There are gift baskets…and, then, there are Italian gift baskets. We don’t mean to disparage the shopper who wants, say, a Canadian gift basket. But, really? You know that you can’t miss with an Italian gift basket. It’s the long tradition of Italian food that beckons: who doesn’t love Italian food? There are many different types of Italian gift baskets on this list. Some don’t come with a basket, but some other container — and, often, those containers can be repurposed or (dare we say) re-gifted. Others include foods associated with Italian food, but not necessarily from Italy. And still others feature foods that are strictly Italian. We’re not judging one better than the other. We are asserting that these baskets would be a great gift for Valentine’s Day because it’s a day that’s all about indulgence.
Italian Gift Baskets: How We Built the List
Each of the entries on this list were selected because they include terrific ingredients and they each vary enough from the other to give you a lot of choices. Our first goal was to find gift baskets that contain products that are Italian made. This might seem like a no-brainer, but think about it: you can get a great dried pasta (traditionally thought of as an Italian food) that is not made in Italy. It doesn’t make the pasta any less delicious or legit. But it is fun to zero in on imported items. We also looked for variety. We didn’t want every basket to be the typical pasta/sauce/breadsticks type of basket. Not that there’s anything wrong with that type of basket, but maybe you’re looking for something that leans toward sweets rather than savory. We wanted to offer baskets with differing numbers of products. You might love a 22-item gift basket, but you’re buying for someone who would do better with an eight-item basket.
Italian Gift Baskets: Would You Like Driving Shoes With That?
We’re being cheeky here, of course, but don’t get us wrong: if you want to buy that special someone an Italian gift basket and some driving shoes, by all means. It could very well be that you’re looking for an Italian gift basket because you are buying for an Italophile, someone who loves all-things-Italian. We’re only detouring briefly here because all this talk of Italian products brings to mind the interesting (to us) story of driving shoes and how they came about (in Italy). Check out or list of the Top 10 Best Men’s Driving Shoes: The Definitive List.
And as long as we’re veering for a moment from the subject at hand — food! — take a look at this really fun video about “20 Rules Italians Never Break.” It’s from a guy named Marco in a Box and it’s not only entertaining, it’s educational.
Italian Gift Baskets: Specifics We List
For this list, we’re including, as best we can, all the ingredients of each basket. We’re also including the best possible photo that shows the size of the basket. And we’re listing the shipping weight — not because you have to trouble yourself with shipping, but just to give a better idea of the size. No matter what size you choose, the fact is that giving the gift of food is always eccezionale. Especially when it’s from our list of the Top 10 Best Italian Gift Baskets for Valentine’s Day.
1. Little Bit of Italy Gift Basket
You can easily describe this Italian gift basket as “the real deal.” There are 13 products here, all from Italy, and it would work very well for a dinner for four with plenty left over for another night.
Starting with the primo, the appetizer course:
Volpi Hot Sopressata — Italian salami spiced with red pepper and paprika
Volpi Sweet Sopressata — not as hot
Asaro Organic Sicilian Castelvetrano Olives — these are the butteriest olives on earth
Terre di Puglia Taralli Crackers — made with extra virgin olive oil
Casina Rossa Antipasto Vegetable Mix — a blend of Mediterranean veggies, Italian pine nuts and raisins
For the secondo — the main course:
Benedetto Cavalieri Casarecci Pasta — a short wide strip of pasta loosely rolled like a scroll
Casina Rossa Vodka Sauce — vodka, cream, herbs and spices: very traditional Italian sauce
Sogno Toscano 1923 Extra Virgin Olive Oil — 100 percent Tuscan from the estate of the Brembilla family
Bertozzi Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese — Solo di Bruna, which means that the milk comes only from brown cows, as dictated by tradition
Finishing with the dolce — dessert:
Prato Belli Tuscan Almond Cantuccini — classic Tuscan biscotti
Fior di Frutta Strawberry Jam — organic
Amaretti del Chiostro — crunchy, bittersweet almond cookies made by the same family for almost three centuries
Dark Chocolate Amaretti Cookie Crumble Bark — received the 2014 Sofi Award nomination for “outstanding chocolate” from the Specialty Food Association.
In this case, the “basket” is a rustic dark brown wooden crate with handles. Easily repurposed once the food has been deliciously devoured. Shipping weight is 14 pounds.
2. Rossi Pasta Varieta Grande Gift Basket
If you know anyone who loves pasta, bread and pizza — whether it’s to eat it or cook it — this is the gift basket for them. It’s a 15 item basket and it’s all about the comfort foods! Plenty of pasta possibilities here:
Tomato Basil Garlic Fettuccini
Spinach Basil Garlic Fettuccini
Wild Mushroom Linguini
Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
Then there are the the sauces:
Classic Pizza Sauce
There are three kinds of dough mixes:
Classic pizza dough mix
Italian Herb pizza dough mix
Garlic Focaccia Bread Mix
The finishing touches:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Veggie Spice Seasoning
We’ve done the math for you and this all works out to eight different main dishes (of course, you’ll need to add some of your own ingredients, particularly when you use the lasagna pasta). Do take note that the pastas are each 12 ounces, as opposed to the traditional grocery store pasta that comes in 16 ounce/1 lb. packages. The pasta sauces are 15.5 ounce jars. The basket is a somewhat rustic, light brown woven piece that can easily be reused (perhaps serve the focaccia you’ve baked in it). The overall weight of this basket is unavailable.
3. Deluxe Italian Food Gift Basket
This is the big boy of the list. It comes with 22 items, so whoever gets this gift will be doing a lot of indulging. It would be a great idea for a raffle item at a fundraiser or the office. In addition to being a big basket of delicious, there’s also a red and white checkered table cloth and a serving spoon included in this. As for the goodies, take a deep breath:
Pasta – four assorted pastas
Pasta sauce – three assorted pasta sauces
Cheese spread – two assorted cheese spreads
Italian pasta salad
Artisan bread sticks
Romano Garlic Crunchy Sourdough Twists
Parmesan Bread Sticks
Italian Cheese Biscuits
Olive oil – one bottle of basil and garlic oil; one bottle of extra virgin olive oil
Two assorted seasoning mixes
Dessert – a tin of Pirouline Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Filled Swirl Cookies; Cashew and Almond Buttercrunch Toffee Roca
An Italian style table cloth
A pasta sauce/linguini spoon
The basket is a two toned, multi-weave basket with a handle, so it’s easily repurposed. Shipping weight of the basket is 14 pounds.
4. Wine Country Gift Baskets The Italian Collection
This basket includes eight items. It’s from Wine Country Gift Baskets, which has been making all sorts of gift baskets for a long time. In this case, The Italian Collection will really work well for a dinner for two (or four, if everyone eats very politely). The items include:
The primo — appetizers:
Crackers — twice-baked roasted garlic crackers
Cheese swirls – Nonni’s mozzarella cheese swirls (a variation of a cracker)
Cheese spread — Vino e Formaggio asiago cheese spread
Olives — obvious antipasti, but I’d include the olives in the sauce (making sure to remove the pits prior to throwing them in the marinara)
The secondo — main course:
Pasta — Bella Campagna rigatoni
Pasta sauce — Colavita marinara sauce
The dolce — dessert:
Cookies – Cantucci D’Abruzzo almond cookies
Pralines – Rovelli milk chocolate pralines
The basket is a very rustic, thick weave with handles on either side of the rectangular basket. Disclaimer based on some reviews: some reviewers say the basket they received had different items than they expected. Indeed, even the listing on Amazon shows a different pasta in the photos. But, hey, any pasta is great, right? Pro tip: get this Italian gift basket for someone special and invite yourself over to help deploy the basket ingredients. Shipping weight of this basket is four pounds.
5. Italian Premier Gift Basket
Like the first basket on this list, you can call this Italian gift basket “the real deal.” All the products in this lineup — and there are a lot of them! — are produced in Italy. Whereas food baskets very often contain items that don’t require refrigeration, this one includes fresh products and, therefore, is shipped in a (reusable) insulated cooler. A total of 15 items in this basket. Pull up a chair and take a look:
Boschetto al Tartufo Bianchetto — Tuscan sheep’s milk cheese with white truffle shavings
Asiago d’Allevo — mild cheese whose flavor increases with age
Mountain Gorgonzola — authentic Gorgonzola from Lombardy
Grana Padano — a 24-month aged hard cheese from the Po Valley
Piave — handcrafted cheese from the Po Valley
Jelly Cheese Accompaniment by SiGi — sweet jelly to complement cheese
Italian Tuna by Callipo — canned Italian tuna
Soppressata — a coarse grind salami
Sliced Speck — Recla’s Speck is like prosciutto, only smoked
Olive Tapenade — great for spreading on crackers
Imported Italian Chocolate Bar — handmade
Tarallo — round, pretzel-like treat
Italian Biscotti by Falanga — cookie handcrafted in Sicily
100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil — from Italy
Balsamic Vinegar — from Modena
The fact that this basket comes with five cheeses and three meats means it will make for great antipasti for several different occasions. Add the other items in and you’ve got some great snacking — either pre- or post-prandial — for a crowd. Quick disclaimer about the basket here: the description says it comes in a “rustic copper panier,” whereas the photo shows a woven basket with leather handles. Either way, definitely repurpose-able. This one weighs 9.4 pounds and, like the Italian Classic Gift Basket (item #7), it’s from igourmet.
6. That’s Amore! Dinner for Two Gift Basket
Another dinner in a basket. In this case, the basket is a very handy, reusable picnic hamper (kinda like a woven briefcase) with handles and a latch. There are a total of nine items in this one, and it would be great for a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day.
The primo — appetizers:
Olives — Premium Tuscany Seasoned Olives
Cheese straws — Sonoma Cheese Straws
Cheese spread — Merlot Wine Cheddar Cheese Spread
Crackers — Los Olivos Wine and Cheese Biscuits
The secondo — main course:
Pasta — Handmade Rainbow Angel Hair Pasta
Pasta sauce — Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce Mix
The dolce — dessert:
Cookies — Sweet Italian Amoretti Cookies
The extras —
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
This Italian gift basket is from Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets. It ships in “frustration free” packaging. Shipping weight: 5.2 pounds.
7. Italian Classic Gift Basket
This is, basically, an aperitivo (Italian way of saying “snack” or light meal) basket and it’s got some nice cheeses and meats included. A total of nine items:
Cheese — Provolone Piccante; Asiago d’Allevo; Grana Padano
Meat — a salami chub; sliced Italian speck, which is a smoked, cured ham very much like prosciutto
Crackers — Grissini breadsticks
Tapenade — a vegetable tapenade from Fattorie Umbre
Sweets — biscotti from Falanga of Sicily; Italian chocolate bar (filled with ganache)
It comes in a hand assembled woven basket and is finished with a dark brown ribbon. Each of the cheeses is almost half a pound and the speck is three ounces, which is a typical size for the thinly sliced cured meats. It gets a handful of reviews, but they’re exceedingly positive. It comes from igourmet.com and I will say that my mom has bought igourmet products for me in the past and I’ve always loved them. It’s shipped in a reusable insulated cooler and shipping weight is 4.8 pounds. Quick disclaimer: the items in the photo (supplied by igourmet) don’t exactly match the items that igourmet lists.
8. Coffee Connoisseur Gourmet Food Gift Basket
This Italian gift basket is all about coffee and sweets. While the name of this basket and, indeed, some of the products do not lean Italy’s way, many of the items in the basket are Italian:
Bali’s Best Espresso Coffee Candy
Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
French Vanilla Flavored Cappuccino (hybrid here!)
Cafe Latte Drink Mix
Chocolate Dipped Almond Hazelnut Biscotti
Amaretto White Chocolate Wafer Cookie
Chocolate Dolcetto Filled Cookies
Italian Amaretti Cookies
Besides those products, the basket also includes these tasty items:
Travel coffee mug with lid
Premium Gavina Vanilla Coffee
Gavina French Roast Coffee
Beth’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mocha Hazelnut Java Wafer Cookie
La Patiserie Crepe Cookies
Sea Salted Cashews
English Toffee Caramels
Creamy Maple Fudge
There are two reusable items with this gift basket: the mug and the basket. The mug is a travel coffee mug so it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The basket is a dark stained wicker basket, which can be put to use in all sorts of home decorating possibilities. And, of course, it can be used to make your own gift basket for someone else. A great go-along with this basket would be this collection of biscotti ($35.99). It’s a beautiful box with even more beautiful biscotti (24 pieces) inside. Great with coffee.
9. Italian Luxuries Gift Basket
Another one from igourmet, this 12 item gift basket is great as a appetizer course that should last through a couple of meals…unless it’s for a large dinner party, in which case it would also work very well. The bounty includes:
Four cheeses — Montasio; Pecorino; Gorgonzola; Grana Padano. Each cheese is eight ounces, so a total of two pounds.
Crackers and spread — Also in the savory column, you get Grissini Breadsticks and Italian Vegetable Tapenade.
Extras — Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Acetum Balsamic Vinegar.
Sweets — Torrone nougat dessert; Italian Biscotti; T’a Milano Chocolate Bar.
In addition, this gift basket comes with a cheese knife and is presented in a woven basket wrapped with a brown ribbon. Shipping weight is 10.9 pounds. This gift basket gets really strong reviews, with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating average.
10. Mini Italian Dinner for Two Gourmet Gift Basket
This is a gift basket that’s perfect for a couple who wants to eat Italian one night. It includes seven products and will work for appetizers, main course, dessert and cappuccino.
The primo — sun-dried tomato basil dipping sauce mix; a jar of sliced mushrooms (to nom-nom as an appetizer or to add to the sauce); Parmesan crisps
The secondo — the pasta is spaghetti; a jar of marinara sauce
The dolce — chocolate covered biscotti; Bella Cappuccino mix
It all comes in a woven handled basket with a bow. Shipping weight is six pounds.
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