Top 5 Souvenirs from Venice

more than a year ago

1: Traditional Venetian Masks
The main feature of the Venice Carnival, a traditional Venetian mask is the must-have souvenir to bring back with you after visiting the city. No one knows for sure why the tradition began back in the 13th century, but from the start mask makers were afforded a unique position in society. The mask was a way of bringing every citizen down (or up) to the same level, and imbued individuals with a confidence that may have been missing previously. When Napoleon put an end to the Venetian Republic in 1797 the masks were slowly phased out. They made several returns and subsequently several disappearances, before returning with a vengeance in the 1980s. Mask shops have sprung up all over the city. Our favourites are Bottega dei Mascareri by Rialto Bridge and Ca’Macana in Dorsoduro.

2: Murano Glass
There are two types of glass in the world. Murano glass and the rest. For centuries this little island just half a mile outside of Venice had a total monopoly on glassmaking. In 1291 all glassmaking factories were moved to Murano, and the glassmakers became some of the most prominent citizens in the entire Venetian Republic. The exportation of their professional secrets was even punishable by death. Serious stuff. Murano glass has a history and artistic value that far outshines the rest of the glass industry. You can visit shops and factories on Murano itself, or one of the many outlets in Venice proper. Always look out for the official Murano trademark in order to avoid cheap imitations.

3: Gondolier Hats


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