No trip to Venice is complete without stops on the islands of Burano and Murano. Burano is like a fairytale, a small island in the northern part of the Venetian lagoon most famous for its gorgeous lace and brightly-coloured houses. Murano is an island known for it’s glass, a craft that has been done for more than 700 years, and is the perfect place to spend a sunny morning.
When visiting the more famous Venice, you can take a short boat trip and explore both places in one day. This is most easily accomplished by jumping on the Vaporetto (water bus) or a sleek water taxi. Our family of four took a quick and gorgeous water taxi straight from our hotel door to a glass factory situated on the island of Murano. Here we were treated to a mesmerizing glass making demonstration.
A small crowd of entranced tourists watched as the glass artist quickly took a scalding hot piece of glass and before our very eyes transformed it into a piece of art. Can you guess what he turned that blob into in less than 1 minute and 3o seconds? I bet it won’t take you very long to figure out one of this artists favourite things to create.
The standards of this glass factory are very high, and should the artist not be happy with his completed piece, back into the ovens it goes. Following the demonstration it was time for a more in-depth tour. This large warehouse style factory is one of several on the island that offers free demonstrations to the thousands of tourists that flock there each year. The catch? At the end you are given a very personal tour of the many floors of gorgeous glass work, all for sale. This tour includes a well rehearsed sales pitch strongly encouraging you to purchase your very own piece of true Murano glass.
After you’ve made your purchase. And how could you not? We were warmly thanked and set free to explore the rest of the island.
Here are few things to do while on the island of Murano:
- Take a walking tour on your own. Much like the city of Venice, Murano has a Grand Canal that runs down the centre and the island is quite walkable.
- Browse the countless number of glass stores. Bring your cash, you are sure to find some glorious souvenirs to take home.
- Don’t miss the 1 Euro Glass Shop! It’s like no “Dollar Store” you’ve ever seen.
- Stop by Campo Santo Stefano, the city square. This area is known for the large 19th century clock tower in the background and the blue glass comet set in the middle of the square. A marvel, glistening in the sunlight and to my understanding even more spectacular at night.
- Directly behind the sculpture is the Church of St. Stephen.
- Take in the architecture and flooring (yes the intricate mosaic floors!) at the gorgeous Duomo di Murano Santi Maria e Donato. A welcoming Church and calm place to escape the heat and crowds of summer.
When you’re done your wander around the relatively quiet island, grab the next water bus and head out on your next adventure.