On a recent visit to Venice I sailed to Murano, about a half our ride in a waterbus. Murano is very small and bereft of most amenities such as trattoria (cafe), hotel or even the usual tourist junk sellers. It's also very quiet there.
People on Murano are just focused on their glass making, which is a huge money business for them, and they don't want to use up their time & talents making beads. The big money sellers are huge wonderful vases, statues, sculptures, fountains, chandeliers, life size glass animals, etc.
The only reason to visit Murano is just to buy murano. There is nothing else of interest in this island. Nice shops and wonders of murano stuff like art glass, ancient and modern style glass, glass sculptures, ornamental items, mirrors, table glass, chandeliers.....and much more. We visited Vetreria Rossetto Estevan (one of the most fashionable Murano's Vetreria). As you can see from this photo I bought 6 interesting pieces of a Murano collection and my friend bought 5 pieces (by the way...the white cow in the middle belongs to me as well) :) The gentleman in the photos is the manager or the director of this Vetreria and he was very helpful and gentle. He stayed with us patiently explaining all that various material of his murano collection. He accompanied us to watch the glass blowers as well. It was very interesting and nice as you can see from the photos i chose for you.
Like Venice, Murano has some very narrow streets. This one on Murano could hardly fit two people down it - especially some of the larger members on our tour. It is no wonder then that many get lost when walking around these places (Venice especially). This closeness is very typical of the area and largely due to the lack of land so the locals have to make the best use of what they have!!
A trip to Murano is not complete without visiting one of their famous glass makers. You can view items being produced then go in to the shop to buy a piece. The large stores can ship items anywhere in the world so it will always get home safe (hence the premis behind the Shakespeare play). When you visit these places you will note the absense of sales staff until you are ready to buy when these helpful ladies & gents appear from nowhere.......
This path is pretty beaten actually. Of the 3 islands outside venice.. this is probably the most visited island. Tours come here by throngs.. and everybody else comes here to find a good buy to bring back home. I wanted to get something back too.. But the good quality pieces were so pricey.. so i had to settle with a sub standard piece.. but i still like my buys.. cherries.. a plate and a gondola figurine.
I bought some other gifts too.. like a wine bottle stopper which was nice.. and small pendants for my gfs.
We took the Vaporetto to the Island of Murano and got off at Colonna stop and walked along Fondamenta dei Vetrai which is lined solidly with shops selling glass of all designs.
We did find that you can buy the glass just as cheap if not cheaper in shops in venice which were away from the main tourist areas.
The island is worth a visit if you are staying for say 3 days.
Vaporettos 41 and 42 will get you to this island in about half an hour.
Murano glass museum is obviously located on the Island of Murano, no surprise there !
Its open Winter - 10am -4pm and Summer 10am -5pm Thu-Tue.
Its not a huge museum and wont take too long to go round but does give a fascinating insight into history of glass and how glass is made.
Its located a few step from Museo waterbus stop on Murano.
Not your usual place to visit I grant you, but on walking through the back streets of the Island of Murano we found this beautiful and very well kept up cemetery.
Im sure if we had headstones like this in England they would sadly be smashed very quickly.
To get to the cemetery its called Cimtero Nuovo on the maps and from the Venier waterbus stop go right up St Com del Cimtero and its straight ahead.
For shopping, this is where to go. If you have several days in Venice, you may get bored. Bored? How is it possible in this beautiful place? THere are plenty of churches, art and things to do, but museums are not for everyone. You can walk around for days, taking in the scenery, nuzzling with your loved one, but when you see the shops, you will want to buy. If you have time, WAIT. Go to Murano, and you will see the best quality products, and so many styles. THe prices will also be much better, and they will ship. You can also watch the glass blowers. Buy lanterns, glasses, plates, sculpture. Beautiful!
It was really interesting to see exactly how they do when creating the Venetians lamps... WOW!
It’s a classic father-to-son work, where the son is a trainee to his father who are the "master" and was trained by his father etc. etc.
The training takes 15-20 years before becoming the "master’s right hand" can you imagine 15-20 years!!!
We went to Murano’s glass fabric where a vase - a very beautiful one, cost 1400 Euro!!!
The Murano Glass Museum was founded in 1861 when the darkest period in the history of Murano glassmaking had been overcome, following the fall of the Republic of San Marco (1797) and the subsequent years of foreign rule.
Following the fusion of Murano with Venice Municipality in 1923, the Glass Museum became part of the Venetian Civic Museums.
The museum’s collection was further expanded by the addition of the Correr, Cicogna and Molin Collections which include, among other things, the most beautiful Renaissance pieces in the museum.
Let’s take a closer look at the lighthouse (faro) of Murano. Murano is located just north of Venice and is world famous for its Venetian glass. On this island you can watch glassblowers at work making all kinds of beautiful objects. I had to make a choice, as I only had a few days to visit Venice. So I decided to skip Murano on this trip. Sigh, I wish I could see it all! Hahaha, I guess it's a good motivation to go back to Venice again. I don't think this city with its beautiful islands will ever start to bore me.
If you want to buy glass, Murano is probably the best place to buy it. There is literally TONS of glass. If you are looking for that unique artisan piece or you just want to look for some little trinket to take home, this is the place to look. The same pieces that you see selling on Venice island are here in Murano, but much less expensive.
Hop on the vaporetto and head over to Murano for a free glass-blowing demonstration and then head into the multitudes of shops. If you are a glass lover, you can probably spend the entire day there.
Some of the shops there are part of the tax-free shopping system and some of them do their own tax-free forms. Just remember to get your customs stamp before leaving the European Union.
Murano is just a mile north of Venice - so no excuses for not visitng whilst here. Its actually a cluster of 5 islets, linked by bridges. The famous venetain glassware can be seen in workshops here - thats the touristic bit - but also just wander around the canals and take in the views. Its a miniature version of Venice and much more peaceful! We stayed on Murano for 4 nights in July 2004 so please see my Murano page for more details and info.
" The glass island". Indeed, if you visit Murano, you'll see its famous export product everywhere: the Murano glass.
Murano is a nice little island a bit outside of Venice and often people visiting Burano and Torcello also visit this island. So did I. It was ok, but couldn't compete with the beautiful colours of Burano nor the quietness of Torcello. Murano has a beautiful church worth visiting. I'll soon build my Murano page, stay tuned.