My Favorite Venice Shops (Conde Nast Travler)
1CHIARASTELLA CATTANA The work of local fabric and interior designer Cattana marries modern colors and botanical motifs with materials woven on traditional looms in the Veneto. The results are the kind of delicate tablecloths and duvet and pillow covers that you might originally buy as gifts but end up keeping for yourself. Located near Palazzo Grassi, the area also has a lovely neighborhood feel, with one-of-a-kind shops and pretty cobblestoned streets (3357 San Marco; 39-041-522-4369).
2OFFICINE 904 Just opened in the San Polo neighborhood, this gorgeous bag boutique is a shopping must for its soft, all–Italian-leather designs, made in Florence using great shapes and bold colors. The Market bag, for example, comes in colors like vivid green or turquoise, while the 36 Ore is perfect for traveling, big enough for a computer and all your carry-ons. Come nightfall, you’ll want to pare down to the Pochette, a tiny clutch with space for a phone, wallet, and lipstick—at 65 euros ($90) a pop, these also make great presents (2671 Calle Seconda dei Saoneri, San Polo; 39-041-822-3227).
3CRISTINA LINASSI Venetian matrons and well-heeled hotties both head here for the brand’s nighties, which come in cotton muslin and a sexier silk-satin version that looks straight out of an early Italian film set. Being measured and fussed over by the lifer boutique attendants also makes this a shopping experience out of a more refined era (3537 San Marco; 39-041-523-0578).
4ARCOBALENO Arcobaleno means rainbow in Italian, and the shop window of this artist’s supplies destination certainly looks like one: Its containers of glass-jarred pigments, from a bright cerulean blue to a deep terra-cotta red, merit a photo op. The store also stocks paintbrushes, sketchbooks, and canvases, inspiring even amateurs to try their hand at a painting or two (3457 Calle delle Botteghe, San Marco; 39-041-523-6818).
5LIBRERIA MONDADORI VENEZIA This three-story bookshop, close to Piazza San Marco, is the kind of store that should exist in every town. It stocks a selection of excellent guidebooks to Venice (not to mention the whole of Italy), plus Venetian classics in English like Death in Venice, and cute kids’ books (1346 San Marco; 39-041-522-2193).