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Venice recommended special visits, Museums, Excursions, Shops and much much more

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Museums - (a selection)

Peggy Guggenheim Collection - Dorsoduro, 701, 30123 Venezia - Tel: +39 041 2405411www.guggenheim-venice.it - Located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, directly on the Grand Canal. This attractive villa, built in 1980, presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection of 20th Century Art, masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, as well as temporary exhibitions - Open daily 10am-6pm (closed Tuesdays)

Museo del Vetro di Murano - Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano - Tel : +39 041 739586.  The Murano glassworks museum was founded in 1861, after a dark period of destructive foreign rule to record and house Venice's historical glassblowing masterpieces. Today the museum holds historical pieces and vast donations of extraordinary pieces from the island's furnaces as well as a stunning contemporary collection. Hours: Thu-Sun and Mon, Tue 10am-4pm (winter); Mon, Tue, Thu-Sun 10am-5pm (summer)

Murano Glass Museum

Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) - St. Mark's Square, 31024, Venezia  - Tel: +39 041 522 4951 - Masterpiece of Gothic Architecture, the Doge's Palace is an accumulation of layer upon layer of building work and ornamentation, comprising the original foundations, the 14th/15th Century structure, sizeable Renaissance additions and opulent Mannerist details. - Open all days from 9.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m

Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del '700 Veneziano : Dorsoduro, 3136, Venezia - Tel: +39 041 241 0100 / 041 520 4036 -This magnificent palace, now the Museum of 18th Century Venice, was designed by the greatest Baroque architect of Venice, Baldassare Longhena for the aristocratic Bon family, and work began on it in 1649 - Closed on Tuesday. Open from Wednesday to Monday. Entrance times: every 30 minutes, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Museo Correr

Museo Correr - Piazza San Marco: 52 Piazza San Marco, 30124, Venezia Tel: +39 041 240 5211 - The Museum is laid out in various sections that offer a fascinating insight into the Art and History of Venice. The first section occupies the Napoleonic Wing itself, a 19th Century palace for Kings and Emperors; here the sumptuous Neo-classical Rooms house a noteworthy collection of works by the greatest sculptor of the age, Antonio Canova (1757-1822). Open all days. Entrance times: every 30 minutes, from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Accademia Gallery : Sestiere Dorsoduro, 1050, 30123 Venezia - Tel:  +39 041 520 0345 - The Accademia Galleries house a very outstanding collection of Venetian pictures dating from the XIVth to the XVIIIth centuries. Among them the masterpieces of Bellini, Giorgione, Carpaccio, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo - Open from Tuesday to Monday, Closed Monday afternoons. Entrance times: every 30 minutes, from 8.15 am to 7.15 pm.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Confraternity of St. Roch): San Polo 3058, Venezia - Tel: +39 041 523 4864 - Jacopo Robusti's (1518-94) epic canvases are filled with fantastic imagery with intense, mystical spirituality. This museum is a dazzling monument to his work, as it holds the largest collection of his images anywhere. The series of over 50 dark and dramatic works took the artist more than 20 years to complete, making this the richest of the many confraternity guilds or scuole (schools) that once flourished in Venice. - Open daily from 9am-5:30pm.


Venetian Mask Shops

La Bottega dei Mascareri - San Polo 80 (Rialto), Northern end of the Rialto Bridge amid the tourist booths, San Polo, Venezia. Tel: +39 041 524 2887 / +39 041 522 3857 - The quality-conscious should shop here. The shop is small, and also serves as their workshop.

Il Canovaccio - Castello 5369-70, Calle delle Bande - Tel: +39 041 521 0393. Undeniably cool, high-quality artisan work can be bought or comissioned here. The Rolling Stone guitarist Ron Wood has shopped here, and the shop provided some of the masks and costumes for Stanley Kubrick's film 'Eyes Wide Shut' - it is alleged.

Tragicomica, Dove Siamo: Calle dei Nomboli, San Polo, 2800, Venezia - Tel: +39 041 72 1102, Gualtiero Dall'Osto is the master mask-maker.  Here you can watch all kinds of masks evolve from mere ideas to actual costumes. Each takes several hours to make and is then decorated with gold leaf, tempera, watercolour or oil.

Blue Moon: Dorsoduro 2312, Venezia, 30123 - Tel: +39 041 71 5175. Produces handmade traditional Venetian papier mache masks. Located in the historical and artistic center of Dorsoduro near l'Accademia, they keep the ancient craft of the old 'maschereri' (Venetian mask makers) alive. They produce traditional, modern and blank masks, so that if you wish, you may design your own.

Mondonovo Maschere: Rio Terrá Canal, Dorsoduro 3063 - Tel: +39 041 28 7344. Owner Guerrino Lovato was commissioned to make nearly 80 masks for the Stanley Kubrick film "Eyes Wide Shut." In addition to choosing from a wonderful selection of masks, you can learn some interesting facts about the rituals and traditions of the mask. For example, during the plague, people stuffed the beak-shaped nose of popular masks with medicinal herbs to avoid sickness.

Book shops

The Bookshop at the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) - After your visit to the exquisite Doge's Palace, don't miss their bookshop before you exit. Museum quality coffee table books, history books and photography books of all aspects of Venice can be found here. Its a treasure trove.Piazza San Marco, 1
31024, Tel.: 041.5224951, Opening Hours:  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Open every day, including Saturday and Sunday

Libreria Studium - Calle di Canonica, San Marco 337/C, 30124 Venezia - Tel: +39 041 522 2382 - Just off St. Mark's Square, this well-stocked bookshop has guidebooks galore as well as plenty of literature and novels in English. Open Monday-Saturday 9 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-1:30 pm.

Libreria al Ponte - Calle della Mandola, 3717D - Tel: +39 041 522 4030 - Stocks travel guides and English language books. Two other centrally located bookstores are the Libreria Sansovino in the Bacino Orseolo 84, just north of the Piazza San Marco Tel: +39 041 522 2623, and the Libreria San Giorgio, Calle Larga XXII Marzo 2087 - Tel: +39 041 523 8451, beyond the American Express Office toward Campo Santo Stefano. Both carry a selection of books about Venetian art, history, and literature.

Libreria Bertoni Mario: San Marco 3637B, Rio Terrà dei Assassini - Tel: +39 041 522 9583 - For art books and other colorful hardbacks on history and Italian sights to hold down your coffee table at 40% to 50% off. Or try Libreria Beronti Alberto, San Marco 4718 Calle dei Fabbri - Tel: +39 041 522 4615

Crystal & Crafts Shops

Salviati Murano Crystal: Chic chic chic. The Salviati family's crystal business has been using the best Murano craftsmen since 1859. Antonio Salviati singlehandedly revived the Murano crystal market after favour had turned to Bohemian crystal in the early 1800s. Today their designers produce some of the most stunning pieces out there. Favoured by Kelly Hoppen and the likes, Salviati's sleek modern yet delicate designs will have you buying more presents for yourself than gifts you thought you'd buy for others! MARE, San Marco 2088, Via XXII Marzo, San Moisè,  Tel: +39 041 52 31 191,  email : [email protected] Opening hours: June – October: from 9.30 am to 11 pm - November – June: from 10 am to 19.30 pm or Sest. San Marco, Calle Frezzerie civ.1586/88

The Murano Art Shop: San Marco 1232 - On the store-lined Frezzeria, parallel to the western border of, and close to, the Piazza San Marco - Tel: +39 041 523 3851, is a cultural experience. At this small shop, every inch of wall space is draped with the whimsical crafts of the city's most creative artisans. Fusing the timeless with the contemporary. The store offers a dramatic and evolving collection of masks, puppets, music boxes and costume jewelry. It's all expensive, but this rivals a visit to the Doge's Palace!

Bambole di Trilly: Castello 4974, Fondamenta dell'Osmarin, off the Campo San Provolo on your way east out of Piazza San Marco in the direction of the Church of San Zaccaria - Tel: +39 041 521 2579 -  When it seems as if every gift-store window is awash with collectible bisque-faced dolls in elaborate pinafores and headdresses. Hand-sewn wardrobes of rich Venetian fabrics and painstakingly painted faces are particularly exquisite. The perfect souvenir starts at about 20€ ($26) in this well-stocked workspace north of Campo San Zaccaria.

Music shop

Nalesso: 2765 Sestiere,San Marco, 30124 Venezia - On your left just before Campo Santo Stefano if you're arriving from the Piazza San Marco area- Tel: +39 041 520 3329 - Specializes in classical music recordings, has the entire works of Vivaldi and 18th Century Venetian music. Carries the widest selection in town. You can also pick up tickets to most of the concerts around town here. A place for music lovers.