Venice Gifts and Souvenirs
Carnival masks and glow-in-the-dark gondolas may be hard to resist, but don't
ignore practical purchases--especially if you're on a budget.
Fines for Fakes
"Let the buyer beware" has a new meaning in Italy, where purchasing a Prada
knockoff or a pirated CD could cost you an extra 3,333 to 10,000 euros.
Illegal Street Vendors
Phony designer handbags are the main stock in trade for the vu compra
(immigrant Senegalese peddlers who sell from blankets in the street).
Whether you're headed for Carnevale or enjoying it vicariously at home,
you can learn about Venetian Carnival masks--and even order them online.
Maschere experts Federica and Giancarlo are
passionate about the craft of handpainted masks--both the kind you wear and
the type you hang on a wall. (From our
Venice Travel Blog.)
I Tre Mercanti
This may be the best Italian wine and food shop in Venice. If you're
buying wine in bulk, ask about VAT-free shipping with customs duty prepaid.
In recent years, supermercati have spread throughout the city. Here are
several brands to look for, with tips on how to shop.
the Glass Island
In 1296, the glassblowers of Venice moved to an island called Murano. Seven
hundred years later, their descendants are still turning sand into gold. (Plan
your trip to Murano with this 11-page Murano Travel Guide.)
Muriel Balensi makes glass beads or perle the old-fashioned way:
With canes of Murano glass, a gas burner, and hand tools.