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Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

NJF
Florida
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Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

We are leaving on a land and cruise vacation in 2 1/ 2 wks- finally!! With the Euro SO SO SO high, does anyone have any great ideas for gifts to bring back for both married children and employees-and which, if there is, a "better" buy in one place or another- For example: 1) Venice or Florence 2)Corful or Sanatrini or 3) city or country -ie Seina,etc. 4) cruise ship or airport !? There is nothing worse than not buying something because you are sure you'll find it for less later on in yout trip- or vis-versa ,and you don't! ( Been there,done that!) But I don't want to get taken either- Also, any feelings about purchases in Turkey?

Thanks for the advice and help.

Michigan
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1. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

We just returned from Italy and did most of our gift shopping in Florence. I bought several (and should have bought more) packages of marbled paper notecards made in Florence. Florence is known for marbled papers and these can be found in the San Lorenzo Market as well as other places. Small packets of 10 cards/envelopes were $4 Euros. We also brought back leather belts (for the guys) and Pashmina scarves (for women). Leather notebook holders, legal size, were $30 Euros and very nice. And ties! The silk ties in the San Lorenzo market are wonderful gifts and range form $3.50-$7 Euros for good ties.

Ravenna, Italy
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2. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

When I see something that i think would be perfect for a family member or a friend I buy it on the spot. It has to be meaningful and something they will treasure. Just to buy something because it is cheap is not a good idea.

Don't buy any thing with the name of the city or country on it. You know a plate with Greece written on the front!

In Venice of course glass, in Florence leather or gold. beautiful writing paper.

In Greece it is fun to buy your girl frinds The Evil Eye. they are usually in silver on a silver chain and they are fun and different.

I have never been to Turkey.

NJF
Florida
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3. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

Glass- you mean the Murono glass or is there alot of others to look at or is it from local artisians? Is it worth the visit to the Murano factory when you're not a real fan of their designs?

And who would buy a plate w/ the country's name on it unless you had a child doing something for International day in sch and you were in THAT country...............yuk!

What about buying duty free on the cruise and in the airports?

Ravenna, Italy
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4. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

Have you ever worked at your local rummage sale? I have. We always get plates and glasses that auntie has brought back from her travels for Little Billy. they have Greece written on them, or the leaning tower of Pisa embossed in the middle all sorts of tacky things!

Well, take a look at the ship stores. they usually have a variety ( limited) of things from the various countries where you will be visiting. some times on a cruise it is a good way to entertain yourself when "at sea".

Often when the ship docks there will be vendors setting up shop right on the dock. They will be seilling the crafts of their country.

Oh there are some beautiful glass in Venice. Made by local artist. Museum quality and very expensive. Murano has all sorts of glass. I don't know what you mean...you don't like Muranoo Glass? They make all sorts. elegant, simple designs to designs that have various colors and cupid on the bowl. they have something for evryone.

You probabl;y have limited time so I would say dont go to Murano there are 10 million glass shops in Venice.

NJF
Florida
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5. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

Thank you for letting me know about the glass places- and since the ship is round trip Venice, I can check prices before the cruise and then make a decision- Do you find shopping in the city or the country -side more affordable? After Venice, we train to Florence and then drive and stay for a few days in the Chainti area.

Again, thank you for your thoughts-

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

I told you I buy things when i see them and think the person that is getting the gift would like it. Per example: Last year I went to Tuscany for the day. I was telling the tour guide that my son rode racing bikes. The guide said, Oh so do I. Would he like a racing suite with the Black Rooseter of Chianti on the front? I said, probably. so we went into a village and the guide found the shop and I bought the racing suit.

It all depends on whom you are buying for It just happened my son likes to race bikes and he loved the Black Rooster suit.

Not many people wold have appreciated it.

Most areas of Italy have something that they are famous for.I live in Emilia Romagna. We are famous for Romagna fabric made at the Pascucci family.. Also for the pottery from Faenza. Amoung other things.

Just be sure that the silk you might buy in the San Lorenzo Market in Florence says Made In Italy on the tag. Lots os silk and leather and lace (in Venice) is now made in China.

Anchorage, Alaska
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7. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

Agatha - I read on another post you get the best bargins the further you are away from the source. Exp....replica of Leaning Tower of Pisa would be less expensive in Florence or Venice than Pisa. Is this true? I ask because I am wondering about glass in Venice, especially glass beads for my best friend who makes jewelry. Would I be better off price wise getting glass beads (Murano hopefully) in say Rome? Any help you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Nottingham, United...
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8. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

NJF - as someone else posted, paper goods from Florence - famous for handmade paper - how about a map of the area which could be framed when you get home? Easily transportable. Personally wouldn't bother with a visit to Murano while in Venice - loads and loads of shops selling the same thing and everyone wants you to do a 'tour' of their factory and then try to sell you something afterwards! Venice itself is full of the stuff also! Agree with agatha - we buy the right thing for the right person when we see it (budget permitting!) - you may not go back to these places and they could have special memories. Also, as a gift for everyone how about Parmesan cheese!! SOOO cheap in Italy, is shrinkwrapped so can be packed in your suitcase and is pretty much representative of Italy as a whole!!

LovingAnchorage - regarding Murano glass beads etc. - for example we travel regularly to Sorrento and after our visit to Venice found that Murano glass pieces were cheaper there than in Venice so you could be right to buy elsewhere. Again though if you see that 'perfect' item for somebody you should get it on the spot! How many times have I seen a handbag that I love only to look around at others elsewhere and then go back and it has gone!? (Just ask my hubby!)

Ravenna, Italy
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9. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

It is best to ask at your hotel to send you to a seller of glass beads. I would say at least half of the glass beads sold in Italy (and else where) are made in China.

I often see signs in shops in Venice saying MURANO GLASS. They want you to know they are selling original glass.

I disagree with the "tour" of the glass factories in Murano. They do show you how glass is blown and they do show you their show rooms. they never, ever insist that you buy one thing. You can walk through the show rooms and look at all the beautiful items. If you do want to buy you then inquire with the sales person as to the price etc. It is not hard sell. This is "tourist" her say about the hard sell..I go to Murano often and never has anyone tried to sell me a salt shaker! Again, misconception that the Italians run tourist traps and are out to rip off the visitors.

I would buy the glass in Venice. To be sure it is original Murano.

Nottingham, United...
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10. Re: Looking for best gifts buys Venice of Florence,Corfu or Sant

Regarding the visit to Murano - didn't say it was hard sell and we certainly do not consider Italy to be a tourist trap at all. We went to the island for a visit (without being fans of the glass personally either) and enjoyed walking through the small factory seeing glass blowing close up and were then shown to the showroom at the end - no, no obligation to buy but felt obligated - along with others - to wander around looking at pieces we had absolutely no intention of buying. No charge for entrance and no insistence that we bought anything. Very 'samey' though in our experience although we did have a very good lunch!

If you do go, we were advised against taking up the offer of a 'free' boat trip to the island as apparently then you really are expected to visit a specific establishment once there.

For glass - go to one of the 10 million glass shops in Venice if you want to - and make the most of Venice itself as it is a fabulous place.