For the holidays: CIMA Staff picks the best Italian treats

In anticipation of the opening of Facing America: Mario Schifano, 1960–1965 we extend greetings to our community by offering up a few of our favorite things to inspire your holiday season…


Giulia Nicita,
Membership & Communications Manager

“Of course at the top of my holiday gift list is a CIMA membership! Call me biased, but we really offer the best deal in town… With dedicated members-only invites to events, exhibition previews, private viewing hours at CIMA, and free curator-led visits to partner institutions in NYC, this is a gift that keeps on giving. Whether you get one for yourself, a partner, friend, or family member, you can’t go wrong. The recipient will have a tangible memento–CIMA’s beautiful annual exhibition catalogue–but, more importantly, the privilege of reservation-based private access to CIMA, a chance to support young scholars’ research, and the opportunity to join in-depth, inspiring conversations about Italian modern art. Priceless!”


Genevieve Martin,
Managing Director

I made a spontaneous trip to Florence once and encountered l’Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. It’s often credited as being the oldest pharmacy in the world: 13th century Dominican monks used to make botanical treatments with herbs from their gardens. The tradition of naturally distilling balms and perfumes continues today. One of my favorites is Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Maggio, a crisp, floral tonic. Its name means “May water,” made from flowers that bloom in May, it has a relaxing effect, perfect for these times.


Francesco Guzzetti,
Former CIMA fellow (2014–2015) and Curator of Facing America: Mario Schifano, 1960–1965

When I was fellow at CIMA I loved being in SoHo and walking around the neighborhood to discover treasures that reminded me of home. Of course Little Italy is close by, and there are many restaurants in the vicinity, but one of my top picks for the holiday season has to be the panettone from Sant’Ambroeus. This classic Milanese dessert is the perfect gift to celebrate the season. The delicately sweet leavened bread is filled with candied orange, citron, lemon zest and raisins. Absolutely delightful!”



Maïlyse Valentin,
Registrar & Exhibitions Manager

During the holiday season–and always really–I enjoy listening to good music on quality speakers. Sonus Faber is a bespoke Italian brand manufacturing sound systems that will make you feel like you’re at a private concert while enjoying the comfort of your space. The beauty of these artisan of sound speakers, whose aesthetically pleasing products follow a longstanding tradition of refined materials and careful craftsmanship, is just an added touch, they fit in with any decor, holiday or not!”

Nicola Lucchi,
Education & Programs Manager

One of my favorite places in the city is the Rizzoli Bookstore on Broadway, in NoMad. Considered one of the foremost independent booksellers, specializing in illustrated publications on fine arts, architecture, interior design, photography, literature, and foreign language, it is a literary landmark in the city. Not only is it a trove for book selections, but the store’s elegant interior, with cast iron chandeliers, ornate vaulting, and a luminous Diocletian window, is a serene oasis amidst the Manhattan rush.”