Venetian Masks and other shopping

18 Feb 2010 brightside said

Hi All,

I was just wondering how much a proper, authentic Venetian mask will set me back? I dont mind paying a bit extra for the proper ones (as opposed to the cheap nasty, tourist ones) but any advice would be great... also beer steins in Germany and the Swarovski Museum??... I'm not a clothes shopper, more into knick knacks and decent, real souvenirs... not cheap and crappy stuff... i just wanna know in advance so i dont run out while im over there =)... thanks in advance and i hope you have a great day =D
  • 18 Feb 2010 FromOutoftheRain said


    Venetian masks can go anywhere from about 30 euros to 100 euros. Mine cost me 35 euros and I got it from a store in Venice.

    Beer steins can be anywhere from 5 to 30 euros depending on size and material it is made of.

    Swarovski can be expensive like a couple of humdred euros, but they do have quite a few small pieces for less than 30 euros.

    Hope this helps Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 18 Feb 2010 brightside said


    oh thanks heaps =)… that does help alot =D… also, what other kinds of things did you get from your tour?… im doing the European Experience on the 21st of June, tho i think i’ll do most of my souvenir shopping in Italy and Switzerland =)

  • 19 Feb 2010 ~*EmmaG*~ said


    I am definitely looking at buying a venetian mask too! are they very fragile or difficult to get back home in your luggage??

  • 19 Feb 2010 {Lex} said


    When looking at souvenirs your best option for shopping is Venice. Shops further away from the Square are cheaper but start getting more expensive again the closer you get to the bridge. Swarovski, we found was cheaper in shops in Lucern, Switzerland than in the actual gift shop, but the items were more limited. Flag charm bracelets (from Florence) are really popular made by nomination, but in Venice they have heaps of both knock offs and official versions for 1/2 the price. If in munich you can buy the glass beer steins cheap from the beer halls. They also take you to a beer stein shop in the Rhine (if you are going there) which has a massive range but can get into the 1000’s depending on what you want. Swiss army knives are awesome value in Switzerland, some are 10% of what you can get from Australia, so definitely a good buy – plus they will engrave them! Most venetian masks will be packed up for you by the shops so they are safe for luggage – but if you are nervous just take them home as carry on. Hopefully this helps, sorry if I bored anyone. Cheers

  • 19 Feb 2010 Leanne_in_Ontario said


    When I went on the European Magic tour last summer, I bought all three of those things. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    The beer stein I bought had the stamp on the bottom, and the shop owner said that’s how to tell the more authentic ones from the regular run-of-the-mill steins. Mine cost 80 Euro but I also sent tax receipts in at the Paris airport and received the tax back.

    The same at Swarovski in Austria – I spent about 250 Euro on two necklaces and a bracelet. It seems pricey but I wear my bracelet and necklace every day. I love it!

    The Venetian masks are the one thing I cheaped out on and I regret although I did buy the cheap touristy one. I ended up buying handmade Venetian lace and authentic Venetian glass vace so I spent my money there unfortunately. But I would estimate 100-150 Euro for a truly nice one. I even saw some for a few hundred Euro that had Swarovski crystals in them – they were amazing.

    I’m not sure which tour you’re doing but two other things – one I bought and one I wish I did was a Swiss watch, and a cuckoo clock. I wish I had’ve bought the clock. The watch turned out to be my favourite purchase!

    Have fun – those are great places to be seeing!

  • 19 Feb 2010 DasheR said


    This is a great topic =)
    I’m also into purchasing small meaningful. However I’ll be watching my budget. I’ve always wanted a venetian mask now I now how much to put aside =)

  • 19 Feb 2010 FromOutoftheRain said


    With the Venetian Masks make sure that you tell them you are traveling and ask for them to wrap it up well or take something like a thick scarf with you. A friend of mine went and ended up shattering hers because she didn’t get them to wrap it up well. I had mine wrapped in a lot of paper and a couple of shirts.

    In Switzerland I bought some jewelry from vendors in the market and they let me haggle them down from 50 euros to 20 euros for a necklace (mind this was a few years ago).

  • 19 Feb 2010 brightside said


    Oh Brilliant =D…. thanks so much for all the tips guys =D… I’m actually doing the European Experience tour departing on the 21st of July =)… what kind sort of things did they have in Lucerne with Swarovski? Basically all im after in terms of that are these awesome pens i saw on the online shop at the Swarovski website (as all the pendants etc seem a little more directed towards the women haha)… and also, im curious regarding the swiss watches too… where are the best places and how much am i looking at forking out? does anyone know?… I’ve checked out the contikipedia entries for the contiki recommended shops and also explored their websites (where possible) and im not completely sold on them all just yet, so any info regarding other hotspots with authentic stuff for decent prices would be AWESOME =D… i’m really glad all this info can help others too haha =D… hope you’re all having a great day/night =)… and thanks again =D

  • 19 Feb 2010 brightside said


    oh… and Venetian Glass!!!… does anyone have any advice regarding that?… im not looking for anything big (as i have a fair bit more travelling to do after Italy and i wouldn’t be confident taking anything large and breakable with me)… so how much would just small, authentic little figurines or trinkets be?… also is does anyone have any hints or tips regarding spotting real ones from fakes? thanks in advance =D

  • 20 Feb 2010 FromOutoftheRain said


    Does your tour go to Innsbruck, Austria or Austria at all? If so WAIT until you get there to buy from Swarovski as it is a lot cheaper there, also they have some fantastic show pieces that are really interesting to look at Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> (I have a photo of a chameleon made of crystals and a dragon which if I had had the money would have bought it was a couple of hundred thousand and quite large)

    For Venetian glass, on most tours if you are in Vencie the TM will take you to a place to watch Venetian glass be made and then you get a discount, sometimes all you have to say is “I’m with a Contiki Tour” and a lot of places will give you discounts or your TM can advise you on where are the better places to buy from, same with Swiss Watches. When I went our TM took us to a Watch store who gave us a 30% of discount on the watches, use your TM to your advantage that is what they are there for Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 20 Feb 2010 brightside said


    awesome, thanks =D… ummm, yeah im pretty sure im going to the Swarovski World shop in Innsbruck, its just that i’ve done some reading online about it and the things i’ve read have been mixed to negative about the place… and was the glass place contiki takes you to in Venice any good (like is it genuinely authentic)?… what kind of little trinkets can you pick up and how much are they?

  • 24 Feb 2010 FromOutoftheRain said


    The glass place we went to in Venice was really nice and the guy made a couple of little glass animals while we sat and watched him do it.

    I didn’t buy anything but my friend got a glass horse about 6 inches high for 25 euros.

  • 25 Feb 2010 gig08 said


    The glass demonstration in Venice is definitely authentic. They will actually tell you how you know whether the items in other shops are authentic or not (they come with a little certificate)— but the shop where Contiki takes you is great; they sell pretty much everything you’d see throughout Venice in regards to glass, and they also sell the masks.



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