Travel Guide Transportation

Mistake 8: Buying useless souvenirs

From: Top 11 Tourist Mistakes

Boy in jester's hat

ABOVE: Cute headgear, and a cute kid, but will the boy wear the jester's hat back home?

Maggie in gondolier hatFirst, a disclaimer: We aren't discouraging the purchase of silly or impractical souvenirs per se. After all, there was hardly anything useful about the cheap miniature gondolier's hat that we bought our dog Maggie, except for its value as a photo prop in our Maggie in Venice blog.

What we are discouraging is the purchase of souvenirs that fall into these two categories:

Jester hatIn the first category, one notorious example is the ubiquitous (but non-Venetian) jester's hat. Stuffed multipronged fleece caps with bells or tassles may irresistible to young sports fans and tourists, but how many buyers will wear such hats when they're back in Buffalo, Bristol, or Brisbane?

Carnival maskIn the second category, we include carnival masks with long beaks, Murano glass objects that are much larger than a necklace, and other souvenirs that are likely to get squashed, broken, or left behind in a fit of buyer's remorse.

Murano glass candiesOur advice: Buy souvenirs that you can easily take with you, and that you'll continue to enjoy when your Venice trip is just a memory. We're partial to books, maps, small objects and jewelry of Murano glass, refrigerator magnets, and non-electric household items, but your tastes and budget may be more ambitious than ours. (If you have €30,000 or more to spare, a gondola might be a nice purchase--or, better yet, spend 800 to 900 euros on a forcola or Venetian oarlock, which you can put on your canoe to impress your neighbors on Lake Wobegone.)

Next page: Being careless with valuables.

Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice, Italy:
1. Hit-and-run visits
2. Staying in the wrong location
3. Commuting from the mainland
4. Following the crowd
5. Paying too much for transportation
6. Taking unnecessary tours
7. Overpacking
8. Buying useless souvenirs
9. Being careless with valuables
10. Annoying the locals
11. Not coming back

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Top photo copyright © Ben Blankenburg.
2nd inset photo  copyright © Michal Ludwizak.
3rd inset photo  copyright © Jorge Delgado.
4th inset photo  copyright © Eliza Snow.