Small and independent Venice shops that need our help after the flood

Venice - Marisa Convento portrait
Marisa Convento

Marisa Convento is the most famous Venetian impiraressa, the word for a woman who makes Venetian glass bead jewellery. Everyone in Venice knows her, because she also actively contributes to initiatives to promote hidden gems and little-known artisanal treasures. Her creations are simply magnificent and her designs are mentioned in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Venice. The day after the first flood, she shared this list on Facebook page, naming the independent shops, artists and places most affected by the flood.

Venice - Acqua alta in Rialto

Acqua alta in Rialto. Source: Flickr

For these small businesses, this record-breaking acqua alta has been an absolute disaster. They need a lot of support to recover. At The 500 Hidden Secrets, we want to try to help them by giving them a bit of extra visibility as they start to repair and rebuild their businesses. You can help by shopping with these local businesses online, or by paying them a visit during your next trip to beautiful Venice.

Fosca Urbani, whose wonderful glasses brighten the lives and the eyesight of so many of us. Her shop Ottica Urbani has been severely damaged because it lies in the area adjacent to the Piazza Ascensione. Lots of expensive materials and equipment has been lost. They also sell online.

Monica Novello sells the most beautiful wools in the world, made in Italy with love. She and her adorable mother ‘Lellabella’ (who gave her name to the LellaBella shop) make unique knitted garments that are real works of art, and they ship all over the world. The store is located on the Cortesia bridge just behind Campo Manin, so it suffered a lot of damage as it’s located right on the canal.

Loredana Schiavon - aka Lolli - and her daughter have owned a very nice accessories and clothing shop for many years, which is perfect for holiday gifts. They sell accessories for all budgets, carefully selected and among the best made in Italy. They also sell original furlane, the traditional Venetian shoes. Located in Calle della Cortesia/Mandola, they have also suffered a lot damage, so helping them is a good thing. They don't have a website, sorry.

Venetian optician Ottica Urbani
Ottica Urbani

Alessia Fuga has her workshop-atelier in Murano in Calle San Leonardo, behind Santa Maria and Donato. It had just been set up, and now many of her work tools are ruined. She needs your help to rebuild. Her Murano glass beads are among the most beautiful on the planet, and it's not coincidence that my creations are built around her work. Trust me, she deserves your support. She also sells online.

Stefania Giannici aka Paperoowl creates beautiful paper art. You can imagine the damage the flood has done to her stock of precious materials. Her workshop in Santa Maria Materdomini was literally swept away. Stefania was awarded the Segalin prize for young artisans, and her creations are special, elegant and poetic.

There aren’t many people as brave and hardworking as Maria Mariano. She is an incredibly talented designer, an illustrator of books for adults and children, with a boundless love for Venice. A native of Brazil, she came here to study, and stayed for love. Her beautiful shop is on Campo San Cassian in Rialto. She makes gorgeous little stuffed animals that come right out of her books: seagulls, cats, fish. She's very good.

Venice - Alberto Valese Ebru paper artist

Alberto Valese Ebru's paper art

Carla Canazza Guadagni, the most brave and positive woman I know, never loses her smile, not even after this catastrophe. She is a skilled interior designer with great taste. In her gallery in San Samuele, in the direction of Palazzo Grassi, she displays elegant and chic furniture, accessories and decorations. Her wonderful smile alone is worth your visit.

Anna Toscano and Gianni Montieri are a couple of poets, writers, and teachers. They are husband and wife, married both in the Art of Literature as well as legally. Their home is a workshop of words, a museum of intellect. It was completely ruined by the highest tide of the century. Buy their books in bulk. Sign up for their writing courses. Let’s give them new household appliances.

Alberto Valese Ebru was the first artist to bring the art of marbled paper to Venice. His workshop went underwater, and even the shop in Campo Santo Stefano suffered the effects of the flood. Tasteful and well-made objects and decorative items that make perfect gifts.

antique books at the Libreria Linea d’Acqua
Libreria Linea d’Acqua

Libreria Bertoni Alberto: paper and books are especially scared of water, especially if it’s salty. This shop sells beautiful discounted books, including rare finds and art publications. Just like Linea D’Acqua, Libreria Goldoni, Cafoscarina, Marco Polo Bookshop, the scenic 'Acqua Alta’ and other bookshops, they suffered a lot of damage and inconvenience. Forget Amazon this holiday season, buy books and gifts from them.

Speaking of paper, we should also talk about Anita Marina Cerpelloni. She created a gallery, a hub for calligraphy, a place for paper arts in general. She is a creator and an architect, but she also sculpts lamps with a thousand intricate folds, in another wonderful workshop next to Caigo da Mar in the San Samuele area, near Palazzo Grassi.

Alessandra Micolucci is an independent Venetian fashion designer. She is among those who have lost everything.

Venice - Perlamadre design


Alessandra Gardin, aka Kirumakata, creates contemporary lampwork jewellery. She shares her workshop with a very good ceramist in Sant'Anna, at the end of Via Garibaldi, Castello, one of the areas most affected by the storm.

In Murano there is obviously also a lot of damage: Monica Cavaletto, for example, creates beautiful Murano glass bijoux, lamps and objects. The Ferrovetro atelier is highly regarded internationally.

In Calle delle Botteghe in San Barnaba, there are several artisan ateliers: I’d like to introduce you to Simona Patrizia Jacovazzi of Perlamadredesign, who creates lampwork beads and glass jewellery. She also sells online, and in the area there are many other nice shops to see.

Venice - Ponte dei Sogni toystore christmas window
Ponte dei Sogni

Sabrina Manuela Pigozzo, designer and stylist for Sartoria dei Dogi, is an incredible multitasker. She creates everything from ‘butterfly’ caftans in thousands of precious fabrics to sturdy bags made from repurposed kite-surfing sails, very elegant purses in Fortuny-style printed velvet to cashmere jackets and coats, and of course her famous Venetian embroidered shawls with colourful wools and beads. At San Stae in Calle del Tentor 1840.

Ponte dei Sogni, the only traditional toy store in Castello in Sant'Antonin 3473, has suffered tremendous damage.

Arianna Sautariello of Plum Plum, an artisan printing company specialized in artistic engravings, suffered a lot of damage as well. They are in Fondamenta degli Ormesini, 2681, in Cannaregio.

And last but not least, Laura Padoan is an incredible artist who is an expert in the art of Tiffany stained glass and leaded stained-glass windows. She creates large works on commission but also small creations to give as gifts, and beautiful jewels.

Venice - Plum plum creations

Plum Plum Creations