Category Archives: Holidays & Celebrations

The Best Moments of Venetian Carnival

Colorful, grandiose, and one-of-a-kind Venetian Carnival of 2017 is over. Let’s remember the most important moments of this celebration of Venice’s beauty, tradition, and history that brings millions of people to Venice every year.

Boat Parade during Venice Carnival

The grand carnival opening ceremony started with Venetian Festival (Festa Veneziana), which took place on the banks of one of the most picturesque Venetian neighborhoods -Cannaregio. This was a magnificent evening show of unique floating structures with music, dancing, local food specialties, and lots of positive emotions. The canal banks were lined with people watching the amazing floats go by and trying local Venetian gastronomic specialties. Festa Veneziana continued on the second day of the Carnival in a typical Venetian fashion with a very impressive boat parade along the Grand Canal. Apart from watching richly decorated gilded boats and even brighter costumes of the boats’ passengers all the guests were treated to wine, the best creations of Venetian and Italian cuisine, and of course various entertainment.

Murano Glass Hearts for Valentine's day
Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Christmas Celebrations And Winter Holiday Traditions in Venice, Italy

Just when you were starting to think that Venice couldn’t possibly become more magical, Christmas transforms this city into a perfect winter wonderland. While cities around the world deck their streets with lights and ornaments, Venice disappears into foggy wintry sights worthy of any painting by Canaletto. For those seeking peace and tranquility during the holidays, Venice may turn out to be the perfect venue full of concerts, hot chocolate, mysterious fog and, occasionally, snow.

The month of December brings serenity and quiet to the city, due to lack of tourist crowds strolling down the streets. This is the time of year when Venice is taken over by fog and mist, turning the island into a hauntingly beautiful scene. Although Venice does not go over the top with Christmas decorations, one can still find fantasy lights and garlands adorning its main streets and gondolas. Locals take advantage of this chilly time to gather together and enjoy a cup of cioccolata calda (hot chocolate) inside cozy bars. Contrary to the typical hot chocolate we all know, cioccolata calda in this region is rich and thick and will surely keep the cold at bay.

The weather is mostly humid and cold, with occasional snow and acqua alta Iflooding) in Saint Marc’s Square. It is advisable to be well prepared when it comes to choosing appropriate clothing; the wind and rain that sometimes take over the city do not make it easy for visitors to walk around. However, there is still a chance of getting lucky with sunny days every now and then. When this happens, Venetians will be more than ready to bundle up and go out for some Christmas shopping around the city.

One of Venice’s most charming experiences during this season is visiting the joyful Christmas markets, or mercatini di Natale, as locals call them. Springing up between Rialto and Saint Marc’s Square and starting from mid-December, the Christmas markets are a cheerful exhibition of Venice’s most exquisite arts and crafts. Some of these markets offer fine handcrafted articles like purses, wallets, stationary, jewelry, and ornaments. Others offer exquisite Venetian products that range from gorgeous Murano Glass to elegant Burano lace, to hand-embroidered fabrics, to timeless antiques. Typical food and beverages are also part of this show, sometimes accompanied by live music too. It is also common to find a wide selection of Nativity scenes and objects (presepi), most of them handmade, especially near the Rialto Bridge by the church of San Giovanni Grisostomo. And in spite of it being Christmastime, the Venice Carnival is never far from people’s minds, as we see colorful hand-made masks being sold at every market. Naturally, the whole city is also adorned with countless Murano glass decorations, and it is a great idea to visit the island of Murano for the Glass Christmas Celebration (Natale di Vetro), where visitors will be charmed by unique Christmas-themed objects made of Murano Glass.

While hot chocolate may sound alluring when hopping from one bar to the other, the Christmas markets offer a wide selection of traditional and tasty foods and drinks. Roast chestnuts, chocolates, candied fruit and mulled wine are just some of the yummy treats one can find shopping along the lanes. The famous panettone, or pandoro (Christmas cake) is found in almost every Venetian home and restaurant around Christmas.

The winter season also brings music and concerts, and so the churches and opera houses are full of crowds eager to spend the evening listening to classical music masterpieces. It is easy to find the programs by reading the posters spread throughout the city, or by visiting the year’s program online. The church of La Pietà, on Riva degli Schiavone, usually holds some of the best concerts by Vivaldi, who was once that church’s composer. Some locations like Ca’ Rezzonico, Palazzo Moncenigo or the Scuola San Rocco hold concerts performing traditional Italian Christmas songs; while at world-famous La Fenice opera theater the winter program ranges from Mozart to Verdi offering priceless enriching performances. Prices and schedules always vary from place to place, some being free, some charging nominal admission, some requiring previous booking.

While walking around the city with almost no tourist crowds to obstruct the views and waiting lines, it is also advisable to keep in mind that most tourist attractions are closed on certain days around the holidays. Museums like the Doge’s Palace, the Galleria dell’Accademia, Museo Correr and Ca’ Rezzonico close on both December 26th and January 1st. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, however, is possibly the only museum in Venice to stay open on the New Year’s Day. Schedules for the vaporetto (water bus) may also vary and should be taken into consideration for moving around the city.

Hanukkah is also celebrated in Venice, in the part of sestiere Cannaregio known as the Ghetto – the site of the first Jewish ghetto in the world, where Judaism and Jewish traditions are kept alive and one can see beautifully illuminated menorahs, unique Murano Glass judaica, and delicious kosher food prepared for this special celebration.

All these joyful celebrations and performances lead Venetians to the very much awaited Christmas Eve dinner (la vigilia). During this evening, Christmas tables all over Venice overflow with traditional Venetian Christmas eve dishes mainly focused on fish and seafood: Venetian risotto, ravioli in capon broth, eel, mixed fried fish and an assortment of seafood with vegetables and polenta. When it comes to visitors, they should book the restaurant quite early, since many of them tend to run out of seats or simply close that day. Nonetheless, many great Venetian restaurants like La Zucca, Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti, Alle Testiere, and Trattoria La Furatola, are always open for this special evening. After the Christmas Eve dinner, many Venetians take a stroll down the streets and canals and head to Saint Mark’s Basilica to attend midnight Mass, starting at 11.30. The midnight Christmas mass at San Marco is a unique experience for both Venetians and foreigners. This night, the Byzantine basilica is lit with hundreds of candles and incense, the famous golden mosaics set aglow, and the entire experience echoes the celebrations of the centuries past. Families and visitors alike flock to San Marco for grand celebratory experience on this special night. But the celebrations don’t stop here; Italians keep on celebrating with the Feast of Santo Stefano, on December 26th, leading the way to the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari to enjoy a free live concert and choir.

This is the kind of luxury Venice offers, the richness of its beauty and the bliss of its peaceful wintry canals, that bring it closer to those otherwordly visions we recall from ancient paintings. This is what makes Venice an even more magical place around Christmas and winter holidays.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Mother’s Day Special: A Little About Italian Moms

Mother's Day in ItalyMother’s Day is an important holiday, a day we take to express our love and make our moms feel extra-special, showering them with attention as well as gifts and treats. Mother’s Day is celebrated not only in the U.S. but all over the world, and of course Italy is no exception. Today we are going to shed a little light on what makes Italian moms and women in general so special (at least in the minds of Italians), and what role Italian moms play in the family as well as society.

If you ever visited Italian playgrounds on a weekend you would have noticed that mostly dads are there playing with kids, while moms are often chatting with their girlfriends on the side. This is not because Italian moms are too lazy to play with kids. In fact many of them dedicate all their time to kids and family, which is why every day off that dads get they often spend with their kids. Despite changing times, now like in the past, many Italian women with kids do not work outside the home. Nursery schools and kindergartens close around 1pm, while school day is over at 4pm, making it very challenging for Italian moms to do full time work outside the home. So moms care for the kids, but the term “care” doesn’t even begin to describe the commitment of moms to their kids.
Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Easter Traditions in Italy

Easter_Doves 
Easter is an important time in Italy, not only from religious, but also from spiritual and family perspective. Learning more about Italian celebrations and events around Easter time and getting to know the traditions so meaningful and dear to Italians will bring you richer cultural experience when you travel to Italy. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Venice Guide for Christmas and New Year

Christmas in VeniceVenice is known as the most romantic destination in the world, so it’s only fitting to combine Venice with the most festive time of the year to get the potent cocktail of beauty, spirituality, and magic! Not many people think of Venice as an ideal winter holiday destination, yet Venice is truly enchanting this time of the year with few tourists, the convivial atmosphere, the music of church bells, and the romance of snow falling on water and covering the world’s most beautiful sites. Here we offer you a few tips for discovering Venice at Christmas and having a wonderful time.

1) Nativity Scenes

Venice is a perfect place to escape the commercialization and hoop-la around winter holidays that took the United States and much of Europe by storm in recent years. In tune with Venice’s centuries-old traditions, Christmas trees and crazy amounts of Christmas decor are not favored in Venice, giving place to elaborate nativity scenes or Presepi, which were first invented in Italy by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. The beautiful and elaborate handcrafted Nativity Scenes can be seen in hotel and shop windows, Christmas markets and in churches, though many Venetian churches do not unveil them until Christmas eve.

2) Churches

No matter what your religion, gorgeous Venetian churches are a must-visit destination around Christmas time when they are hosting concerts, Nativity scenes, and, of course, masses. Some church concerts are free, such as the one at Frari church in sestiere San Polo which is held on December 26th at 4pm. Other concerts are held in historical palazzos and scuolas and require tickets for entry, and there are some that are by-invitation only, such as the famous Concerto di Natale at the Basilica di San Marco. It is difficult to get invited, but if you would still like to experience holiday spirit in the Basilica, you can attend the high mass there on Sunday before Christmas or the midnight mass on Christmas eve, which starts at 10:30 p.m. and you should get there early to get a seat (no tickets are needed).

3) Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are a long-time tradition in Europe and Venice is no exception. The biggest and best Christmas market in town is at Campo San Stefano and runs from early December until Christmas. The market features cheerful atmosphere with special performances, tasty regional food and hot spiced wine for adults, sweets and entertainment for kids, and local crafts such as Murano Glass Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and figurines, Burano laces, masks, and other artisanal specialties. Italian Babbo Natale (Father Christmas), a Santa Claus-like figure, is loved by kids throughout Italy and makes and arrives into Venice by water (of course) stepping off a gondola and giving out sweets to the delight of children and tourists alike.

4) New Year’s

The most cherished New Year eve tradition in Venice is to gather at Piazza San Marco for a convivial evening of live music and dancing, toasts, a midnight kiss with beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica and water splashing in the distance as a backdrop. The magnificent fireworks follow and then DJ’s continue to light up the night. In other words, if you are in Venice over the New Year’s San Marco is the place to be for the festivities. Of course, we recommend heading there only after you’ve had a delicious dinner at one of Venice’s many great restaurants, which always need to be reserved ahead for New Year’s Eve.

5) After New Year’s

In Italy New Year’s is not the end of holiday festivities. Italians love their holidays and their winter holidays end only on January 6th with Epiphany, when a witch called La Befana flies on the broomstick and leaves gifts for good children all over Italy. La Befana is celebrated in Venice with special races where men over 55 years old dressed as old witches row their boats along the Grand Canal. The rowing club Canotierri Bucintoro, the sponsor of the races, serves hot chocolate and mulled wine for spectators on Fondamenta del Vin. This one-of-a-kind annual Venetian festivity is not to be missed if you are there on Epiphany day.

Winter in Venice Christmas_in_Venice_Rialto Christmas_in_Venice_Campo

by Kevin Grinberg

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Thanksgiving in Style with Murano Glass

thanksgiving italian plateThanksgiving is a distinctly American tradition, yet over the years it’s gotten some interesting touches from other cultures which make up the famous “melting pot”. Coming from the culture of food connoisseurs who love a good feast, Italian-Americans put their own twist on a traditional Thanksgiving celebration and we think there is much the rest of us can learn from them. Here are a few Italian-inspired ideas on decorating, cooking, and setting the table to help make your Thanksgiving warm, stylish and delicious.

Decorating
Warm fall colors and gentle glow of the autumn sun have traditionally been the top themes in Thanksgiving décor. A few strategically placed artistic Murano Glass pieces such as candle holders, centerpieces, vases or sculptures in the bright shades of fall foliage can quickly dress-up your home for Thanksgiving with just the right dose of glamour and style

Murano Glass Italian Horn of Plenty  Murano Millefiori Gold Art Glass Fazzoletto Bowl

Cooking
Of course the main event at Thanksgiving table is turkey. There are thousands of ways to cook it and every family likely has their own tradition for cooking the most delicious turkey. However, there is still space for creativity and interesting touches in other dishes, so here are a couple of Italian ideas to get your imagination going:

Spiced Wine (known as vin brulé in Italy, gluhwein in Germany, and vin chaud in France)
1 liter (1 quart) of red wine
100 grams (5 tablespoons) of sugar
a few cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
A little grated nutmeg
Grated orange peel or slice 1 orange
Mix wine and spices on low heat. Then add the sugar. Keep on low flame for about 15 minutes stirring periodically and try to not let it boil. Take off the flame. Strain. Serve warm and garnish with a slice of orange. Enjoy!
Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Murano Glass Holiday Sale at GlassOfVenice.com – 15% OFF

As the holidays are approaching, we at GlassOfVenice.com bring you lots of new Murano Glass pieces to decorate your Christmas tree, put on your table or mantle, or give as memorable keepsake gifts for your relatives, friends, and other special people in your life. Murano Glass has been an exclusive and very desirable gift for centuries, with its rare combination of handcrafted quality, rich colors and gorgeous patterns, unique designs, and artistic heritage inseparable from Venice. At GlassOfVenice we work closely with the artisans to support and promote the tradition of artistic Murano Glass and help you choose the best exquisite gifts from our large selection of authentic Murano Glass Christmas ornaments, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, tableware and silverware, drinkware, vases, sculptures, and more. All our Murano Glass is imported directly from Venice, where it is created by talented glass masters using a variety of ancient glass-making techniques.

Use coupon code DECSALE15 during checkout and get 15% OFF every item in our virtual store until December 31, 2012!



MURANO GLASS SCULPTURES


Murano Horn of PlentyMurano Glass BirdsMurano Glass Lovers


MURANO GLASS CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
Murano Glass Christmas OrnamentsMurano Glass Christmas Ornaments Murano Glass Christmas Ornaments


MURANO ART GLASS
Cristallo and Gold Flower Murano Glass VaseMurano Art Glass Silver Vase - Amethyst WebMurano Art Glass Millefiori Vase

Murano Glass CrucifixMurano Glass Millefiori AngelMurano Glass Kneeling Horse



Enjoy shopping with us and keep checking our Blog, Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter for specials and promotions this Holiday Season.

Get our Twitter updates via SMS by texting “follow GlassOfVenice” to 40404 in the United States.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Father’s Day Murano Glass Gift Guide from GlassOfVenice Plus Special Sale 15% OFF

Father's Day Gifts from GlassOfVenice
Selecting meaningful gifts for men is never an easy task, and managing to find a great Father’s Day gift year after year is even more difficult. After all you don’t want to just continue expanding your dad’s tie collection or give him yet another gadget that will become outdated before the year is out. That’s why we think Murano Glass fits the bill perfectly every year – a special, unique, stylish gift, requiring zero maintenance and never going out of fashion.

To help you pick just the right gift for your dad from our large selection we wrote this special Murano Glass Father’s Day Gift Guide. Just see what best describes your dad and pick one of the gifts we suggest for him. We are sure he’ll love it!
Get your special 15% discount by entering coupon code FATHERS15 during checkout.



THE ULTIMATE MURANO GLASS GIFT GUIDE FOR MEN

Father's Day Murano Glass Birds and Animals GiftsNature Lover This is the man who appreciates the nature’s wonders and loves watching or photographing animals and birds in the wild. He may like to travel to remote destinations and catch a glimpse of the nature in its purest form. For such a man we offer a selection of exquisitely crafted Murano Glass Animals and Birds.
Father's Day Murano Glass Nautical GiftsInspired by The Sea This is the man that hears the siren call of The Sea and feels the unexplained attraction to the lull of the waves. He loves spending his days out boating, fishing, or just watching the tide and relaxing on the shore. He may like Island vacations and may be into snorkeling or even diving. For such sea lovers the best gift is one of our unique handcrafted Murano Glass Nautical Sculptures which will let him always feel close to the sea.
Murano Glass Cufflinks and Mens GiftsStyle Conscious This is the sophisticated man who likes to live in style and dress well. He has the European-inspired approach to clothing and chooses well-fitting elegant clothes from the smart brands which combine value with just the right dose of classic fashion. He may like to attend various cultural events and travel to the cities that buzz with cultural attractions, and his home reflects his discerning tastes. Murano Glass is the ideal gift for the style-conscious man and to cater to his refined tastes we offer exquisite Murano Cufflinks, Keychains, Photo Frames, Letter Knives, and Ashtrays.
Murano Glass Wine Glasses and Goblets and Mens GiftsWine Aficionado This is the man who knows how to pick and enjoy a good bottle of wine and creates a pleasurable and relaxing experience from uncorking the new bottle. He likes to slow down and enjoy life, gather friends and loved ones, and let the good times roll. He may be dreaming of taking trips to the world’s famous wine-making regions but is often just as satisfied with sitting down peacefully in front of the fireplace with a good coffee-table book. For such a man we offer a selection of the world-famous superbly handcrafted Murano Wine Glasses and Goblets, Decanters and Carafe Sets, Bottle Openers and Corkscrews and Bottle Stoppers.
Father's Day Murano Glass Cheese Knives and Serving PiecesThe Party Host This is the man who loves to entertain and does so in style. He is happy to gather friends or family, serve up fine appetizers or exciting dishes, and is a master at creating the genial and joyful atmosphere that the guests always enjoy. Such man is the happiest when his house is full and there is a fun conversation around the table. Just like most men (though they won’t admit it) he likes to show off a little and get a few compliments, but who can blame him for that when he is truly the life of the party and such a gracious host. For the man who likes to throw stylish parties we offer a selection of exquisitely crafted Murano Glass Drinking Glasses and Tableware and Serving Pieces that will have the guests talking long after the party is over.

Our Murano Glass gifts are a perfect way to get the important men in your life something that they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Use coupon code FATHERS15 during checkout and get 15% OFF your Murano Glass Father’s Day gifts until June 17, 2012!
We just expanded the assortment of our unique and artistic Murano Glass Father’s Day Gifts and Venetian Gifts to help you bring the undying Venetian tradition of Murano Glass to your fathers and your favorite men this Father’s Day and always. These pieces are created by the famous Murano Glass masters who love what they do and who spent decades learning from their fathers and grandfathers and perfecting their glass-making skills.



Enjoy giving unique gifts from Venice? Keep checking our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter for updates on specials and promotions.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Mother’s Day Venetian-Style from GlassOfVenice

Mother's Day Gifts from GlassOfVenice
May is the time when we treat the most important women in our lives – our mothers, and the mothers around us, which we value and respect. Giving us unconditional love, encouragement, and self confidence, our moms dedicate their lives to us, and for that we are forever thankful. You may think that Mother’s Day is a special U.S. holiday, but in fact it’s celebrated all over the world, although it has different roots and is celebrated on different days in different countries.

In Italy Mother’s Day is called La Festa Della Mamma and, like so many Italian customs, it traces its origins to the ancient Romans, who had a spring feast in honor of the goddess of marriage and motherhood named Juno (which meant “vital force” in Latin), and prayed to her for fertility and healthy offspring. The ancient Romans had a custom of marrying in June, Juno’s month, to ensure a good fruitful marriage, and that custom is still alive and well today among modern Italians. In every culture mothers are respected and loved, but in Italy a mother is a vital force not just in the family but in the community, and even more than that, mothers play a very important role in the larger society. Surprisingly, eight out of ten Italian men ages 18 to 30 still live with their mamma’s (such men are affectionately called “mammoni” or mamma’s boys -a term extremely common in today’s Italy), and countless others always consult with their mamma’s when there is a need to make an important decision. While La Festa Della Mamma in its present form was first officially celebrated in 1957 on the second Sunday in May, it has quickly become one of the most loved and widely celebrated Italian holidays.

On this day Italian sons and daughters free their mamma’s of any household chores. Those adult children that live outside the home try to come home and spend the day with their mothers and families. Of course Italians are famous for their love of good food and wine, so they often celebrate La Festa Della Mamma with a big family feast and for desert there is always a cake in the shape of a heart. And of course all children from the very young to the very old give their mothers gifts and keepsakes to be treasured for years.

Whether you are an Italian or not, Mother’s Day is a great time to let your mother and those special mothers around you know just how special they are with the most special and unique gifts you can find. We at GlassOfVenice have wonderful Murano Glass gifts for moms of all ages, carefully handcrafted one-at-a-time in the furnaces of Venetian artisans. A Murano Glass gift straight from Venice, which carries all the passion, magic and beauty of this amazing City on the Water will make every mom feel loved and appreciated.

MURANO GLASS GIFTS FOR MOTHER’S DAY
Gift for moms of exquisite Murano Glass from our large selection of unique entirely handcrafted Murano Glass jewelry, vases, sculptures, accessories, tableware and barware, which lets your mothers and the important women in your life enjoy the aura of Venice for years to come.
We just expanded the assortment of our beautiful Murano Glass Mother’s Day Gifts and Venetian Gifts to help you bring the Art of Murano Glass and Venetian beauty to your mothers and your favorite women this Mother’s Day and always. These pieces are created by famous Murano Glass masters who love what they do and who spent decades learning from their fathers and grandfathers and perfecting their glass-making skills.
Murano Glass Pasta serverMurano Heart Pendant GoldMurano Heart NecklaceMurano Glass Heart SculptureMurano Glass DogMurano Heart vase



Enjoy giving gifts of Love from Venice! Keep checking our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter for updates on specials and promotions.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Valentine’s Sale on All Murano Glass from GlassOfVenice – 15% OFF

Valentine's Day Gifts from GlassOfVenice
Venice and Love are practically synonimous. When you step into Venice you immediately feel that love is omnipresent – it is in the air, in the water of Venetian Canals, on the little charming piazza’s, and on the bridges often occupied by kissing lovers. Many people wait to visit Venice until they find the love of their lives, because they feel that one cannot fully enjoy this town when not in love. And they are right, because visiting Venice together with your lover allows you to share the grand feeling of romance and enchantment that overwhelms you in this beautiful town. If you are in love, just picture the two of you in Venice: the sunset on Piazza San Marco, the embrace on top of the Campanile, the twilight kiss on the gondola, the evening in one of the canal-side restaurants, the experience never to be forgotten.

While there is nothing better than visiting Venice together with your loved one, we offer the next best thing – giving your loved one a gift straight from Venice, which carries all the magic and romance of Venice.


MURANO GLASS GIFTS OF LOVE

Valentine’s Day gift of exquisite Murano Glass from our large selection of unique entirely handcrafted Murano Glass jewelry, vases, sculptures, tableware and barware, which lets your loved ones enjoy the aura of Venice for years to come. Use coupon code VALSALE15 during checkout and get 15% OFF your Murano Glass Valentine’s Day gifts until February 15, 2012!
We just expanded the assortment of our beautiful Murano Glass Valentine’s Day Gifts and Venetian Gifts to help you bring authentic Venetian romance and enchantment to your loved ones this Valentine’s Day and always. These pieces are created by famous Murano Glass masters who love what they do and who spent decades learning from their fathers and granfathers and perfecting their glass-making skills.
Murano Glass PendantMurano Heart EarringsMurano Heart NecklaceMurano Glass LoversMurano Glass CufflinksMurano Heart Bottle stopper



Enjoy giving gifts of Love from Venice and keep checking our Blog, Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter for specials and promotions.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail