, and received, Alessi bread or fruit baskets and trays that we use daily. We also have the cocktail shaker, which, not living in the set of Mad Men, we use less frequently…

Not Gnocchi

If you’re going to make gnocchi – the potato-based “primo” – you’ll need a special tool that looks like a striated cutting board. Grab a gnocchi stripper for whoever’s going to cook those for you (I’ve tried and they ended up so sticky, I delegate  the task to my mother in law).

It’s grate

We have an electric parmesan cheese grater, I admit it. I used to think it was the most essential kitchen tool ever, but then we found ourselves eating less pasta, and having a machine that had to be constantly plugged in taking up precious counter space made us change tunes. My mother in law has a lovely wooden-based cheese grater similar to this one, which I think would make a precious item in your kitchen if you don’t already have a container-based grater (which is so much less messy than the standard box grater!).

Smell like Florence (in a good way)

Dr. Vranjes is the epitome of luxury scents: it’s a Florentine artisanal brand founded 40 years ago by Dr. Paolo Vranjes, who declares that Florence is his muse. You’ll see and smell their room fragrances in all the top hotels around here. Pick up a Dr. Vranjes diffuser or room spray to bring you back to your favourite city…

My top Amazon Made in Italy Days buys: personal care

Marvis is marvelous

Marvis toothpaste is my go-to gift when I’m bringing someone “something from Italy” that doesn’t cost too much but that you enjoy every day. I’m partial to their classic mint flavour.

For the bearded type

Italian men tend to like beards. I don’t know if it’s a recent thing but there are a lot more beards around here than in the USA. My husband went this way about a decade ago and now, when I see old photos of an unbearded Tommaso, I think he looks very strange indeed, despite initially hating it. Anyway, if there’s a bearded man on your gift list, Proraso shaving products – made by the same company as Marvis – is his product of choice. Looks good displayed in the bathroom.

Rather Davine

I didn’t realize that Davine, an Italian ethical and sustainable haircare brand from Parma, exported! I’ve been using their boxy-shaped “Love” conditioner for over 6 months – I have short hair, it’s true, but I find that a tiny bit goes a really long way. I see that their US prices are actually lower than their Italian ones.

My top Amazon Made in Italy Days buys: foods

The fanciest risotto

Acquerello rice is specified on the menu of numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy for a reason: it has a longer cooking time than your average Arborio and it holds up really well, making for a creamy but never overcooked risotto. It’s priced accordingly, and comes in an attractive can.

Can I… coffee

Speaking of cans, what about the iconic Illy can of ground coffee for your moka? They’ve recently raised their prices making the Coop brand our more frequent choice at the supermarket, but hubby swears by his Illy and will grab it any time there’s a promotion.

They don’t ship gelato but…

Have you stopped in the Venchi store in any Italian city? Their chocolate is to die for, their chocolate gelato even more so. Well they don’t ship gelato but does carry a vast assortment of Venchi chocolates, so go wild.

Real pasta

What’s your favourite brand of Italian pasta? Can you get it in the area in which you live? If yes, great. If not, try the steel cut Italian Rummo pasta, which is what our family always chooses. The longer cooking time attests to a more resistant grain, meaning your pasta remains al-dente. Fave shape? Penne rigate. The sauce really sticks to it. They also make gluten free and bean-based versions for the gluten-sensitive.

Amazon for Emilia Romagna & other ways to help

How to help

As you may know, the Emilia Romagna region has been severely affected by floods as this spring’s weather has been incredibly wet. The Italian red cross is collecting funds, and I noticed that Amazon has made a donation as well as activated a donation button on their Italian platform. Donations can also be made from the Croce Rossa website (in Italian).

For a complete list of how to help, see the article in The Florentine “How to help Emilia-Romagna”.


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