Venice Shopping Overview

Piazza San Marco - Landmark | Shopping Area | Square in Venice

Much like in Rome, shopping in Venice is not often budget-friendly. While there are plenty of low-end touristy stores, the trinkets they peddle are usually so poorly made they won’t make it through the flight home.

The most heavily trafficked tourist area in Venice – and hub of the delightful winter Carnevale scene – is the beautiful Piazza San Marco, an historic square featuring everything from high-end boutique shopping and art to upscale restaurants and bars. Even more expensive clothing and gift boutiques make for great window-shopping on Calle Larga XXII Marzo, the wide street that begins west of Piazza San Marco.

Lots of souvenir shops line Frezzeria, also not far from Piazza San Marco, but the best deals are probably in Rialo Market, which is full of fresh produce, t-shirts, toy gondolas, and other assorted crap.

Where Venice shopping really succeeds is in the area of antiques, as well as famous local crafts that have been produced here for centuries like the glassware from Murano, the delicate lace from Burano, and the cartapesta (papier-mâché) Carnevale masks. Any of these will set you back considerably.

For less wallet-busting actions, Campo Santa Margherita has earned a reputation as the primary nightlife area in the city, but by day the square also teems with local residents running errands and buying fresh fruit, bread, herbs, and fish from the small vendors.

The produce and fish market squares of Erbaria on the San Polo side of the Rialto Bridge are also worth checking out, especially since the area transforms around twilight with the arrival of a gregarious pre-dinner crowd of young professionals looking to party it up.

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