Every traveler to Venice wants to go home with a special souvenir—a carnival mask, a piece of Murano glass, a handcrafted piece of lace. But selecting which mask or which goblet to buy can be an intimidating experience. How do you know if you’re buying something authentic, something made in Venice, something made in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if you’re being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the city’s many tourist traps? Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of the city’s most traditional arts: Murano glass, carnival masks, gondolas, lace, paper, and more. This indispensible guide includes practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on pricing, quality, and value, and with a comprehensive resource guide, Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice is the perfect guide for anyone wanting to bring home the unique traditions of Venice.
Morelli (The Gondola Maker) takes the reader on a tour of traditional artisan crafts in Venice. Her goal is to help the traveler discern real Venetian-made crafts, such as masks, glass, and paper, from the myriad fakes and knock-offs that crowd Venice’s main thoroughfares. She advises readers to visit places such as the island of Murano, which for centuries has been at the heart of Venetian glassworks. Her methodology is simple: visit museums that contain the crafts in order to train your eye, visit studios where you can see the works being produced, and buy directly from the artisans. Readers may not end up making many purchases (many of the crafts are quite expensive), but they’ll certainly get a richer experience of Venice. Even for those not planning a trip to Venice, the book is a treat: fluidly written, interspersed with stunning photographs, and filled with fascinating historical tidbits about the city and its crafts. Color photos. (BookLife)