Answers from Our Experts (1)
To find the best shopping in Venice, get off the beaten path and head away from Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, which abound with chain stores and souvenir shops. Instead, seek out Venice's artisans, who sell everything from handmade Venetian masks to glass baubles. At mask shops like Ca' Macana in Dorsoduro or Benor Maschere Venezia in Santa Croce, you can actually watch the masks being made.
But two of the best Venetian souvenirs are found on other islands in the Venetian lagoon. Burano is famous for its exquisite handmade lace, while the island of Murano is famed for its glass-making (and you can actually watch the glassblowers at work at many of the factories). If you don't have the time for a trip to Murano, know that some stores on the island of Venice sell Murano glass…but many more claim to sell Murano glass. How do you know for sure if it's authentic (and not cheap, imported glass)? Look for the little "Vetro Murano Artistico" trademark decal that authentic Murano glass shops put in their windows.