The Glass Island

Murano Travel Blog

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Today on our free day,our tour leader has used her charm to get a great price on a private tour by vaporetto to the nearby island of Murano.

A Glassmaking centre Since 1291, this tiny Venetian island has became the home of Venice's glassmaking industry because its production posed quite a fire hazard. Since most of the buildings in Venice were constructed mostly of wood at this period in history and the extreme heat that is required to make glass liquid so as to mold and shape it proved deadly on more than one occasion.

Glassmaking has quite an exalted tradition in Venice. It is considered an art form, after all. In the 14th century, the daughters of Murano's biggest glassmaking families were allowed to marry into the Venetian nobility.

This was quite a high honor indeed. Artisans were also allowed to carry swords and enjoyed immunity from prosecution which was indeed a significant rarity in the Venetian city state of the High Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance.

Murano Island today is a significant tourist attraction to those visiting the Venice area. You can get there by vaporetto, the public water bus or by a private motor boat taxi. It only takes about ten or fifteen minutes to get to Murano from St. Mark's Church or from the Fondamenta Nuove. Along the way, you'll pass San Michele Island which is home to a world-famous cemetery. 

We visit one of the factories for a tour and have a go at blowing some glass. My Prancing horse turning into something rather less noble. Good fun none the less and we gawp in aew at the master glass maker producing such intricate and colourful shapes in such a short space of time.

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photo by: Stevie_Wes