What are the main shopping areas of Venice?
Venice has several main shopping areas:
High-end designer shops are mostly in the
San Marco district. Many are just west of
the Piazza San Marco, on streets such as the Calle Vallaresso (which leads to
the San Marco Giardinetti waterbus pier) or the Calle Larga XXII Marzo.
You'll find most of the top Italian brands such as Frette, Bottega Veneta,
Prada, Gucci, and Missoni here.
The Mercerie are a series of
shopping streets between the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge. Retailers
range from upscale clothiers to mask shops, stationers that sell
Florentine-style marbelized paper, food stores, Murano glass shops, and souvenir
Both sides of the Rialto Bridge
(and even the bridge itself) are jammed with shops--many of them small--that
sell Murano jewelry, mainstream brands of clothing, shoes, cellular phones, and
other items for both tourists and locals.
On the San Marco side of the Rialto Bridge, a short will walk
will take you to Coin, Venice's only
department store. Keep going, and you'll hit Strada
Nova, a wide shopping street and tourist thoroughfare with a middle-class
On the San Polo side of the Rialto Bridge, the
Rialto Food Markets offer
fruit, vegetables, seafood, and photo opportunities. (You might also want to
head left as you exit the bridge on the San Polo side. As you work your way
toward the Accademia Bridge, you'll pass scores of tiny shops that sell
everything from inexpensive clothing to
But wait, there's more!
In Venice's quieter back streets, you'll
find shops of every description, such as
Venezi'Arte (Muriel Balensi's glass-bead workshop),
Artifex (a mask studio where you can watch artisans painting masks by hand),
(peacock papers, journals, stamps, etc.), and one of our favorites,
Annelie (embroidered nightgowns, little
girls' dresses, purses, sachets, and more, all at surprisingly reasonable
Museum gift shops and bookstores are also worth visiting. (The
shops at Ca' Rezzonico, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Fondazione
Scientifica Querini Stampaglia come to mind.) Also check out the bookstore and
gift shop at Venice's main tourist office, a.k.a. the Venice Pavilion, next to
the Giardini ex-Reali near the San Marco Giardinetti vaporetto and airport-boat
One more general shopping tip: If you see something you want,
buy it. Shop hours can be unpredictable, you may have trouble finding the store
again, and somebody else may buy the item before you return to the shop.
Is it safe to buy knock-offs from street vendors?
Yes and no. The vendors or "vu compra" aren't
dangerous, and as long as you understand that a 50-euro Louis Vuitton lookalike
is more likely to be made by a Lu or Liu than by Louis, you're probably getting
a decent deal.
However, you could be fined by the police if you're caught
buying counterfeit goods, although this doesn't happen very often. For more
information, see our articles on
Illegal Street Vendors and
Fines for Fakes.
Where can I buy groceries?
The Rialto Food Markets (see above) are packed with stalls, and
the neighboring streets have cheese shops, salumiere (delicatessens),
and stores where you can buy prepared foods.
Venice's traditional alimentari (small grocery stores)
have mostly disappeared, but some still exist. Greengrocers and bakeries are
scattered around the city, with some neighborhoods being better-served than
See our Venice Travel FAQ: Food and
Drink page for more information, or go to our
Where can I load up on household items for an
The Ratti appliance,
housewares, and hardware store is a good starting point. It also has a good
selection of rubber boots for acqua
If you don't mind a trip to the mainland, you can take a
free bus to
Panorama, a hypermarket in Marghera that sells groceries and a wide variety
of other items. (It's the kind of place you might go to stock up on Parmigiano
Reggiano, pasta, and toilet paper.) Panorama's suburban mall has other stores,
too--most notably SME,
which has appliances, electronics, and a large selection of products for babies