Venice still has a few residents who work in the non-tourism industries, but these are comparatively rare today. Although shopping in Venice is fun, it can also be a challenge due to the crowds and the fact that the city's waterways can be difficult to navigate. You should buy items you want immediately, rather than risk not being able to find the store later on. The Rialto is the commercial core of Venice, famous for being the site where the first bridge over the Grand Canal was built, and this is the best place to start your shopping adventures in the city.
Visit Venetia Studium on San Marco for fine velvets and silks, of every imaginable colour, woven into subtle scarves, delicate evening bags and luxurious pillows. You can buy unique costumes and masks at Atelier Marega, where you can often see the preparation and painting of the masks. Francis Model sells locally-crafted leather goods, and for gloves and accessories go to Fanny, on Calle dei Saoneri and Campo San Polo. Handmade paper and beautiful miniature buildings, made by Moro, can also be found in Venice. Look out for handmade examples of Venetian glass (Murano glass) and fine lace sold throughout the city.
VAT (IVA in Italy) of 20 percent is added on to the price of all consumer goods, and tourists can apply for a tax refund if they spend €180 or more in one shop. Some shops participate in a Tax-free Shopping programme. Most shops in Venice are closed for an extended lunch hour.
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