A list of 5 objects that you can order online for those who love Bologna. Like for my 5 best souvenirs from Bologna these aren't payed recommendations. Just my personal suggestions to have a piece of Bologna with you for Christmas.
[Spoiler: of course there's food inside].
1. Bologna F.C T-Shirt
Like 99.9% of Italian men I like football. I'm not mad at it, but I like to watch it with my dad and friends. When I was a child Bologna football club I never missed a game with my grandfather in a local bar full of smoke of old supporters. They were the golden years of Bologna team and I still have Roberto Baggio's shirt carefully stored in my closet.
Time has changed, but in the last years Bologna, under the property of Joey Saputo, seems to be on the right track for a good future. Even if it's harder to see great champions Baggio or Signori with our shirt, the shirt itself is amazing. This white vintage shirt evokes the old matching uniform of the 60's, when Bologna won his last Italian Championship.
If you're on a budget both the scarf and the cap would be great present for the football lover in your family (I'm sure you have one too).
Your boyfriend who pretends to be sick to stay home and watch all the football matches of the weekend
Where to buy it
- Bologna Store, Galleria Cavour
- Online: www.bolognafcstore.com
2. Cremino FIAT by Majani
It's a woman, Teresa Majani, who in 1796 founded in Bologna the "Laboratory of Sweet Things", which will then take its name. The first headquarters of Majani is a small artisan shop with attached store next to the Basilica of San Petronio. Afterwards, the laboratory moved to Via de Carbonesi, in the so-called "Palazzo Majani", still open to the public.
Today is Francesco, the seventh generation, that owns the oldest Italian chocolate factory. One of the few that work directly the raw cocoa beans, in spite of costs and production times.
You can really taste the result of this hard work. Especially in their most popular product: Cremino FIAT. In 1911 FIAT motor company decided to celebrate the release of their brand new "Type 4" model with a chocolate. Majani won the challenge with a revolutionary product: 4 alternate layers of hazelnut and almond paste that destroyed the competition of famous chocolates in Turin.
Today, like before, Cremino is the most beloved chocolates of Bolognese and not only.
Let your girlfriend know that, even if you forgot her birthday, you still have a sweet heart.
Where to buy it
- Majani Shop in Via de' Carbonesi 5 Bologna
- At FICO Eataly World
- Online: shop.majani.com/en/
3. Vittorio Martini's pen
A pen seems a boring gift. The standard graduation present you still store untouched in the drawer. But some pens are different.
Sir Vittorio Martini establishes his company in Bologna in 1866, and described it as a "Workshop specialized in manufacturing high-precision instruments for technical drawing, computing and engineering". In 150 years the company has grown a lot but hasn't changed its original spirit. They still produce refined objects for drawing, precision and writing made with precious materials, such as wood or aluminium.
If you like the classics, Mat4 is elegant and functional; meanwhile "Foodtruck" line is not only very original but perfect as a present under the Christmas tree.
Your engineer husband. Even if we both know that it will disappear soon inside your bag.
Where to buy it
4. Umarell action figure
It's hard to explain the concept of Umarells to someone who's never been in Bologna. They even wrote books about this phenomenon. Umarells are literally retired old men that walk around Bologna and watch construction sites.
They have specific characteristics:
- they wear hats
- they put their hands behind their back, like Liam Gallagher. This is a sign of respect for the workers
- they know all the construction sites of the city
- they ask news about the state of work. They like to be up to date with the Gantt of the project
- they use bicycle, to cover a wider area. They move alone or in groups
- they usually have suggestions for the men at work and can judge the final work by little details
Bologna is their perfect battleground and summer the best season to see them at work. But a company from Milan decided to honour them. The FabLab created a Umarell action figure for your office desk.
The motto is: "The hardest thing to do is work hard when nobody is watching you!". A lot cheaper than a motivational trainer.
Put a smile upon your consultant friend who works all days until 10pm. And increase his productivity of course.
Where to buy it
Online: FabLab Store
5. Lunario bolognese
Lunari are pocket-sized books, popular and reachable by all, whose first publication dates back to 1762. These almanacs collected useful information for both farmers and those living in the city. You could find a calendar with lunar phases, weather forecasts, dates of fairs and markets, suggestions about when how to manage the fields during all seasons. Sky knowledge was used to choose the right time to sow and also to decide the right time to prepare Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of Modena.
Read 5 things you must know about Balsamic.
But lunari also contained news and predictions about the world's facts, religion and politics, often in the form of stories or poems.
These pocketbooks were widespread throughout Italy, and in every region they had different names such as "Barba Nera" ("Black Beard") or "The Fisherman of Chiaravalle" spread in Marche region. Many of them are still kept at Archiginnasio library in Bologna.
Lunario Bolognese was created in 1986 by Marino Piazza and, besides containing suggestions, predictions, horoscopes, moon phases, fairs and markets, there was something the other Barbanera did not have: zirudele (rhymes) and forecasts in dialect and Italian.
Your dear friend to whom every year you deliver a book that gather dust on the bedside table.
Where to buy it
- In every news-stand or bookshop of Bologna
- Online: write a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
If some of your foodies friends are planning to visit Bologna during Christmas, there's also a brand new Christmas tour in Bologna which would feet great for them ;)