Whether you’re an Italian-American, or just appreciate unique gifts and products, Girasole Gifts and Imports is a fun place to shop. Located on The Hill, Girasole sells a wide variety of Italian products, including ceramics, jewelry, handbags, beauty products and books.
You don’t have to be Italian to appreciate Italian fashion. As a great example, Girasole’s selection of handbags, made of sturdy but beautiful Italian fabrics, will appeal to any woman searching for a fashionable new bag. And, like many of the products in Girasole, the handbags are priced to make you think twice about buying a bag from a department store again.
To go with that new handbag, you’ll be tempted by Girasole’s large selection of imported and handmade jewelry. Of course there are beautiful Venetian glass necklaces, but also jewelry imported from Poland, France, Bali and a large selection of Native American pieces. Like the handbags it carries, Girasole’s jewelry is competitively priced, especially considering its global origins and that many pieces are unique or handmade.
Girasole sells a large variety of beauty products, including many olive oil based lotions and soaps. It carries the popular Italian American line, Principessa (“princess” in Italian), which includes fragrances, body lotions, soaps and lip balms, each infused with Principessa’s signature scent. Girasole also carries a selection of cute Principessa apparel for babies and t-shirts and other items for women.
Another beauty lines carried by Girasole is L’Erbolario products, one of Italy’s most popular. The line is difficult to find in the U.S., so Girasole’s owners take pride in making it available to their customers. L’Erbolario products are made from freshly pressed vegetable oils, herbs, flowers and other natural ingredients.
Products for the Kitchen
One of Girasole’s best sellers is a clay pot produced by the historic Vulcania foundry near Siena. The pot is great for risottos and sauces, but is also an attractive aesthetic addition to any kitchen. Other porcelain and ceramics carried by Girasole include traditional pieces from Deruta or Sicily, as well as more modern wares from Vietri or Tutto Mio.
To put those cooking and serving vessels to use, Girasole has dozens of Italian cookbooks, including Il Cucchiaio d'argento, the Italian equivalent of the Good Housekeeping cookbook. Il Cucchiaio d'argento has more than 2,000 Italian recipes, but was just translated into English last year.
Another way to experience great Italian cooking is to make a reservation at one of the Top Restaurants on The Hill.
Gifts from The Hill
Closer to home, Girasole also sells quite a few items celebrating the history and culture of The Hill. The store sits directly across from an iconic statue of Italian immigrants, so it’s no wonder Girasole sells a miniature replica. Keeping with its goal of offering unique products, the replica is sold exclusively at Girasole. Other Hill themed items include replicas of local street signs, such as “Hall of Fame Place,” the local block of Elizabeth Avenue renamed for baseball’s Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola and Jack Buck, all of whom lived on the block.
Location and Hours
Girasole Gifts and Imports is located at 2103 Marconi Avenue, directly across from The Hill’s famous St. Ambrose Catholic Church. The shop is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit Girasole's website or call the shop at (314) 773-7700. Girasole is also one of the recommended stops on my Walking Tour of The Hill.