Europe has so many stand-out destinations when it comes to buying a traditional gift: Germany for cuckoo clocks and beer steins, Italy for leather, Belgium for chocolates and Switzerland for army knives (and chocolate!). But here’s a tip from Intrepid’s resident Europe expert, Cassandra Wallace, about where else to buy that special something…
“My favourite place to go souvenir shopping and to stock up on gifts for Mum and Dad is Venice. Venetian masks are everywhere. Shops are filled with exquisitely decorated masks with feathers, fine paintings or glitter and there is bound to be one that suits you. Pinocchio, the Italian fairytale character is also a common mask. Remember the movie ‘Eyes Wide shut’? All those haunting masks were created by a specialty shop in Venice and some of the stores have the artist’s studio out the back, where you can see the pieces being made.
Venetian glass is perhaps even more famous. There are more glass shops that you can count throughout Venice, but the best place is on the island of Murano, where most of the glass factories are based. You can walk around to all the workshops to see the different glass blowing techniques and how the fine coloured glass is produced. For a small gift there are tiny pendants made of Venetian glass and other pieces of fine jewellery, and it’s not as expensive as you would think. The only problem is fitting it all in your luggage to bring it home.”
Tour Italy with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
La Dolce Vita – 15 days Rome to Venice
A Taste of Italy – 15 days Venice to Rome
The Italian Experience – 15 days Venice to Sorrento