It has been almost a month since I went to Venice. There have been so many things to do on the Patch and in the sewing room over the past few weeks, I finally have time to sit down and write a few things about Venice.
I love Italy. I love their food, fashion and lifestyle. Therefore, I volunteered to ‘tag along’ at Andrew’s beck and call when he announced that he had a two day conference in Venice in late May.
A lot of people know of Murano, a small island in Venice producing many many beautiful chandeliers and glassware. However, not many people know that there is an even smaller island next to Murano called Burano, famous for the finest lace in the world. As we stayed a further couple of days in Venice after the conference, we planned a trip to both Murano and Burano to check things out.
Burano is a very quiet village compare to Venice. It takes about 40 minutes to walk from the top to the bottom of the village. It is a charming village with colourful houses. We went into Dalla Lidia, one of the oldest lace shops in Burano. It has a small museum at the back of the store. The store owner, Paola is famous for being commissioned by Dolce & Gabbana to produce a set of dinning table lace in their private home. I was very lucky to meet her in person, she is very friendly and full of energy despite her years. She showed me her master piece – the Last Supper which she hand made in lace. She said it took her many years to complete the piece – it is priceless.
We had a brief look at the museum at the back of the store, it was full of ancient laces from fans to wedding dresses. One particular dress caught my eye and I was told it was a wedding dress for a Belgian Princess and the dress took over 3 years to complete.
As I was in the world famous lace making village, I was hoping to get some lace fabrics for my next project. However, I quickly learnt that the stores are more interested in selling ready to wear or home accessory items. I bought home a hand made lace bed cover for our bed. We love it so much.
There are a few fabric stores in Venice, mainly home furnishing fabrics. They are all very beautiful and luxurious. I’ve promised myself to have all of our next home curtains (and an armchair) made in Venice!
If you are planning to go to Venice and would like to buy some beautiful fabrics home, these are the stores I highly recommend:-
1. If you are looking for home furnishing fabrics, you absolutely cannot miss Bevilacqua, it is a relatively small store in a not so eye catching corner within a square close to San Marco. You probably will find something (or all things) you like in this little store. The store has a lot of luxury fabrics in velvet and other natural fibre. It also sells a lot of tassels for curtains.
2. If you are looking for dressmaking fabrics, you may like to pop into G. Benevento, it has a lot of silk and suit making fabrics. Prices are quite dear as the store is quite central, but you will not be able to find the same fabric in the UK. Finally, you may also like to pop to the home furnishing store opposite. The store has a wide range of trimmings at very reasonable prices. Some of the trimmings are so pretty that you can add them on to garments.
I would love to hear of your fabric hunting experiences in Venice (or other cities around the world)!