The Venice/Mestre region of Italy is well known throughout the country, and the rest of the world, for its great shopping.  The area is home to just about every designer shop imaginable--from clothing to furniture to fine dishware.  It is also home to several shops which are unique to the area, selling all types of locally-made items from deluxe leather goods and jewelry to harder-to-find items like hand-made lampshades and antique books. 

Made in Italy ( www.made-in-italy.com) is an excellent resource for shopping in the Venice/Mestre region (as well as in cities in the rest of Italy).  The site lists recommended shops in the area, tested by the site's authors, and gives full descriptions of what they sell, their addresses and hours of operation.  Among the shops recommended on the site is Vittorio Constantini, an artist-owned boutique selling all types of hand-blown glass items for which the Veneto region is famous.  The shop specializes in unique glass sculptures of animals and insects.  For hours of operation and directions call before visiting:  041-717719.

Also featured on the website is Livio di Marchi, a local sculptor whose wooden creations have been featured in Emporio Armani shops in London.  His unique designs can be seen and purchased at the shop.  Call for hours:  041-528-5694.