Venice has always been a city of elegance and a center of fashion, where life strolls through calli and campielli as if down a catwalk.
Those who enjoy shopping will find more than they expect here: all big fashion brands have a shop in Venice because people from all over the word have been coming to the city since forever; therefore, having a window display in Venice today is essential!
Historically, the city has always been one of commerce and exchange; and today it still is a city in which you can find products from all over the world: big fashion houses, spices, textiles, jewelry, precious glasswork, antiques, and great design products. But this is not all… there also are small boutiques and craft shops – still quite unknown to the masses – where local artisans carry on ancient traditions that tell much of the city’s history. Buying from these niche places means bringing home a souvenir from a unique travel experience.
This article wishes to offer some recommendations for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in Venice!
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi
The Fondaco (from the Arab word funduq, house-storage) was built in order to house the German traders who brought business to the city with their imported goods. Here, they found a place to stay as well as a place to store their goods.
Recently restored, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi has returned to its original state: a center of luxury in the city, holding the most important brands of international fashion and local luxury craftsmanship.
Entrance is free and the building – with a beautiful cloister at its center – is developed on three floors: one dedicated to accessories, one to women’s fashion, and one to men’s.
But the big surprise is at the top: the roof of the Fondaco hosts a wonderful terrace, open to the public, with one of the most beautiful views on the city’s rooftops. It is worth a visit, even for only one quick photograph!
The Boulevard of Fashion: Calle XXII Marzo
For the lovers of fashion, Calle XXII Marzo – only a few steps from Saint Mark’s Square – is where you can find the most important Made in Italy brands. Here stand the biggest names in Italian fashion: Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Bulgari, Valentino, Giorgio Armani. Shop after shop, these elegant boutiques line one of the most chic calli in the city; their beautiful window displays inviting you inside to look around.
Local Venetian Craftsmanship: Art and Tradition
If you are looking for something special and unique, then look among the great artisan workshops in the city.
Marisa Convento is not just an artisan: she is an ‘impiraressa’, one of the last women who threads ancient and precious glass beads. The small shop door in Calle della Mandola opens to a magical space, where creativity blends with tradition: thanks to Marisa’s artistry, these beads become colorful jewels the likes of which you will find nowhere else in the world!
Marisa is always in the workshop, ready to tell you all about the ancient tradition of her craft. You will have the chance to meet one of the last great Venetian artisans in the business, but surely the most passionate and active in carrying on the glass-bead tradition.
For those who have a passion for eyewear, we recommend a stop in Micromega: a brand with unmistakable character. Their ultra-light frames and creative laser-cut lenses make for a truly stylish choice.
At a stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge there is a shop that has been manufacturing and selling hats since 1902: the Longo family workshop. The owner, Giuliana Longo, is the heiress of this fascinating place. Here, she displays the famous Panama hats, gondolier hats, Carnival tricorns, as well as her own original creations, which – being entirely handmade – are unique pieces that can only be purchased here in Venice. The shop is included among the Historic Trade Venues of the Veneto Region.
McArthur Glen: the City of Fashion
A miniature city inspired by the quaint villages of Treviso and by Venetian details, the McArthur Glen Outlet is an elegant shopping mall with 150 great fashions stores, including the brands of Prada, Gucci, Armani, Fendi, Polo Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Jil Sander, Paul Smith, and great sportswear brands like Nike, The North Face, and many other famous brands like Guess, Desigual, etc.
The Outlet can easily be reached via shuttle from Piazzale Roma.
And obviously, the Outlet offers great services for children, personal shoppers, bars, restaurants, and Wi-Fi in addition to the shuttle service. Finally, the area is completely Pet Friendly.
For more information: www.mcarthurglen.com