Where to find the best gift to buy in Venice? Find out all the information
Like all historic cities in the world, Venice has also cultivated craft activities over the centuries: in the past, they were the only way to create artifacts.
In the modern era, craft activities, which use the techniques acquired for generations and manual labor, are available to those looking for something unique.
Taking gifts at home
By visiting a new city, in addition to objects easily found in the stalls of the center, you can go in search of handmade creations, for yourself or bring unique gifts to friends and relatives.
Buying gifts in these activities, therefore, allows you to continue to pass on ancient traditions and proudly be part of a story.
Murano artistic glass
One of the easiest associations of thought is that between Venice and artistic glass, made in Murano from the twelfth century.
Almost all Murano glass factories host demonstrations of glass processing for free or with a small ticket to pay.
Also, look inside the Ex Church of Santa Chiara in Murano, where you can also create your perfume and take it home in a beautiful heart-shaped bottle in Murano glass.
Igor Balbi (Fondamenta Venier 1, Murano) opened his shop, which produces Murano glasses and “tipetti” with a personal technique of blowing glass with a lamp that today bears his name.
Jewelry & Co
Do you love contemporary design jewelry? The right address is Attombri shop (San Polo 65). In his creations, the Venetian, ethnic, and liberty ancestry are enhanced by raw materials with copper, silver, and ancient Murano glass, creating handcrafted jewels with a contemporary flavor.
Loved by the Venetians, they were also chosen by internationally renowned stylists.
Something more classic but equally modern can be found at Venetian Dreams: glass jewelry, embroidery, flowers, and corals with pearls and small Venetian glass beads chosen among the rarest and most beautiful.
Still talking about jewels, an address not to be missed, even if they don’t only make glass jewels, is Eredi Jovon (San Marco 5325). Since 1934 they have been making these jewels starting from the engraving on hard stones, the cameos, following an ancient tradition. In the shop, you will find many types, but you can also have it customized according to your tastes by having a portrait done. You will also find the famous Moretti and other jewels of the Venetian tradition, still worn today by the aristocracy around the world.
And for paper lovers?
Do you like to smell the scent of paper, and do you love everything handcrafted with it? In Venice, you will have a lot of choices.
Alberto Valese, in his Ebru shop (San Marco 3461), uses a paper processing technique that imitates the veins of marble or clouds (in fact, the name of the shop derives from the Persian ebru, “cloudy”). After attending various specialization courses around the world, Alberto Valese now applies his card to many objects and jewels.
Another master in the use of paper can be found at Piazzesi Legatoria (San Marco 2511 c), the first “paper shop” in Europe, born in 1851. The Venetians were the first to cover everyday objects with refined hand-printed decorations. Decorations and diplomas, calendars, letter paper, collage paper, card games, and lampshades: it is impossible to describe everything in the shop that is worth a visit.
A genuine paper artist is Arianna, the owner of Plum Plum Creations, who, in her atelier (Cannaregio 2681), is inspired by the ancient art of the printing house, that was born in Venice with Aldo Manuzio, to create art prints. You will find there intaglio, “puntesecche”, line lithography, watercolors, and drawings. In the atelier, you can also attend a workshop, which is very curious for those who want to approach this art.
Have you ever heard of paper jewelry? The most beautiful creations are at Paperoowl (Santa Croce 2155), which creates them starting from different types of paper and giving a new life to this material and with a unique design. You can find the products also in most prestigious hotels in Venice and on the bookshop of the museum Even if you love boxes, stop by here.
Still speaking of paper, we cannot fail to mention the beautiful paper-mâché masks produced in Venice: in past centuries, there was no person who, during the long carnival, did not wear one.
They are still used today during the carnival, at parties, and some are real works of art to wear, give or hang at home. Here are a couple of addresses on where to find those still made by hand today.
Ca ’Macana (Dorsoduro 3215) one of the historical shops in the city (you can also take the children to the laboratory to create their mask).
At Ca ‘del Sol (Castello 4964) also makes them in leather and ceramic, creating gilding in gold leaf, silver, copper, and precious fabrics, lace, and Swarovski.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the fabrics
Recovering the ancient tradition of silk weaving, Luigi Bevilacqua (Santa Croce 1320) from the end of the 1800s improves this precious invention and gives it new life: it creates precious velvets requested by the most famous interior decorators in the world. With velvets, he also creates objects of smaller dimensions such as precious handbags or decorative cushions. The shop is open all week, but guided visits can also be made to the weaving workshop.
Also famous all over the world is the fabric factory commissioned by Mariano Fortuny at Giudecca: this Spanish artist created his exclusive fabric factory in 1919 with a distinct style that ranged from Greek clothing, Morris prints, and Catalan decorative motifs. Its fabrics gave the impression of being carved. In the atelier on the Giudecca island (Giudecca 805), you will surely find some objects to fall in love with and will be enchanted by the beautiful fabrics present.
If you are on a trip to the islands, you cannot fail to be enchanted by the production of Burano lace: the small museum tells the story of this art famous all over the world. If you want to buy something, even with a contemporary taste, you must go to Martina Vidal (Via San Mauro 309), who, for four generations, has dedicated herself to creating lace applied to luxury home linens but also clothing.
Between tabarri and recycling ideas
Do you want to replicate the traditions of wearing a unique garment in winter, adored even by Casanova? You have to buy a “tabarro”, a cape in the shape of a large wheel, free-fall and with a single closure on the neck. You can find different colors and different heaviness from Tabarro San Marco (San Polo 2235) for both men and women.
If you like the sea, you can not go to the Sartoria dei Dogi (Santa Croce 1840) for Magoga bags. Bags produced with recycled sailing material. Therefore unique pieces to take with you.
The shoes of gondoliers and ladies
Have you noticed the shoes that some gondoliers wear? They are the famous “furlane”, and you can find them from Piedaterre (San Polo 60) in many shapes and colors. For years the Venetians have used them as slippers to stay at home, but lately, they are seen a lot even on the most special evenings of the city.
To conclude, two particular suggestions. The first is to visit Mario Berta Battiloro (Cannaregio 5182) and his artisan workshop, which since 1969, has transformed gold (but also other precious metals) into skinny leaves suitable for application in many sectors. Not only, therefore, a decorative use but also food going to decorate food and drinks on the most important occasions and in the cosmetics sector to be used in the most prestigious spas of the city. The quality is higher than the industrially processed product as it undergoes minor alterations.
The other address is that of Antonia Sauter (San Marco 1628), the creator of the Ballo del Doge, the most famous party of the Venetian carnival. In his workshop, she makes bags, shoes, and accessories for important occasions, as well as decorative objects for the home.
And sweet at the end
And after all this, do you want to give yourself a tasty break and maybe even bring something home for your friends? The obligatory stop is Dal Nono Colussi (Dorsoduro 2867 / a), which has been producing sweets since 1967: you can also find macaroons, backpacks, and the typical Burano busolai and since we are still in the Easter season also its famous focaccia.
So dedicate a few hours of your stay in the city to discover not only its monuments but also its vibrant artisan tradition and buy some gifts that you can, once at home, admire with joy.