Carpe diem. That was the name of the third of the four thrift stores I'd pinned to my map of Venice, Italy. It was also the third of four strikeouts: stores that simply didn't exist in reality or were inexplicably closed. I shrugged it off. Brad had been a patient co-navigator, and Venice isn't known for authenticity, especially at a bargain.
However, soggy weather, a bad dining experience at lunch, and miscellaneous rudeness had us pegging the last day of our honeymoon as a bit of a bust. After regaining our sense of perspective (You're in a city built over a LAGOON celebrating your HONEYMOON with the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE), we wound up stumbling into the best dining experience we had in Venice. I wish I could tell you Trattoria Bar Pontini is off the beaten track, but it's not really. Go for the flamboyant, attentive and utterly charming server who doesn't speak a word of English. Stay for the luscious tiramisu and decent prices.
Coming out of Pontini, we were down to the final 30 minutes of our trip. Lo and behold, right next to the restaurant was a 'luxury thrift' store. The sign didn't say Carpe Diem, but it might as well have. We popped in for the briefest of browses, and I found this impeccably tailored, well-constructed jacket. The brand is Paola Prata, which originally started in a small studio in a town outside Venice, and is now sold in a handful of branded boutiques in Italy. Brad made my day by buying it for me as a souvenir of our trip (see: love of my life, above) and winning over both the saleswoman and me with a spontaneous phrase in Italian (translated for my sake): Neppure lontanamente bella come te.
Blouse - Banana Republic, hand-me-down
Jacket - Paola Prata, thrifted
Jeans - Guess, Winners
Shoes - Guess, Winners
Earrings - Gift
Bracelet - BHLDN