I really did not know what to expect thrift-wise when I got to Venice. My Italian girlfriend-turned-sister who has been by my side throughout all my years in Italy lives in the center of this beautiful city and mapped out every possible spot for me to get elbow deep in Venice vintage. So as soon as I got there, and after a thrifty glass of Venice wine called ‘ombre’, we hit the streets! My first impression was that the vintage stores were quite nice, but the church benefit shops were like nothing I have ever seen in Italy.
I became legitimately addicted to finding the church shops and really kept going back to one in particular at least once a day while i was there.
If it was closed it looked like an abandoned shed and if it was open it was 2 person max at a time. It was a cave of floor to rafter, constantly evolving treasure to uncover. And once we had completely tapped this shop and brought all our friends to get something too, the lady told us that there was one more great shop we needed to visit.
It was a beautiful walk from this side of the historical center to a residential neighborhood of uncanny beauty. I was afraid we were not going to get there in time, but another great thing about the church shops in Venice is that they have store hours they are open from morning till evening and closed for a couple hours at lunchtime.
Coats seemed to be the theme this trip. As I mentioned in my last article Seasonal Style I am always amazed that even in benefit shops and at markets Italians stick to the season! And that the church shops have extremely interactive and helpful volunteers.
Once I stocked up I hit the streets to photograph my steals in their natural Venetian habitat, also hoping to stumble across some new shops as well. Although I only found the cutest roundest Venetian glass artisan. I had so much fun exploring and snapping away.
These shoes from a hole-in-the-wall thrift shop just scream Venice to me. The color and the decollete are both extravagant and old school.
Beautiful little black wool hat like all of the deep black gondolas slithering through the canals.
I promptly adopted this maroon Mary-Poppins-like leather bag, but this gorgeous 80’s Made in Italy icon Naj Oleari school bag my still be up for grabs at Pieceology Vintage and waiting to be toted around all summer long.
I know I have said I don’t really talk about food, but when it is cheap food I feel entitled! I absolutely loved the culture of eating and drinking in small cheap portions at any time of day you wanted. I am also a lover of the Tramezzino, an Italian crust-less sandwich, which I learned very quickly is a Venetian specialty and yes I tried every different kind, from tuna and hard boiled eggs to asparagus and mushroom cream. Usually at 1.6o euro a pop you could also get a mini beer “Birrino” or chilled house wine (chilled either red or white, it is not the good stuff , but oh it is good) for 1-1.50 euro a pop. Modern Thrifter in the Old World food heaven, quick and perfect for in between thrifting fuel!
I could definitely see myself finding an Airbnb this winter in Venice and passing a month or so thrifting and enjoying the old-school underbelly of Venice that I never knew existed!