Finding the perfect present is not always easy and can be very time-consuming. You want it to be original and personal. It should also show that you really know how much your friend loves Venice. You also don’t want to buy something that he/she already has. And if you can order it online and have it delivered at home, it makes your life even easier. So, the question is, where can you find the right inspiration?
If you are looking for a present for someone who loves Venice, then you will find plenty of ideas in this post. I have listed 10 ideas which can be given to women, men or children. You can choose between decoration, books, a personal travel plan, toys, models and jewellery. Some of these can be personalized, while others support a good cause. For each gift, I also give a link to an article which relates to the present. This way, you can impress your friend with your in-depth preparation for the gift and investigation into their preferred subject of Venice.
Of course, don’t hesitate to buy these products as a gift for yourself. Or, you can send the link to this article as a hint to your family and friends.
This article is the second in a series on gifts. If you are in Venice or planning a trip there, you will find inspiration for gifts that you can buy locally in the first article ‘Top 10 ideas to find the perfect gift in Venice’. In the meantime, a third article with gifts for your Venice loving friends and family is also available: ’10 original Venice related gifts and experiences’.
You can never go wrong with a beautiful picture of Venice as a gift. There is always a place to hang it in your house. On the website of Tamara Sredojevic, you find many professional pictures of Venice and Burano. All the pictures on the site can be ordered in different sizes. You can also choose to have them framed or not.
Tamara is a French photographer with Serbian roots. She is the founder of #SavingVenice, a photo project which aims to raise awareness and funds to restore Venetian architectural heritage. When you buy a picture of the #SavingVenice series (which changes every month), 50% of the sales revenue is donated to the ‘Comité Français pour la Sauvegarde de Venise’. This association has a long history of raising funds to restore invaluable monuments in Venice, such as the Correr Museum or the Venier Casino.
DID YOU KNOW? Discover how Venice finances its cultural heritage
Prices range from £ 15 to £ 100.
Original wall decoration can be bought at Plum Plum Creations of Arianna Sautariello. This young Venetian artisan continues the ancient printmaking tradition in Venice. She started her shop in the Cannaregio district to realize her passion for arts and design. She makes etches (copperplates, linocuts, litographs), paintings, drawings and photographs of the Venetian scenery. If you are in Venice, you can visit her shop and watch her at work. When I visited her, I watched her experimenting with a new etching, from cleaning the etch to the printing on wet paper. It’s quite impressive and it adds a personal memory to your gift. Alternatively, you can watch her videos, which she regularly posts on social media. She sells all her work online and ships it worldwide.
DID YOU KNOW? Cannaregio: A walk along artisans and history
Prices range from € 10 to € 300.
There are hundreds, or even thousands of books on Venice, so you should easily find one which you or your friend haven’t read yet. A series which I can recommend is Dream of Venice. To get into the Venetian mood, you just need to browse through these books. The beauty of Venice is shown with large pictures taken all over the island. These are not necessarily the traditional landmarks, but often hidden corners or unexpected views. Each picture is accompanied by a text from a contributor with a special connection to Venice, or by an excerpt from a novel on Venice. A portion of the proceeds of the first book ‘Dream of Venice’ goes to the non-profit organization ‘Save Venice’, and of the second book ‘Dream of Venice Architecture’ to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia.
DID YOU KNOW? Castello: Mark these hidden gems on your Venice map
If you prefer a novel to daydream about Venice, there is also plenty of choice. There are romantic novels, but also suspense books or even comics. It just depends on what you are interested in. I personally find novels a very fun way to discover new things in Venice. I have often stepped in the footsteps of these fictive characters on our trips to Venice: I know where they live, work or died, I have eaten in the same restaurants or I visited their favourite places. Discover some inspiration for titles by following this link to ‘My 10 favourite novels that are set in Venice’.
Prices range from € 15 to € 35.
If you want to surprise your loved one with a trip to Venice or you have a friend who likes to visit Venice, you can surprise him/her with (a voucher for) a personalized travel program of The Venice Insider. It will make the trip more fascinating, as you/they will discover hidden secrets based on my insider experience.
This gift will entitle you to:
– A day-by-day program with information on where to go and when, which landmarks or expositions to visit, tips for nice restaurants or bars, how to go from one place to the other and so on
– Not only the main touristic sites, but also more local experiences in the different sestieri of Venice
– Personalized to preferences and travel plan
If you know the person very well and you know the exact travel dates, you can order the personalized program yourself. Alternatively, I will send you a voucher and I will develop the program once they have contacted me with their travel date and preferences. You can find more information on the advice page of my website or send me an email with your questions or order.
DID YOU KNOW? Insider tips for your first trip to Venice
Prices start at € 250 for a 3 day program.
Puzzles are a gift that many people like, no matter how young or old they are. Puzzles with pictures from Venice exist in all different levels of difficulty. I have seen some of 70 pieces, but also very large ones of 6,000 pieces. The Ravensburger puzzle with the view on the Bacino di San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore counts 1,500 pieces and measures approx. 60 cm on 80 cm. Due to the reflection of the building in the water from the acqua alta, many pieces are almost identical. This makes it extra complicated, but it was very fun to make it. If you like the image on the puzzle, you could apply puzzle glue afterwards and hang it on the wall.
Starting from your best picture of Venice, you can also create a personalized puzzle. If you want to surprise a child, you can order it in 12 large pieces. If it’s for a puzzle addict, you can go up to 2,000 pieces. You can also add a personal message on the box. Your photo puzzle will be a very unique gift which your family or friends will certainly enjoy.
DID YOU KNOW? Why San Giorgio Maggiore is worth your visit
Prices range from € 10 to € 60.
This is a gift I bought for my husband, but I was so tempted to see the end result that I actually made it myself. The Lego Architecture series is suited for children from the age of 12 and for anyone who’s young at heart and likes to build. The Venice model shows the Campanile, the Rialto bridge, the San Marco basilica and the Bridge of Sighs. Even though it consists of 212 small pieces, it is not as big as you might expect. It measures 26 cm x 4 cm and is 15 cm heigh. In the box, you will find a booklet with a detailed description of the different construction steps. Unless you’re really into Lego, I don’t think it’s feasible to make it without this guidance.
DID YOU KNOW? 8 spectacular models of the 2016 Architecture Biennale
Prices range from € 36 to € 45.
7. Model boat
The main characteristic of Venice is without any doubt the fact that it’s built on water. Everyone who visits the city will certainly admire all the different boats on the canals. An original gift for someone who likes to tinker is a model kit for one of the typical Venetian boats. You have the choice between a gondola, a watertaxi, a vaporetto (the water bus), a sandolo (a special type of rowing boat) or a sailing boat. The wooden models come in a flat package with the pieces laser cut. The detailed construction drawings and the step-by-step guidance on the website of Gilberto Penzo are a great support. Examples of other clients give inspiration on how to decorate and finish your model.
If your friend likes boats, but doesn’t like to spend too much time building them, you can also buy one of the ready-made boats. Or you can buy a model and make it yourself before you give it. This allows you to tailor the colours as you want or to add some specific details. For instance, my husband is now assembling the gondola to make it resemble our wedding gondola. You can follow his day-by-day progress on my Pinterest board.
DID YOU KNOW? Don’t miss the daily boat parades on the Venice canals
Prices range from € 25 to € 70.
When I was looking for a new purse a couple of years ago, I couldn’t find one that I liked. Until I came across the beautiful and fully customizable designs of Efratul. This was exactly what I was looking for. I decided to order one with a map of Venice on one side, and one of my hometown on the other side. This way, I am always reminded of my 2 favourite cities. You can position and zoom the roadmap as you want. I even asked to add a little heart on the location of Palazzo Cavalli where we got married. You can also choose the colour of the zipper, and the seize of the purse. Efrat is very helpful, so whatever you have in mind, I’m sure she will try her best to manage it. I have it now for a couple of years, and, even though it’s getting a bit dirty, I still use it daily.
DID YOU KNOW? How to organize your destination wedding in Venice?
Prices range from € 12 to € 21.
Another idea to customize your gift with a map of Venice and/ or your home town is jewellery. Whenever we are in Venice, we always go on a hunt for cufflinks in Murano glass. So, when I discovered these cufflinks of EVY Designs, I couldn’t resist buying them with a map of Venice. They are handmade from old roadmaps and show the city of your choice. It’s very original and you will for sure get many compliments when wearing these. In the same style, you can also order bracelets, keyrings or necklaces.
DID YOU KNOW? Books on Venice
Prices range from € 22 to € 60 €.
10. 3D printed sculpture
Finally, the last idea is a limited edition 3D sculpture from The Venice Insider. The sculpture is a replica of one of the lions which you can find on the Piazzetta dei Leoncini, on the left side of the San Marco basilica. I’m sure you recognize this on the picture below. These two lions have been designed by Giovanni Bonazza and were presented by Doge Alvise Mocenigo in 1722. They are made in red marble from Cottanello.
We have now digitized this marble lion. It is currently being printed in 3D with a wooden filament in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Each lion will be numbered and comes with a certificate. It measures approx. 10 cm * 7 cm * 5 cm, so it’s perfect for decoration on your bookcase, a desk, a nightstand or on the windowsill. It is wrapped in a luxury black box which you can use as a base to exhibit it. This is an excellent gift for yourself or for anyone else who loves Venice as much as you do.
To order this cute 3D lion, please send me an email and I will get back to you with the practical details for the payment and shipment. If you have a lucky number, let me know and I will send you this lion if he’s still available.
I hope you found some nice gifts in this article. If not, you might be inspired by my other gift guides with a variety of presents and experiences which you can buy online or in Venice.
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