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What to buy: Masks are very popular in Venice because they symbolize the Venetian carnival. There are some very skillfully made masks, but also a lot of rubbish, cheap stuff! Have a close look and just decide if you like i!
Many shops, very many: The masks of Venice
There are very many mask shops in Venice. They are at best very special items which cost all the way to 200e+. They are mainly for the Venice Carnevals but there is also other uses. The mask in the movie Eyes Wide Shut were bought here.
What to pay: Around 100 euros - 200 euros can get you a very beautiful, special mask.
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La Venexiana: Carnival masks!
One of the most respected and reknowned masks shop in Venezia. Remember the Eyes Wide Shut movie with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise? well, the masks were from this shop.
What to buy: Any mask... the usual big nosed one like the ones in the movie are the most common and cheap, but you can get anything you ever dreamt of, or even order something special, designed only for you.
The attached picture is obviously not mine but this is exactly the mask I bought for E10. I have worn it only once with a black suit and cap and with a tripod hat which is the traditional costume during the carnival.
What to pay: Anything you can afford. From E10 up to whatever you can imagine!
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Mask Vendors: Guess Who?
What to buy: Venice is littered with mask shops whether or not it's Carnivale. Although these masks can be seen in markets all over Italy, the most authentic ones are found here.
What to pay: Ours ranged from $10-$25 from the vendors, but the full-faced ornate mask (second from the left) was $125 from a specialty shop!
After New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Venice comes a close second. As such, their masques all look fantastic and make fantastic cultural mementoes of your trip.
What to buy: You can get small ones as gifts that come in packs and are made of ceramic. You can also get the traditional life size ones to be used as part of their Mardi Gras celebrations.
What to pay: For a set of masque ear-rings you are expected to pay about $5 USD. Two ceramic wall hanging masques will cost rougly $15 USD. A useable masque bought from a certified maestro from his dedicated shop will still only cost about $45 USD.
Various: Masks in February
If you are in Venice late January/February this is around the time of the week long celebrations ...
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Beautifully crafted masks
These were seen in a shop near Santa Maria Formosa,full of beautiful masks,getting ready for the carnival,bet its a fantastic sight seeing all these masks and costumes being paraded around.
All around Venice: Papier Maché
What to buy: Expensive leather products and small souvenirs like those masks
Small souvenirs you will find all around.- but you can buy the antique pieces in specialised shops aswell.
(And than there is VISA)
If you don't know what to buy as a present from Venice - buy a mask. There is really big choice, from very small to very big.
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Venice Travel Guide
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