Yes, it is fun to shop in Italy, but then you have to carry it all home.
Shipping from Italy is slow and expensive, but can be done. Here is my list
of online stores where you can buy nice things from Italy or where they ship
Sur La Table: www.surlatable.com
Sur La Table is a high quality kitchen store that started in Seattle. The
Seattle store, near Pike's Market, is a great store. I recently bought a terra
cotta pot for baking potatoes from them. It is from Ceramiche Lotti in San
Gimignano (Tuscany). It was not expensive (around $10) and makes great potatoes.
Just wash the potatoes and put them in the pot with salt and rosemary and
bake for an hour. The instructions say bake for 35 minutes, but that doesn't
work for me. The potatoes come out beautifu.
A Taste of Italy Foods: atasteofitalyfoods.com
Importers of Italian food based in NJ. Foods just like you find in Italy -
even porcini in oil! Owner, Steve Barone.
Williams Sonoma: www.williams-sonoma.com
At Christmas time they sell the Massa Marittima Panforte from Le Logge. They
make a special Panforte (the Siena speciality of a flat cake made with nuts
and candied fruit has been made here since the times when Siena ruled this
area). They have a light and a dark variety - Panforte il Balestro and Panforte
Nero il Balestro. Williams Sonoma sells the light.
Venetia Studium: www.fortunylamps.com
Recommended by Liz from Canada: Beautiful silk lamps like no other and much
much less when ordered directly from the manufacturer.
Pauline notes: It is a "difficult" website. Click on the "@" to get the email
address. Order by email.
Italian made handbags. Kathi Olsen of Biondablu writes: "I have a site that
sells imported Italian leather handbags with a page called "Dreaming of Italy"
which I am slowly filling with photos and stories about great places in Italy
and Italian businesses."