Although Naturally Epicurean focuses mainly on food, I often get asked for all sorts of traveling and shopping advice, so I decided to draft an Essential Venice Guide and share a shortlist with my favourite homeware, clothing, flower and book shops in Venice.
With regard to food, for a comprehensive list of places, please refer to My Venice Food Guide (updated last week) and for all the individual restaurant reviews visit my Venetian Wanderings page. In this post, I decided to include only what I consider quintessential must have experiences.
The post is rather long, thus I tried to limit the number of images. Still, I hope they will entice you to come over and follow along!
Atelier Daniela Levera (website) | UPDATE 2023: Daniela moved to Lido, thus you can purchase her work online
Beautiful new shop in Castello where you can find ceramic, porcelain and wooden objects for the house and also contemporary glass jewellery. The shop is co-managed by Daniela, the ceramist, and Alessandra Gardin, the glass artist. I'm particularly fond of this shop, small but with a comforting and warm atmosphere. I have already bought quite a few pieces by Daniela, characterised by a homey yet sophisticated feel. Highly recommended.
Ai Bochaleri (website) | Castello - Viale Garibaldi 1257
Open only on Saturdays and Sundays - Ai Bochaleri is the association of local ceramists. Located in Viale Garibaldi in Castello, at the weekend from 10 am to 5 pm it's possible to wander around their garden and look at the different productions. It's also possible to find some of their pieces in other shops in Venice, the most recognisable of which is probably the collection by Giuliana Rolli with painted stylised cats, gondolas and moons. Lovely place with a lovely atmosphere!
Atelier Alessandro Merlin (website) | Castello - Calle del Pestrin 3876
Alessandro's ceramics have definitely a very unique and recognisable style. From small bowls and cups to larger serving dishes, his production is at the same time witty, imaginative and minimalist. Every piece is hand decorated with stylised animals, lagoon fish like crabs, squids, octopus and more, and human bodies and body parts. Personally, I'm particularly fond of the small bowls with stylised crabs, which I have often bought as gift for my friends.
Chimera (website) | Castello 3459
The person behind this ceramic shop is called Ilaria, a brilliant ceramist with a very feminine and elegantly warm style. Bowls, dishes and cups are all hand painted and decorated both with abstract and figurative figures. Her work is characterised by bright, lively colours and a positive energy. To the lagoon, she dedicated the series of ceramics called Lagoon and the colourful prints and bookmarks depicting facades of venetian palazzos, monuments and scenes.
DinamoManufatti (website) | San Polo 2599/a
Tiny shop full of beautiful home design objects. Here you will find ceramic bowls, trays and cupshand-decorated kitchen towels, wooden spoons with fancy shapes and wooden cutting boards and objects. The two sisters that manage the store gather the works of different local artisans and choosing what to bring home always reveals a daunting task. I love every single piece, here you can also find some ceramics made by the above mentioned Giuliana Rolli, while most wooden boards are produced by VUD, the lab I visited in Trieste. Simply lovely.
Madera (website) | Dorsoduro, Campo San Barnaba 2762
Absolutely gorgeous contemporary home design and jewellery shop. On the pricey side, but worth it. Here you will find objects for the kitchen (among which some ceramic bowls made by the above mentioned VUD), and jewellery and clothing items with a minimalist yet fancy style.
Lord Francisca | San Polo 3123
Lovely shop with many different things for the house, from tables and chairs, to stools, fabrics, cups, bowls and more. I'm particularly fond of their bowls sets in Japanese style and the teapots.
Danghyra (website) | Dorsoduro 3220
Gorgeous shop with a wide range of ceramic cups, bowls, vases and other objects created by Dangirute Raceviciute. Her creations stand out for their elegance, the bright and shiny effects and the wide use of gold.
Ceramiche Artistiche - Rigattieri Liliana (map) | San Marco 3535
This artistic ceramics shop has been open since I was a little child and I still remember going there with my mum. Incredible how years later I find myself doing the same thing! The lady is so kind and patient that it is always a pleasure to stop by. The most notable collections are the ones with decorations of fruits, greens, fish and mollusks, while my favourite one is the '700 Veneziano, simple, elegant and really timeless. All ceramics are made in Bassano del Grappa.
Kanz (website) | Dorsoduro, Calle Avogaria 1621/a
Elegant showroom of some of the works created by the architects members of the Kanz studio, founded in Venice in 2014 by Antonella Maione and Mauro Cazzaro. Here you will find minimalist and refined objects for the house that range from teapots, cups and glasses to fancy chairs and mirrors.
Domus (website) - Mainly for us locals! | San Marco 4296
This is where most local restaurants and hotel purchase their tableware sets, in fact it's ideal if you need to buy a lot of things for the house or a complete serie of dishes. Here you will find almost everything and for every taste and pocket. It's excellent also for pots, pans, cutlery, special kitchen knifes, cutlers and baskets.
- OTHER SHOPS I LIKE
Codex (website) | Cannaregio - Fondamenta degli Ormesini 2799
Cute little shop showcasing the works of Nelson Kishi, known especially for his aerial drawings of Venice, and Robin Food, whose paintings realised with the Ukiyo technique are absolutely stunning.
Il Forcolaio Matto (website) | Canneregio - Calle dell'Oca 4231
Interesting lab specialised in the production of oars for gondolas and other boats, here it's possible to buy wooden jewellery and small decorative oar sculptures.
Plum Plum Creations by Arianna(website) | Canneregio - Fondamenta degli Ormesini 2681
One of the best places if you are looking for artistic prints, etchings, watercolours and linocuts.
Il Pavone | San Polo, Campiello dei Meloni 1478
Cosy bindery shop with lab attached where it's possible to find beautiful diaries, pencils, bookmarks, prints, scarves and more. I particularly appreciate the series of special diaries (recipes, wine, books, etc.), which always make a great gift.
Venetian Dreams (website) | San Marco, Calle de la Mandola 3805/a
Whenever I want to make a beautiful gift from Venice to my girlfriends, I opt for Marisa's pieces. She is what in Venice is called 'impiraressa', meaning bead stringer, thus she threads glass beads and creates elegant and unique jewellery. Highly recommend stopping by!
Fratelli Attombri (website) | San Polo, Sottoportico degli Oresi
Two brothers, Stefano and Daniele, who re-interpret the traditional bead-threading technique in a modern a key, with a minimalist design and the use of mixed media. Absolutely fantastic.
Ottico Fabbricatore (website) | San Marco 4773
From the outside, the shop seems tiny, but once you step in... you get to cross a corridor and find yourself in a totally unexpected atmosphere, which I'd define as English country style. An elegant sofa, only apparently faded brown leather suitcases on the floor, unique lamps and absolutely outstanding clothes, bags and sun glasses! Be prepared to spend, but be also aware it will be wort it. Excellent quality, great fabrics and elegant style.
Nina Boutique (website) | San Marco - Campo Manin 4231 + Dorsoduro 3130
The shop alone is a good enough reason for a visit. With its country chic furniture, its warm and classy atmosphere, the plants hanging from the ceiling, the wicker baskets filled with clothes and the private patio overlooking the canal, this shop is really unique. Quality fabrics for elegant clothes and accessories.
La Casa di Loto (website) | Dorsoduro, Calle Larga Ca' Foscari 3856
A super lovely artisan shop specialised in knitwear. A unique shop in Venice, where quality is combined to accessible costs. Excellent fabrics and style that recalls slightly the one of the 30s. A stop is must.
Shanti Daan (website) | Dorsoduro 3284
Absolutely wonderful ethnic shop where in addition to dresses, jackets, skirts, shirts and tops you can also find all sorts of objects for the house, like stools, small tables and chairs in natural materials, jewellery and even books! Love the atmosphere. Also love the big fat cat that sleeps on the front window all day (place, don't knock!), really enormous!
3856 (website) | Dorsoduro 3749
Lovely boutique where you will find refined clothes for an everyday use. A country-urban style, ideal for women who lead an active life but still want to look good, in an elegant and under stated way. Right now I'm in love with the linen summer dresses and bags.
Altrove (website) | San Polo, Calle Moro 2659/A
Excellent fabrics and a minimalist design for carefully selected outfits, all rigorously Made in Italy.
Banco Lotto N. 10 - (website) | Castello - Salizada Sant'Antonin 3478
Amazing little shop with unique clothes and accessories made by the female prisoners of the jail in Giudecca. The dresses are very 50s style, with tight corsets and balloon skirts, the bags are ideal both for special occasion and for an everyday use. Love it.
L'Armadio di Coco (website) | Cannaregio - Campo Santa Maria Nova 6029/B
Vintage clothes and accessories shop for real fashion addicts. The selection of what ends up in here is carefully planned and features only real, quality vintage (and not just old) items. Beautiful location, interesting pieces that trace part of the history of fashion and a friendly and passionate manager.
Slash Treviso (website) | Santa Croce, Calle Longa 2156
Super stylish clothing shop featuring clothes and accessories with a minimalist design and excellent fabrics.
Mori e Bozzi (website) | Cannaregio, Strada Nuova Very stylish shoe shop where it is also possible to find unique clothing pieces, such as dresses, coats and shirts and amazing bags.
For second hand clothes & bargains: wander around Calle delle Botteghe in Santo Stefano after 3 pm and look for Laura's shop (no website, sorry) or consider going to the general Tuesday market in Lido (7 am- 1 pm) or the Thursday market on Giudecca.
Studium (website) | San Marco 337
Probably the bookshop I go to the most, at Studium it's possible to find books in several languages, from contemporary novels and essay to photographic coffee table books. Very interesting the section dedicated to Venice. Great choice of books also for children of all ages.
Damocle Edizioni (website) | San Polo - Calle del Perdon 1311
Independent publishing house specialised in artistic books and paperbacks in two languages. I consider this shop a sort of hidden gem where one can really find the most unique and unexpected reads. The sort of place for romantic, artistic souls.
Libreria Marco Polo (website) | Dorsoduro - Santa Margherita 2899
The most lively and frequented bookshop in Venice, which has recently opened a second store on Giudecca. At Libreria Marco Polo you will find a carefully chosen selection of books printed by independent publishers, illustrated books for both children and adults, and in the shop on Giudecca also second hand books. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to be updated on their events and book presentations.
Libreria Antiquaria Linea d'Acqua (website) | San Marco - Calle della Mandola 3717/D
Sumptuous independent bookshop specialised in antiquarian and rare publications and engravings.
Living in the Past (website) | Dorsoduro 3474
Second hand books, vinyl records and a wide range of comics. Whenever I come to this bookshop, I feel s if I had been thrown back in the 90s. I find it a fun place, ideal for those who enjoy rummaging.
sullaluna (website) | Cannaregio - Fondamenta della Misericordia
Bookshop and vegetarian teahouse specialised in illustrated books for children and adults, cookbooks and illustrated biographies. I suggest to keep an eye on their Facebook page too, because they often organise workshops for children, tasting events for adults and meetings with the authors for all.
Laguna Fiorita (website) | Cannaregio, Fondamenta dell'Abazia 3546
The biggest plant nursery in the lagoon, here it's possible to find everything that regards both home and professional gardening and to buy plants, flowers and seeds (also for your home vegetable garden).
La Serra (website) | Castello, Viale Garibaldi 1254
Cafeteria and green house where it's possible to buy plants, flowers, seeds and other items for your home garden. Excellent place also for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake!
Bottega 2137 (website) | Santa Croce, Calle Longa 2137
By far my favourite flower shop in Venice. The attention to detail is of the utmost importance, something that can be perceived from the moment you step in. Elegant floral compositions able to combine the warm, enveloping feeling typical of flowers to a very unique contemporary and country style elegance. Besides flowers and plants, here it's possible to find refined vases and other artistic items, all carefully researched by Manuela and Paola, the managers, specialised also in event set-ups and floral arrangements. You just have to come and see this place with your own eyes, it is absolutely gorgeous!
La Dogaressa Flowers (website) | San Polo, Campo San Cassian 1756
One of the most popular flower shops in Venice, known especially for private events and interior flower design. Top quality flowers and beautiful floral arrangements.
On the street flower stalls I often go to:
Santa Maria Formosa stall on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, the Rialto Market flower stall on Saturday mornings, and the one in campo Santa Margherita.
For a traditional meal: Trattoria da Bepi già 54
For an intimate fish lunch/dinner: Anice Stellato, Estro
Treat Meal: Al Ridotto (check their lunch menu offer at 35 euros), Gran Caffè Quadri
As previously mentioned, refer to My Venice Food Guide for a comprehensive list of restaurants and eateries.