Ask a traveller why they've come to Venice, and you'll get an array of answers. The glittering canals lined with magnificent architecture. The profusion of galleries and museums boasting the unparalleled works of history's greatest artists. The incredible cuisine served in charming trattorias and on sun-soaked terraces.
Ultimately, though, they're all here in search of the same thing: beauty. And if there's one place to seek out beauty among the treasures of La Serenissima, if there’s one glamorous destination within a glamorous destination to behold, it's Fondaco dei Tedeschi.
Housed in a stunning and meticulously restored 15th-century building on the famed Grand Canal, just steps from the iconic Rialto Bridge, Fondaco dei Tedeschi began life as the headquarters of the city's German merchants. Today, it is home to the first European outpost of luxury duty-free purveyors DFS, a mecca for well-heeled travellers in search of the finest products from the world's most exclusive brands.
From watches and precious jewellery to fine wines, objets d'art and the latest fashions by top designers, Fondaco dei Tedeschi caters to your heart's every desire – with exacting service to match. Enlist the help of personal shoppers and stylists, have a gift embossed or engraved, enjoy beauty consulting, personal tailoring and complimentary customised service with select luxury labels such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co. or Louboutin.
More than a shopping centre, however, Fondaco dei Tedeschi prides itself on being a champion of the arts on Venice's pre-eminent cultural scene, curating an impressive programme of ongoing events spanning photography exhibitions, musical concerts, artist talks, literary readings and more. The spotlight is currently shining on Leila Alaoui with an exhibition of the Franco-Moroccan artist's large-scale photography, on display until 27 November.
Though your shopping bags may be full and your artistic appetites sated, it’s not yet time to leave – no visit to Fondaco dei Tedeschi would be complete without glimpsing its crowning glory: the rooftop terrace. Affording breathtaking views over the Grand Canal and the city's terracotta rooftops, it's the perfect spot for snapping enviable photos and drinking in the very thing that brought you here in the first place – that uniquely Venetian beauty.