The best places to go shopping in Venice are often hidden in plain sight. You won’t find many malls or arcades in the “floating city”, but you will find small streets and quarters that house some small hidden gems. There are a few malls on the mainland.

    You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to souvenirs and trinkets, with independent stores blending into every nook and cranny of the rich Venetian architecture. There are some luxurious Italian boutiques as well, and these stores are great for window shopping. Here are some tips on where to shop in Venice and what to buy in the extraordinary city.

    1

    Salizada San Moisè

    Find luxury Italian brands near St Mark’s Square

    Salizada San Moisè is a luxury shopping street in the San Marco district of Venice. It’s a narrow pedestrianized alley that winds from the Piazza San Marco to the Ponte San Moisè bridge.

    If you're looking for some luxurious Italian brands to take home from your trip, this is one of the best places you can go. Versace, Prada and Miu Miu all have women's clothing outlets down here, and they're often the first to have new stock – all being Italian brands. You can also find some stores specializing in leather goods closer to Piazza San Marco, as well as a couple of designer jewelers like Cartier at the other end.

    Location: 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

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    2

    Piazza San Marco boutique stores

    Browse local artisanal wares

    Piazza San Marco boutique stores can be found dotted around the square. They’re great for shopping adventures, especially if you’re searching for exclusive Venetian souvenirs. Along with the cafés and views of the Basilica, there’s enough to keep you occupied for a full day.

    Among the most popular spots are the Murano glass shops. Murano is a small island where all the glassmakers are in Venice, and there are numerous outlets in Piazza San Marco, such as Pauly & Co. Some of the glass ornaments are incredible, and even if you aren’t buying anything, it’s a great window shopping experience. There are plenty of other souvenir and craft shops too, like jewelry, children’s toys, and even artisanal stationery.

    Location: Piazza San Marco, 30100 Venice, Italy

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    3

    T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS

    Hunt for duty-free bargains

    T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS is a duty-free shopping mall right near the Rialto Bridge in the San Marco district of Venice. Even if you aren't shopping, it’s worth checking out for the roof terrace, where you get an amazing view of the whole Grand Canal.

    All of the brands here are luxury, and they’re constantly putting out new ranges. You’ll find Gucci, Versace and Valentino to name just a few clothing stores, Swarovski jewelers, and watch brands like Tissot or Hamilton. It’s perfect to grab some high-end cosmetics at duty-free prices too, and of course, there are plenty of stylish duty-free sunglasses as well.

    Location: Calle del Fontego dei Tedeschi, 30100 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1314 2000

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    photo by Ktiv (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Cà Grifalconi Market

    Locally baked treats and fresh flowers

    Cà Grifalconi Market is a lively fresh market that sells flowers and baked Venetian treats. It’s found in the Dorsoduro district off the bottom of Campo Santa Margherita and is a popular place for locals to drink coffee, do their shopping, and showcase their art in small galleries.

    From Tuesday to Saturday, Cà Grifalconi is a fresh produce and fish market, but on Tuesdays and Saturdays, you’ll find flowers and bakery items. There are some great cakes to try, and pizza and pasta stands are surrounding the square too. You’ll often hear music playing from some of the stalls, and with the cafés and bars, there’s enough to keep everyone entertained for the day.

    Location: Campo Santa Margherita, 3032/a, 30123 Venice, Italy

    Phone: +39 34 7157 5658

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    5

    Galleria Barcella

    Shop in high-end boutique stores

    Galleria Barcella is a high-end shopping arcade on the mainland of Venice, right in the center of Mestre. Running from Piazza Ferretto to Piazzale Candiani, it’s a modern walkway lined with fashion stores, jewelry boutiques and a few cafés for refreshments.

    The shops in Galleria Barcella are generally smaller high-end boutique stores that sell real quality items. There’s a nice mix of high-street fashion stores and smaller artisanal shops that sell handmade toys and gifts. If you happen to be visiting Venice around December, you’ll find a great Christmas market here that you shouldn’t miss.

    Location: Via Bonaventura Barcella, 30174 Venice, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm, Monday from 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

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    6

    San Samuele art galleries

    Take some unique Venetian art back home

    Art galleries in San Samuele can be found dotted throughout the neighbourhood in the San Marco district, right next to the church of the same name. The church itself is small but is steeped in history, dating back around 1,000 years.

    Venice has been a center of art since the Renaissance and before, and you can see and buy unique pieces around San Samuele. There are international galleries like the Akka Project Venezia, which focuses on African art, and other modern galleries like Bel-Air Fine Art. If you’re looking for more traditional Venetian art pieces, then you’re spoilt for choice with galleries like the Andrea Tardini gallery, or the more modern Galleria Holly Snapp.

    Location: Campo San Samuele, 30124 Venice, Italy

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    7

    Le Barche Mall

    Visit your favorite high-street stores

    Le Barche Mall is a mall with international brands in Mestre, on the mainland of Venice. It has lots of Italian and international high-street brands, plenty of places to eat, and varied entertainment options.

    Le Barche is one of those places where you can get anything you need. Alongside big-brand fashion stores, there’s a grocery store for groceries on the bottom floor. Sometimes, there’s even a small independent farmer's market. You can pick up household items in the home store, and if there’s anyone in your party who isn’t into shopping, there’s a library, a rooftop café and a kid’s play area to keep them entertained.

    Location: Piazza 27 Ottobre, 1, 30172 Venezia VE, Italy

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Sundays from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1977 882

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    8

    Rialto Bridge boutique stores

    Souvenirs on the Grand Canal’s oldest bridge

    Rialto Bridge boutique stores can be found down the length of Venice’s most famous viaduct, and they’re half the reason people flock to this landmark. As well as being one of the most famous sites in the floating city, the bridge is lined on either side with souvenir and boutique stores offering a great variety.

    There are plenty of shops on the bridge, and most sell Venetian souvenirs, jewelry, and other artisanal gifts. Browsing down the Rialto Bridge is a day in itself, and you’ll find lots of Murano glass, carnival masks, and Venetian linen among the items in display.

    Location: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venice, Italy

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    photo by stephenrwalli (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Mercatino di San Giobbe

    A Venetian flea market for trinkets old and new

    Mercatino di San Giobbe is a small flea market that offers some of Venice's finest antique arts for sale. You'll find it right next to the Crea water taxi cab stop at the edge of the Cannaregio district.

    Whether you’re here just to browse or to buy, this market will keep you entertained with the variety on display. There are trinkets old and new, with loads of accessories like watches, leather bags and crockery, and some of which date way back. There are also a few craftsmen selling their wares if you’re after something a bit more modern.

    Location: Fondamenta S. Giobbe, 618, 30121 Venice, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 3.30 pm to 7 pm, Monday from 4 pm to 7 pm (closed Friday–Sunday)

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    10

    Nave de Vero

    A shopper’s paradise in Marghera

    Nave de Vero is a large shopping mall in the Marghera district, on the mainland of Venice. It’s a modern shopping mall with a huge glass front, and with over 100 shops and restaurants, it’s a shopper’s paradise.

    You’ll find all of your favorite high-street brands here, whether you’re shopping for clothes at Zara, cosmetics at Sephora, or gadgets at the Apple store. There’s a massive food court as well, with a wide array of international restaurants from conveyor-belt sushi to the American BBQ Old Wild West restaurant and fast food outlets like McDonald’s.

    Location: Via Pietro Arduino, 20, 30175 Venice, Italy

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1538 5251

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    photo by Agron Merseli (CC BY 3.0) modified

    John Frodsham | Contributing Writer

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