Venice italy, shopping district
(the ultimate itinerary through Venice's alleys)
Talking about shopping in Venice means to remember the rich commercial history of the city. For about 1000 years, Venice has been a commercial power and the door toward the east and the North Africa for medieval Europe.
Magnificent silks, sumptuous velvets, exotic spice, and sweets: these were some of the commodities transported by the powerful fleet of the Republic of Venice when returning from its trips.
During its powerful kingdom, the city became famous for the shipyards, the carpentry, the blown glass processing, the mosaics, the furnishings, the manufacture of the paper.
A lot of these traditions continue to live today thanks to the Venetian artisans and their shops.
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From the train station to Rialto
Starting from the station and going toward Lista di Spagna and Strada Nuova, you'll find thousands of shops leaned out on the narrow alleys that sell articles of every kind: shoes, masks, candies, alimentary, etc..
The Torrefazione Marchi (immediately after the Ponte Guglie Bridge on the left), is the ideal place whether to take a coffee done with grains just toasted and to buy homemade biscuits (mine preferred are I Basi in Gondola) or fresh spice.
Other top shops:
Balducci (Rio terà St. Leonardo 1593) that sells the more beautiful leather shoes and purses made by hand in Venice.
Close to Rialto, there is Full Spot, a colored shop that sells plastic bracelets and small pocket clocks in a myriad tonality at affordable prices.
From Rialto to Dorsoduro
On the Rialto Bridge, on the Saint Pole's side, there is a very animated zone with dozens of sellers of souvenir and custom jewelry.
Overcome the bridge, on the left, you'll find Pied à Terre, one of the best shops to buy the Venetian "Furlane", typical velvet slippers used by the gondoliers.
Continuing toward Rughetta del Ravano, a trafficked commercial road, the sophisticated boutique of Serena Vianello proposes velvet shoes, accessories, silk shawls and elegant hats.
Going toward the same direction and maintaining the right, we find the alley Calle Seconda dei Saoneri where there is the Officine 904 showroom, a society created by a group of artisans that produce leather purses of high quality and extraordinary colors.
An article you can't miss in Venice is the Venetian masks. Swing by Ca-Macana, between Campo Santa Margherita and Accademia, you'll find one of the laboratories that created the masks used in Eyes Wide Shut.
Saint Mark and around
Between Rialto and Saint Mark, you'll find the Mercerie, a known zone for both luxury boutiques and cheap souvenir shops.
However, the Fifth Road of Venice is Calle Larga XXII Marzo, close to Saint Mark square. Here you will find the great Italian fashion brands such Prada, Valentino, Gucci, etc.
A little more to the west there are two shops worthy of note: Il Prato, that sells colorful glasses, quality leather articles, photo frames, office items.
And the Bottega d’Artigianato Artistico, a shop managed by two Venetian sisters that produce decorated lampshades and other articles for your house made with Mariano Fortuny fabric.
Close to Saint Mark square, just after the Calla Larga XXII Marzo, you'll find the Frezzeria with its restaurants and shops for the tourists.
Continue towards Calle dei Fuseri, where you will find Atmosfera Veneziana, my preferred glass shop of the whole island in Venice managed by a couple of husband and wife that create jewels with the glass of Murano.
Obviously, we cannot forget Murano and Burano, famous for the glass and the laces. If you don't have time for visiting those islands, you can find shops that sells their articles near Saint Mark square.
Finally, visiting an antique market is, without doubt, a fascinating experience to do in Venice.
These markets are not very frequent in Venice, but if you have the luck to find one of them, take a look at the exposed treasures and try to imagine the medieval artisans working in their shops.
The sweat of the glassblowers before a red-hot furnace, the embroiderers that create clothes for the Royalty and the harbors full of packages of silk and spice unloaded by the ships to be distributed in the labyrinth of the alleys in Venice.