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Souvenirs from Murano

Find the world’s most elegant handicrafts made from glass on the Venetian island of Murano.


Italy doesn’t cease to surprise us with its wonders. Each city hides a particular charm that makes it unique. Such is the case of its capital, Rome, with its millennial history that spans over the entire western world and, of course, Venice, which is currently the most touristic Italian city. However, this incredible urban center, famous for the Piazza San Marco and its carnival, is actually composed by hundreds of islands that shelter landscapes and traditions that are worth discovering. One of DINKtravelers’ favorite places is the island of Murano, where you will find the world’s most elegant handicrafts made from glass.


Murano is the most famous island in Venice as well as one of the most visited, due to the fame glass production has gained there. Venetians have worked glass since the tenth century; however, in the thirteenth century the decision was made to move the workshops away from Venice for fear that one of the furnaces could cause a fire and destroy the city. That is why glass production currently takes place in Murano –hence the name Murano glass. An interesting fact is that after the workshops were moved to Murano, some Venetians built country homes on the island because they believed that the smoke that came out of the workshops was beneficial to their health. Although this smoke is not exactly healthy, it’s definitely essential to visit Murano, because in addition to its unique crafts, the island has a lot of natural heritage to offer.


Departing from Venice, you can take the vaporetto. After having toured the Piazza San Marco, you will find the stop at San Zaccaria. Take vaporetto No. 42 which will take you to Murano. You’ll pass by Fonamente Nuove and San Michele Cemetery. The trip takes about 40 minutes, so have your camera ready and enjoy the views of Venice from afar.


In order to learn more about the history of glasswork, DINKtravelers recommends visiting the Vetrario Museum. It was founded in 1861 and its halls offer a tour throughout the history of glasswork and glass-making in Venice. You will find very old pieces which can compare with contemporary works; it’s really a visual delight. The Vetraio Museum is located at Palazzo Giustinian, between the vaporetto station Museo and the Basilica of Santi Maria and Donato. Vetraio Museum opening hours are from 10:00 to 18:00 h. Take into account that the ticket office closes at 17:00 h. Admission costs €5.50, but if you have the Venice Museums pass, you will not have to pay to visit it. Other fantastic places to learn more about glass tradition are the Murano glass factories. Along Murano’s main avenue you will find some and the best shops and most of them are open for travelers to visit. There you can attend demonstrations of craftsmanship and see how they make dinnerware, sculptures, jewelry and much more. It’s important for you to know that all demonstrations are free, but if you fall in love with a particular piece, you can purchase it on the spot.


DINKtravelers recommends buying your crafts at Murano workshops, because there you will find the top-quality artwork. Besides, it’s a way to make sure that you’re truly buying glass from that region, as there are also cheaper pieces that are brought from the Czech Republic. If you want to be certain that you’re purchasing an original piece, look for local Murano glass brands such as: Barovier, Toso, Seguso or Venini. Usually these brands’ names correspond with the surnames of the families that have worked glass for years. If you are looking for an original ornament for your home, choose a centerpiece, but if you prefer something more discreet but equally unique, choose among the diverse jewelry designs ranging from earrings, necklaces, rings and charms. Finally, ask the clerk to warp your souvenir so that it doesn’t break on the way back home from your trip.