Ready for Christmas? If you are thinking about gifts for your loved ones, there is no shortage of choice in Tuscany. From numerous DOCG wines to cosmetic products from ancient pharmacies, from leather accessories to precious crystal objects, there are many possibilities for a gift with a Tuscan heart. Here are 7 gift ideas for Christmas and beyond.
Many think that perfume was invented in France, although it is said that the man who brought the aroma to Paris was a Florentine. What we do know is that Florence has a very long tradition of fragrances and essential oils. In the historic town center you can find several artisanal perfumeries such as Spezieria Palazzo Vecchio, Aquaflor, and Vranjes.
For lovers of traditional essences, the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella offers a wide selection of fragrances, cosmetics, and liqueurs, prepared according to very old recipes. It is in fact one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, founded in 1612 by the Dominican friars of Santa Maria Novella.
Tuscany is among the most renowned destinations for wine production, and there are so many labels produced throughout the region. These include 11 DOCGs that represent wines of particular quality merit which, for this reason, have been granted controlled and guaranteed designation of origin status.
The soul of Tuscan wines is the Sangiovese grape, which is characterized by a fruity aroma, marked acidity and lively tannins. From the Brunello di Montalcino to the Chianti Classico, from the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to the Morellino di Scansano, from the Montecucco to the Montecarlo a bottle of Riserva is always a welcome gift.
Leather in Tuscany has a thousand-year history of processing, which began along the coast with the Etruscans, and continued in Florence when, as early as the 12th century, hides were tanned near Ponte Vecchio along the Arno River.
This age-old tradition is still carried on today in the leather district in Santa Croce sull’Arno, between Florence and Pisa, where almost all the companies involved in the leather processing chain are located. This is why a leather wallet, bag, jacket or belt made in Tuscany represents an excellent craftsmanship that will be appreciated by anyone who receives it.
If it is true that at "the table you don't get old" in Tuscany it comes easy to stay at the table, given the many food and wine excellences throughout the region. There are as many as 31 DOP and IGP agri-food products, synonymous with excellence and a guarantee of quality recognized throughout Europe.
Colle Val d'Elsa has been called the Bohemia of Italy for its centuries-old prestigious crystal production. About 95 percent of Italian crystal is produced here, accounting for 15 percent of the world's production of this precious material.
The art of working with crystal has been attested here since the 15th century, and since then it has represented a blend of skill and technique that creates goblets, glasses, plates and objects of particular beauty and brilliance that will be greatly appreciated by anyone who receives them.
In Florence, straw processing dates back to the Middle Ages, to become over the centuries an example of quality Tuscan craftsmanship, so much so that the French used the expression "chapeaux de paille d'Italie" to indicate the originality of the manufacture.
The tradition of the straw hat continues to this day around Signa, where as early as 1714 a special variety of wheat perfect for weaving and called "Marzuolo" began to be cultivated, thanks to the intuition of Domenico Michelacci. Elegance, quality and craftsmanship make these hats a timeless cadeau.
The ceramics of Montelupo Fiorentino are known throughout Europe thanks to its splendid majolica tiles particularly prized by the noble Florentine families of the Renaissance, who used them to embellish their residences. Suffice it to say that for weddings between the scions of Europe's leading families, entire sets of dishes and serving ware were ordered from the master craftsmen of Montelupo.
In fact, the town is located along the Arno river in an area very rich in clay, the raw material for making pottery, which is then expertly crafted and decorated by artisans and artists in their workshops. Here they make plates, trays and other furnishings with wonderful decorations, perfect for bringing a touch of Florentine nobility to our homes.