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What Not to Do in Venice

by Lee Marshall

Shop as if you're in Milan

The designer boutiques are here if you need them: Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, et al are mostly strung along Salizzada San Moisè and Calle Larga XXII Marzo, just west of Piazza San Marco. You can even shop in euro zone mass fashion outlets such as Zara or Benetton (the latter a Veneto success story run by a family from Treviso that now owns, among other things, the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal). But why come to this unique place for a shopping experience that Milan, Rome, or Florence can serve up with greater choice and more competitive discounts?

Explore the quirky shops and quality craft traditions

Venice's antique shops, art galleries, historic silk and velvet textile firms (Fortuny, Bevilacqua, Gaggio), and quirky artisanal homeware stores such as Madera make it a treasure trove for home embellishers and interior designers—at least those with a healthy budget. And even the fashion-conscious will find inspiration out there beyond the brand names. At L'Ottico Fabbricatore, designer eyewear (including the ultimate horn-rim spectacles) rubs up against fashion items in cashmere and silk, plus some very desirable leather handbags. For extravagant shoes, head for Giovanna Zanella, a young Venetian footwear designer with a real feel for color and cut (pictured), who learned her craft from veteran Venetian cobbler Rolando Segalin.

Next: Avoid getting stagestruck on the street >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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