|VENICE SHOPPING TIPS||
Laboratorio del Gerva, Campo Bandiera e Moro 3725, Castello. Tel: 041 523 67 77. In a topsy-turvy workshop, a plethora of goods is stacked to whet the appetite of any enthusiastic antiques collector. Serious buyers can also ask to view the warehouse (which you can arrange to see by appointment, if genuinely interested). The owner, Michele Gervasuti, is following in his father footsteps, a master craftsman who opened the shop in 1959. They concentrate on restoration and are involved in several important projects across Venice.
Carnival Masks and Costumes
Atelier Pietro Longhi, Rio Terra 2604/b. Tel: 041 71 44 78. If you have ever fancied having a helmet and sword to go with your tailor-made carnival costume, well this is certainly the place to shop.
Ca' Macana, Calle delle Botteghe 5176. Tel: 041 520 32 29. This is one of several places where you can see how the masks are made. Leonardo Di Caprio has even been here, as can be clearly seen by the autograph in the shop's window.
Tragicomica, Calle Nomboli, San Polo 2800. Tel: 041 7211 02. When you enter this shop for the first time, you will probably be rather overwhelmed. This is one of the city's larger mask and costume sellers. Here, they also organise costume parties during the carnival period.
Glass and Crystal
La Gondola, Fondamenta Orseolo, San Marco 1166. Tel: 041 520 70 51. Though not as upmarket as Barovier, La Gondola does not lack any initiative on their inventiveness or on the pure physical size of their objects. However, be warned, prices can at times be pretty hefty.
L'Isola, Salizzada San Moise 1468. Tel: 041 523 19 73. L'Isola has several glass objects designed by Carlo Moretti, which are well- appreciated for their elegance and finesse. Again, prices can be quite steep at times.
Venini, Fondamenta dei Vetrai 47-50. Tel: 041 73 99 55. (www.venini.it). Paolo Venini is one of the best-known names associated with Venetian glass today and established his company in the 1920s. You will find some amazing pieces of glassware here and of course some price tags to go with them. For a sneak preview, check out their Web site.
Barovier And Toso, Fondamenta dei Vetrai 28. Tel: 041 527 43 85. (www.barovier.com). This entry is from the small Venetian island of Murano. Famous world-wide for their elegant designs and beauty, it really is worthwhile to visit and browse, even if you may not be able to afford to actually buy an item.
Le Barche, Piazza XXVII Ottobre I. Tel: 041 97 78 82. Open 9.00am-8.30pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 2.00pm-8.30pm on Monday). Venice itself is full of quaint one-off boutiques, therefore there is in fact no department store as such. However, there is a shopping mall in the area know as Mestre. It is home to several of Italy's leading stores and chains, such as Feltrinelli, the bookshop chain, Ricordi Mediastore, for CDs and music, Coin, a leading budget department store and PAM, particularly noted for its value-for-money food department. For clothes, you could also try Belfe & Belfe, which is situated on the ground floor.
Coin, Salizzada San Giovanni Grisostomo 5790, Cannaregio. Tel: 041 520 35 81. As previously mentioned above, Coin is a well-known chain store in Italy. It is a recent addition to Venice's shopping landscape, giving Venetians and tourists a canal-side shopping experience. This branch specialises in affordable men's and women's clothes, as well as accessories.