The name Venice evokes images of canals and gondolas, and romantic Italian dinners. However, Venice is also an arts and handicraft mecca.
One of the city’s most popular souvenirs is Murano glass, which was originally produced on Isola di Murano, just off the coast of Venice.
The island makes a perfect day visit and getting there from Venice is easy; simply hop on the #41 or #42 waterbus that leaves from Fondamente Nove.
Isola di Murano is a popular tourist destination, so any hotel concierge or local should be able to tell you how to get there if you get confused.
Once you get to the island, there is plenty to see and do; granted, most of it is related to the production of Murano glass. To learn more about this artistic tradition, head to the Murano Museum of Glass, located near the Basilica of Santa Maria and San Donato (Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano). The museum’s fascinating collection features a wide array of glass items, arranged in chronological order. Across the street from the museum is a glassmaking factory that offers demonstrations throughout the day.
Similar demonstrations take place in workshops throughout Murano, including those along Fondamenta dei Vetra and on Viale Garibaldi. Look for the “Fornace” sign. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase Murano glass items (vases, bowls, jewelry, etc.) on the island and in Venice proper.
Another popular site on the island is the Basilica di S. Donato – Murano. This impressive structure dates back to the 12th century. Some of the fully restored church’s most striking features include the Byzantine mosaic on the vault and on the floor of the narthex. Be sure to take a stroll along the Murano Grand Canal, crossed by Vivarini Bridge (also called “Long Bridge”). This wide canal and divides the island into two parts.
See beautiful Murano for yourself with these cheap flights to Venice.
Flickr: Hengist Decius