Where to Shop
There’s more to shopping in Venice than kitschy plastic gondolas. The city is brimming with handmade accessories and clothing, along with glass, fabric, leather, and wooden goods from local craftsmen.
CRAFTS Architect Francesca Meratti is on a mission to bring Venetian design into the 21st century. Her contemporary boutique Madera stocks whimsical porcelain teapots by Verona-based ceramicist Maria-Grazia Perlini; minimalist aprons by Inzu that double as halter-necked pinafore dresses; and finely sculpted wooden bowls from Meratti’s own line.
Legendary designer Mariano Fortuny assigned the colors for his fabrics’ poetic names: “Rembrandt rust straw and silvery gold,” “Bayou lime green and old ivory,” “seafoam green.” You’ll find these and more at the Fortuny Factory and Showroom, where 16,000 yards of Egyptian cotton are handcrafted every year.
The owners of the 62-year-old workshop Legatoria Polliero create their unique handmade papers using a collection of 300 antique Asian printing blocks. The duo specializes in notebooks, wrapping paper, and photo frames.
An oarlock might not be at the top of your shopping list, but step inside the woodworking shop Le Forcole and you’re likely to change your mind. Designer Saviero Pastor hand-carves sinuous, one-of-a-kind pieces in walnut, cherry, or pear wood. In fact, the works are so stunning, they’ve been snapped up as sculptures by I. M. Pei.
Senegal-born Moulaye Niang is the city’s first African glassmaker. His store, Muranero, sells contemporary jewelry that uses bright colors from his homeland. Best finds: bulbous glass rings in orange and lilac.
Looking for a hard-to-find edition of John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice? Old World Books stocks rare English-language volumes about Venice bought at auctions and private sales.