Father’s Day is almost here and dad deserves the best, doesn’t he? For many items, the “best” comes from Italy, so herewith a list of fifteen fine Italian luxury gifts for your father. Be forewarned: these are gifts your dad wants, not necessarily what fits your budget!
#1 Dolce & Gabbana Sunglasses
Aren’t you tired of seeing dad in the branded cheap sunglasses that came from the pharmaceutical convention gift bag? Protect his eyes from UV rays with Italy’s best shades. D&G tints are supplied by Italian eyewear artisan Luxottica. Never heard of Luxottica? They’re the Proctor&Gamble of high-end frames, and suppliers to not only Dolce & Gabbana but also the makers of sunglasses signed and sold by Versace, Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, and Tory Burch (to name a few). Oh, they also own Ray-Ban and Oakley, if you were wondering.
#2 Prada Belt
Italy is well-known for fine fashionables made from genuine leather. You got mom the Prada bag for Mother’s Day, now get dad the matching belt.
#4 Salvatore Ferragamo Tie
You knew somewhere in this list would be a tie — is there a more ubiquitous cliche than buying dad a tie for Father’s Day? If you do buy the cliche, do it right and get your father Ferragamo.
#5 Fendi Wallet
Dads don’t buy wallets — they wait to get them as gifts. Every time your dad pulls money from his Fendi wallet, he’ll think of you. Wait, he’s probably already, isn’t he? At least let him feel fancy when he’s laying out cash for you.
#6 Giorgio Armani Suit
The suit makes the man. How do you want to make your dad? A made-to-measure Armani, of course.
#7 BVLGARI Watch
Yes, the Swiss can keep time. But the Italians know how to SPEND time. Make dad’s time more valuable by outfitting his wrist with a Bulgari watch — it blends Swiss timekeeping with Italian style.
#8 Versace Cologne
Like wallets and ties, dad doesn’t pick out his own cologne. Do it for him, and get something both masculine and Mediterranean such as Gianni Versace Pour Homme.
#9 Ferrari 488 GTB
OK, maybe a supercar isn’t in your budget, but if it is, this is the car to gift to your Daddy Warbucks. Don’t have the ducats? There’s always the Fiat 500 — packing a punch at under $20,000.
#10 Ducati Motorcycle
If your dad didn’t yet reach his mid-life crisis, you can jump-start it with a Ducati! It’s going to be either a motorcycle or a boat, and the Ducati doesn’t need a marina slip. (It’ll also be easier for mom to sell before dad learns how to shift out of first gear).
#11 Colnago Bicycle
Which bike is better —
Colnago or Pinarello? Is Bianchi in the conversation? It’s as hot a debate as Ferrari vs. Maserati (or Lamborghini!). Those of a certain age (i.e., mine) may fondly remember the mantra “the Italians are coming” from the movie Breaking Away — if your dad is of that age, he may appreciate a bike made by Masi.
#12 Illy Espresso Machine
He can’t spend mornings and early evenings sipping espresso al fresco in a piazza in Florence — but he CAN enjoy the richness of espresso on the backyard patio if he has an illy FrancisFrancis
#13 Wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano
The king of Italian cheese — aromatic and flavorful with a temptuous texture. An entire wheel is a dramatic show-stopper, can be shared with others for months, will be talked about for years, and can be had for less than grand.
#14 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
If Parm-Regg is the king of Italian cheese, then Brunello is the king of Italian wine (apologies to those who think it’s Barolo). Lucky for you, the current vintage (2010) is acclaimed as the best in history, and even if you can’t afford an entire case to age in dad’s cellar, surely you can spring for a bottle (about $75 for Brunello normale, or $85 for Poggio alle Mura). Oh, did you not expect me, an employee of Banfi, to include a Banfi wine on this list? Leading me to …
#15 A Vacation To Italy
If you don’t bring Italy to dad, then send dad to Italy! Of course, you’ll want to put him up in Il Borgo — one of Tuscany’s top luxury hotels according to Travel&Leisure and deemed an outstanding Tuscan retreat by Conde Nast Traveler. (And yeah, I have no problem promoting my employer’s side business — especially since if fits in perfectly with this list. It’s called “job security.”)
Which gift (or gifts?) will you get for your dad this Father’s Day? Do you have more suggestions for lavishing your dad in Italian luxury? Comment below …
Joe Janish is Director of Public Relations for Banfi Vintners, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and a veteran of the wine industry for over 20 years. He launched one of the first wine blogs back in 1997, the now-defunct “Wine Dictator,” and cut his teeth on his grandfather’s homemade wine. He still keeps a copy of Wine for Dummies nearby for reference.