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The beautiful colonnaded exterior of the apse of this church are the architectural highlight I found most memorable from my brief visit to Murano. The exterior of this church is very attractive, but it's main attractions are those inside. High up in the apse is a 12th century mosaic of the Vigin Mary made from glass, set against a gold background whilst under your feet is another 12th century mosaic which includes glass fragments from the islands industrial heritage.
The church was originally founded in the 7th century but was almost totally rebuilt in the 12th century when it gained it's dedication to the 4th century St Donatus as a result of his remains being moved here in 1125 from Cephalonia. St Donatus didn't arrive alone. His remains were accompanied by 4 bones claimed to be from a dragon that the saint had killed and they now hang behind the high altar.
The church is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 12 noon and 3.30pm to 7pm. On Sunday it's only open for the afternoon stint.
Updated Feb 6, 2012
Address: Campo San Donato, Murano
Housed in the Palazzo Giustinian on the Fondamenta Giustinian (a short step from the Murano Museo vaporetto stop) is the Glass Museum dedicated to Murano's long-standing connection with glass making. Unfortunately when we visited in February 2012 much of the museum was closed and so we didn't get to see all of what would normally be on display and this might explain why we left feeling somewhat disappointed.
There was a display downstairs of the 'archeological' collection which was fairly interesting and I was amazed that some of the more intricate items could possibly have been 1st century AD. There was a lack of any real commentary (in any language) which the display would have benefited greatly from.
Upstairs there was a display of some more modern items, many of which were simply amazing, but again no real information given to tell a coherant story. There was also a temporary exhibition area which at the time was occupied by some very beautiful glass beads produced by a local family glass factory. This display did have much more information given and this helped a lot.
There was at least one further floor but that was completely closed off at the time and I wonder if this is why they had perhaps had a rearrangement of the key items but not the information that would normally go with them? I was also surprised that so little information about the process of glass making was presented, although some information about developments seen in styles and fashions over the centuries was given.
At €8 for adult admission I did feel that this was a bit overpriced.
Written Feb 6, 2012
Address: Palazzo Giustinian, Fondamenta Giustinian 8,Murano
When you are in Murano, you should try to visit a glass factory and see how the skilled glass-makers produce the beautiful glass items. One of such a glass factory is the Mazzega Glass Factory, with a selection of some of the best glass makers in Murano (more information is at their website below). Mazzega Glass Factory is conveniently located along the Fondamenta Da Mula street (no. 147), along the Grand Canal of Murano (Canal Grande di Murano).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +39 041 736888
This is an age-old tradition in this part of Italy and this island is famous for its many glass products- usually jewelries, vaseds, jars, sculptures, lamps, etc.
The dedication and creativity are just mind boggling! We watched demo for under an hour and was treated to an intricate but seemingly easy method of glass blowing to produce an artistic design that is unequalled, one of a kind product in the world! Just amazing! All those done in a quiet setting away from the madding crowd of Venice mainland! This is a tranquil place worthy of a visit!
By the way, as this is a small island, this can only be reached by boat which we did, as we joined a tour of the three famous islands in Venice, we were not disappointed!
Written Jun 13, 2010
We got to Murano late. They kept the factory open for us though (all those good tourist dollars). They took us into the factory where there was one man (a master) who made a vase while we watched. It was black glass (although we couldn't really see that until the end because it was hot and therefore red) with little pieces of colored glass in it. Taking pictures was difficult because it was dark and the glass was moving. Afterwards they let us buy stuff in the showrooms.
Updated Jul 4, 2009
Address: Fondaenta Manin 1 - 30141 Murano
Phone: +39 041 736845
Murano is a small island and it´s very easy move in the island. The grand canal divide the island in two, is not bigger than the venezian one but is not crowed of people like the venezian. There are lots of shops and place to have a rest and a drink. Very recomended it is walk in the streets around the canal there i found the real Murano, streets full of colur, clothe hang it and lots of peace.%c
Murano es una isla pequeña y te puedes desplazar a pie por toda la isla. El gran canal la divide en dos, no es el gran canal de venecia pero está muy bién y es mas tranquilo hay muchas tiendas para hacer compras y sitios para tomarse algo. Si callejeas en los alredores del gran canal encontrarás la verdadera Murano con calles llenas de color, ropa colgada y mucha tranquilidad.
Written Aug 13, 2008
The church dates from century XIV but it was rebuilt in 1511. It´s very well decorated with importants works by Tintoretto and Veronese. There is a very important paint made by Giovanni Bellini and two pieces of the altar. The church is just 200 metres from the vaporeto stop and in the convergence of the Murano´s gran Canale.*
La iglesia data del siglo XIV, pero fue reconstruida en 1511. Esta iglesia está muy bien decorada con obras importantes hechas por Tintoretto y Veronese. Existe en esta iglesia una pintura muy importante hecha por Giovanni Bellini y dos piezas del altar elaboradas también por el mismo personaje. La iglesia se encuentra justo antes de la convergencia con el Canal Grande de Murano, a unos 200 metros de la estación del vaporeto.*
Written Aug 12, 2008
Address: Fondamenta dei Vetrai
The Museum of Glass is located in the Palazzo Giustinian around the corner from the Museo waterbus stop and near the Basilica of Santa Maria and San Donato. It has samples of glass from Egyptian times through the present day, and the displays show how the art and manufacture of glass developed over the centuries.
El museo del cristal se encuentra en el Palacio Guistinian, cerca de la basilica de Santa Maria y San Donato y haciendo esquina con la parada de Vaporetto. Tienen muestras de cristales desde los tiempos de los egipcios hasta el día de hoy y muestra como se ha desarrollado el arte y la manufacturacion se ha desarrollado a través de los siglos.
Updated Aug 12, 2008
Address: Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano
From 5th December 2007 until January 6th 2008, Murano has a display of glass sculptures at various spots around the island. The first one that I saw was in front of the clock tower in Campo San Stefano, later I came across a display of purple glass rods in a small campo.
As well as the outdoor sculptures, there had been a Christmas market - the wooden huts were there, but it had finished, presumably on the 23rd or 24th December, as had other Christmas markets in Venice and the Veneto. I'd also missed the food stalls selling gastronomic delights, the glassblowers demonstrating their craft - (special workshops are held for children to learn about the art of glassmaking - I wonder if any decided they wanted to be glassblowers when they grew up?), and I missed the discounted bargains in glassware - During the festival, the most famous companies open their warehouses and sell their products at a large discount. I visited on Dec 26th and 27th and didn't see any of these - but then again, I wasn't looking to buy any glass.
I presume this is an annual event - although Italians traditionally celebrate January 6th - La Befana - Christmas appears to be just as popular, with festivities all over the region.
Before my visit to Venice, I'd come across this Winter in Venice page, which lists a variety of events from 17th November to 6th January. So check it out to see what Christmas 2008 has to offer!
Written Jan 15, 2008
Phone: +39 041 5298711
This is one of a pair of churches, that are still in operation on Murano (in 1797, before the Republic fell there were 17)
This church dates back to 1363, but most of its architecture dates from 1474, when it was re built following a fire.
It was Christmas Day afternoon, when I entered the church, recorded Christmas music was playing, and the first thing I noticed was the Nativity Scene (Presepe)
The church is renowened for its 2 paintings by Giovanni Bellini
To be continued....
Written Jan 6, 2008
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