Category Archives: Murano

Murano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon and the name of the artistic glass of the highest quality and exceptional beauty that has been produced on this island since 1291. While Murano’s main claim to fame is Murano Glass, the island is worth visiting also for its history, architecture, beautiful churches, and the quaint atmosphere that so contrasts with Venice. Crisscrossed by canals, with little piazzas and charming streets, Murano has all the charm of Venice minus the crazy tourist crowds. And of course it is the best place to see authentic Murano Glass and the masters up close and personal!

Highlights Of The Murano Glass Museum

The Murano Glass Museum is a major tourist attraction on Venetian island of Murano, and one that uniquely represents the rich history of glassmaking present on the small Venetian island. Many tourists wish to visit the museum, and rightly so, as the large venue houses historical artifacts and beautiful displays that are unique to Murano.

There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions open to tourists, and those who purchase tickets are granted admission to the majority of the museum, including any special or seasonal shows. The museum was renovated recently, and the building itself is almost as beautiful as the treasures kept within it. Below, we detail some of the highlights of the Murano Glass Museum, that stand out amongst all of the stunning exhibitions.

Murano Glass Museum Permanent Exposition

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Top 5 Things To See And Do On Murano Island

While Venice is a beautiful and wonderfully diverse city, it’s also rather small. After a number of days spent wondering through the stunning corridors that crisscross the the city and admiring art, you may feel inclined to visit one of the smaller islands that surround Venice, such as Murano, Burano, or Torcello.

Of course we can’t be impartial when it comes to choosing a Venetian island to visit, and we wholeheartedly recommend Murano – the home of the most beautiful glassware in the world and the place to experience true Venetian lifestyle of the bygone era. Murano is a tiny island in the Venetian lagoon, just north of Venice proper. Renowned for its glassmaking tradition, the island boasts a population of 5,000 people, many of whom are direct descendants of famous glassmaking families.

The island is rich with culture and tradition, and was once used as a refuge for Venetian glass-makers, who were forced by governmental officials to leave the city of Venice in the 1291 and establish their furnaces on Murano. For lovers of art, history, fine craftsmanship, or simply for breathtaking views- Murano is definitely a location to consider. here we give you the scoop on the top 5 things to do on Murano island. And, what’s great, you can actually do all of this in one day and still have time left for a nice dinner either right here on Murano or in Venice, a short vaporetto ride away.

Murano Canal

1. Take a Walk Around Town

The island of Murano consists of 7 individual islands linked together by beautiful bridges. While this sounds overwhelming, the whole island actually measures a mere 1 mile, which is easily walkable in 20 minutes.

Much like the city of Venice, Murano has a ‘Canale Grande’ (Grand Canal) that runs down the centre, and separates rows of mirrored buildings. The main and arguably most impressive building on the island is the municipal building, called ‘Palazzo Da Mula’. This dates back to the 13th century, and features a characteristically gothic facade, popular in Venetian architecture. The canals, coupled with the island’s three remaining churches, in addition to the beautiful buildings- are reasons enough to take a walking tour of Murano.
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A Day On Murano – Travel Tips for Visiting The Famous Glass Island

No trip to Venice would be complete without a visit to glass paradise, Murano. This small island just a mile away from Venice set pace for fashion and innovation in global glass-making industry for over 700 years. It was on this island that talented artisans turned glassmaking into an art form meant to satisfy even the most exquisite tastes, a story which remains relevant today.Offering not only a network of canals lined with ancient buildings and gorgeous views like the rest of Venice, Murano charms its visitors with many other unique attractions that cannot be found anywhere else.

The island of Murano became home to all of the Venetian glass furnaces in 1291. The risk of fires in the city made of wood along with nascent popularity and importance of glass-making craft, convinced the Doge that Murano was the right place to isolate and guard the workshops from curious eyes eager to steal the secrets of the trade. From then on, Murano name became associated with the most coveted and high quality glass works.
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Murano Glass Museum: the History Behind the Art

Nothing ever seems real in Venice: its beauty, its history, its art. That same feeling expands all the way over to the Island of Murano, a small island near Venice, easily reachable by vaporetto. Murano is just as rich in beauty and art; it offers the warmth and cheer one usually expects to find in small Italian towns. This island, however, possesses a very special spot that sets the place apart: Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano’s Glass Museum.

The palace, Palazzo Giustinian, originally built in Gothic style, was used as a residence for the bishops of Torcello, and was later acquired by the Bishop Marco Giustinian in 1659. The bishop brought many changes to the property, refurnishing and redecorating it with rich frescoes and paintings by Francesco Zugno and Francesco Zanchi.

The museum’s biggest treasure is its vast Murano Glass collection that keeps expanding thanks to constant addition of contemporary pieces. Gathering such a unique collection in one place would not have been possible without the initiative of Antonio Colleoni, then the mayor of Murano. Working together with Abbot Zanetti, Murano Glass and art enthusiast, they set out to gather and systematize Murano Glass archives detailing the history of the craft through the ages. In 1861 Colleoni opened the palace’s doors as a glass museum for the first time in 1861. It was in the grand salon where it all started – the history, the archive, the unveiling of this long forgotten art – later expanding to every room in the museum.
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Murano Island – 720 Years of Creating Glass




Visting Murano is a part of our job. But it is also our passion. We have just returned from yet another trip and cannot wait to share our impressions with you.

Murano is a small island only 2 miles away from Venice. Little water buses, or vaporettos as they are known in Venice, transport you to Murano from Venice in about 10 minutes, and when you get off, you feel like you just returned to the Venice of centuries past. Floating peacefully on the water, with colorful historic houses and palazzos lining its canals, Murano presents a much calmer, and more real alternative to the touristic hustle and bustle of nearby Venice. People go about their business, the canals are full with boats transporting goods, the children are walking home from school chatting and laughing, and history and beauty are surrounding all of this. Just by observing the everyday life on this historic island you feel like you are thrown into a different day and age, more carefree and more simple.

But Murano is much more than a curious tourist destination. For over 700 years Murano has been the place where the magic of glass is created from water, sand, and some minerals in the simple furnaces heated up to 1700 degrees Celsius or 3090 degrees Fahrenheit. But what makes this more than a chemical process is the talent and skill of the masters who breath life into the glass mixture and shape it to become the amazing pieces of art that are famous world-wide. The process of Murano glass-making has remained virtually unchanged since the middle ages. Today, walking around the island of Murano, we see the little factories everywhere, often employing only a few people, members of the same family. In a typical glass-making family, many of which have been doing this work for generations, the business roles are traditional as well: the father and sons work the glass, the mother and the sisters assist in the process, pack ready items for sale in Venice or shipping outside, and work with the clients.

Looking at the artisans work their magic moving gracefully between the furnace and the special bench used for shaping the glass, manipulating simple age-old instruments, talking quietly to each other, it seems that this process is invariable like the change of seasons – that it’ll always be here and cannot be stopped. However, this impression is far from reality. With the spread of globalization the artistry of Murano Glass is in danger. Between the inflow of cheap counterfeit glass from the East, the rising costs of raw materials, the economic woes in the West, and the difficult working conditions, including standing up all day in the heat of the furnaces, the young people even from the old glass-making families increasingly flock to the easier and more profitable jobs on “terra ferma”, as Venetians call the main land. Many factories and workshops have closed in recent years unable to compete with China and to find enough clients. And with each closing factory goes the mastery and the artistic touch of that particular glassmaker, which cannot be easily picked up by anyone else, and the Art of Murano Glass suffers from each loss.


This is part of the reason why, years ago, we established our company GlassOfVenice.com. Our mission is not only to bring the beautiful historic art of Murano Glass to people worldwide, but also to help this amazing art survive and flourish. By establishing close connections with the artisans and collaborating with them to continue creating new and traditional Murano Glass objects we help them reach those who appreciate and value high-quality handcrafted artistic products and the heritage of Murano Glass. In the end it is you, our customers, who help Murano Glass art survive and prosper, and we thank you for your loyalty and hope for your continued patronage.

View of Murano, Italy
View of Murano, Italy
Murano, Italy
Creating authentic Murano Glass Creating authentic Murano GlassMaking Murano Glass

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Murano Glass Beads on View in Murano Museum

Murano Glass beads are a significant part of Murano Glass history. Besides their function as a base component of Murano Glass jewelry, they were in wide use as currency (then known as trade beads) between the 16th and 20th century when Venetian merchants set voyage to the Middle East and Africa to acquire goods, services and slaves. These days Murano Glass beads produced by the talented Venetian masters represent a wide range of traditional Venetian glass-making techniques and are used to create unique Murano Glass earrings, pendants, necklaces,bracelets, cufflinks, and more. The public usually sees these finished products and does not get the behind-the-scenes look at the wide variety of exquisite Murano Glass beads which Murano artists draw upon for their creations. The Venetian beads are individually hancrafted over a flame or in the special furnace and decorated using traditional Murano glass-making techniques.

The new exhibition at Murano Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) called “ERCOLE MORETTI. A century of Venetian pearl” seeks to familiarize the public with these beautiful pieces of Venetian Glass Art by displaying a great collection of Rosetta, Mosaic, Millefiori, and Murrina Murano Glass beads and other glass objects created over a period of a century by one of the most renown workshops of Murano, Ercole Moretti and F.lli, which this year celebrates its 100 year anniversary.

The exhibition runs at Murano’s Museo del Vetro from October 9th 2011 to January 6th 2012.



Please see our wide selection of authentic murano glass at www.GlassOfVenice.com

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Murano Glass School – From Murano to the World

Humans have been making glass objects for thousands of years. Whether it was Egyptians or Phoenicians who were the first to create beautiful glass objects from simple silica sand, it was not until Murano glass artists united on the small island near Venice that the glass-making reached the peak of its creativity. Murano glass artists came up with a whole range of techniques of manipulating glass into breathtakingly beautiful objects that for more than thousand years are the synonym with magnificent glass. But, it is not only techniques that became famous exports from Murano. It was also a unique way of looking at the glass and incorporating artistic expression with possibilities that glass as a medium offers.

Through centuries, Murano glass artists have been adapting to the change in styles and customers’ demands, to produce, and even dictate, the glass art style. But, Murano is not exporting only its famous glass art objects and techniques used even today all over the world. They are also exporting the knowledge, through a number of famous murano glass art schools. One of the most famous is Abate Zanetti Glass School in Murano, an offshoot of the murano glass design school created in the 1860’s.

Abate Zanetti Glass School was created to serve young people of Murano island who wish to continue in their fathers’ and grandfathers’ footsteps. But, the school created so much interest that now it offers also short-term courses, for all skill levels, as short as a weekend and as long as few weeks. The classes are taught by the best glass-makers of Murano such as maestro Pino Signoretto. Each course is booked a long time in advance, by glass artists and glass enthusiasts from all over the world.

The School continues in the footsteps of one of the historic glass art institutions in Murano, the Drawing School for Murano glassworkers, established in 1862 by the Abbott Vincenzo Zanetti.

The building which houses the school is part of Murano glass history as well. Originally built in the 1930’s, it has been restored to preserve the original character of the traditional Venetian palace. Regardless of its traditional looks, it is built as a school, with big rooms for classes and exhibitions, a hall for lectures, beautiful garden and well-equipped library.

The mission of the Abate Zanetti Glass School is to remain the guardian of old Murano glass traditions and is quickly gaining reputation as a central point of Glass art in Murano. In the school, famous glass-making families share their knowledge and trade secrets with new generations of artists, from Murano and elsewhere. Their goal is also to pass on the love, the passion and the unique artistic style and high standards in glass making.

The courses in the school are covering all the most famous Murano techniques in forming glass, like glassblowing and solid working. The students learning glassblowing technique are creating different objects: Venetian goblets, plates and vases, decorated using various techniques such as filigree, reticella filigree, murrina, and incalmo.

Fusing, a popular contemporary glass technique, is also taught in the school. Fusing, or slumping, allows the glass sheet to be formed, at high temperatures, into different artistic forms. Students who learn fusing can work on stained glass, sculptures and glass jewelry.

Lampworking is another ancient technique which reached its peak in Murano that is now taught students from different countries. Glass rods of different thickness are softened by heat from the ‘lamp’ heated by methane gas and oxygen. Once pliable, rods are shaped with different tools, making small decorative objects and beads of all sizes and shapes.

The Abate Zanetti Glass School also offers small group or private lessons if requested. The School teachers and maestros are also available to work with individual artists and designers on their projects.

At GlassOfVenice.com, We feel that the handmade colorful and precious murano glass objects allow us to go back in time and capture the fragile beauty of Venice, and we are happy to share this opportunity with our customers worldwide.

Please see our wide selection of authentic murano glass at www.GlassOfVenice.com

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How To Visit Murano Glass Factory

How to visit Murano Glass factory in Venice
We often get questions about the possibility of visiting a factory or a workshop in Murano and witnessing the creation of famous Murano Glass. Unfortunately the artisans we work with and many other high quality Murano glass artists do not open the doors of their workshops to tourists and here is why:

  • The artisans consider their business a serious affair and heavily guard their glass-making secrets, so they would like to avoid any unnecessary distractions or intrusions
  • The main expertise of the artisans is in production of Murano glass and not in entertaining tourists or explaining the process to them.
  • The workshops arent’s staffed to handle the inflow of tourists
  • No factories are usually interested in tourist visits just for the sake of showing them the glass-making process. Those factories that agree to hold these demonstrations do so for a chance to sell their wares, often in a pushy way and for above-average price.

If you would still like to see how Murano Glass is made, there is a place in Venice itself called Vecchia Murano that offers free demonstrations (of course with a chance to buy something from their massive store). Vecchia Murano is located near Piazza San Marco right behind the Bridge of Sighs. Also if you take a vaporetto to Murano and just take a walk around the island (which is very pretty, less touristy and much quieter than Venice), you will quickly find furnaces and workshops that are open to tourists and offer demonstrations. If you decide to visit a Murano Glass factory here are our insider tips:

  • Please note that all Murano glass factories are closed for the entire month of August by Murano tradition and primarily due to unbearable heat inside the non-air-conditioned factories aggravated by high outside temperatures. If you must visit during August you may end up in a very touristy place that is a “fake factory” i.e. set up specifically to offer quick demos to unsuspecting tourists and mainly to get them into a showroom and entice them to shop. For this reason if you visit Venice in August, we suggest to forgo a factory visit.
  • It is best to visit furnaces on weekday mornings. Most of them are closed during the lunch hour (which tends to be longer than in the U.S. and often runs until 2-3pm) and on weekends.
  • These tours and demonstrations should always be free of charge. Do not agree to deal with anyone who offers to get you into the factory for a fee.
  • In Venice, you may encounter sales representatives from touristy factory showrooms that will offer you a free boat trip to Murano. If you accept, be prepared for a lot of sales pressure when you get there and make sure you know how to get back. In fact it is always better to come to Murano by relatively inexpensive and efficient public transportation, and not have to depend on pushy salespeople.
  • The exit from a demo is almost always through a richly stocked showroom where you may encounter variable amounts of sales pressure. Look at the prices first, and if things seem too expensive – don’t buy. The factories often give you an impression that they sell cheaper “direct from factory”, but this is not always true. make sure to comparison shop around the island before making a purchase – you could save hundreds of dollars this way.
  • If you do decide to buy something, we strongly encourage you to take it with you. There is nothing worse than getting home and trying in vain to track down your shipment. If you would like it shipped, make sure that:
    1. Your purchase will be very well packed (ask the salespeople to show you how they pack glassware for shipping).
    2. Make sure that you know how and when the shipment will reach you. Find out the name of the carrier and insist on getting a tracking number.
    3. Always take down the contact information of the factory and the name and e-mail of the salesperson in case any problems arise later on.

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Murano Glass Museum

Everyone knows something about Venice and many people strive to visit this amazing city at least once in their lifetime. Those visits tend to be packed with activities and have little breathing room due to the many museums that Venice offers and its seemingly endless labyrinths of beautiful calle’s (streets) and piazzas where you just can’t stop wandering and getting lost like a little kid.

In these visits people rarely think about venturing outside of central Venice, yet taking a water bus (vaporetto) to Murano offers a very interesting experience, a way to see real living Venice without crowds and craziness, the Venice of the past. And the most interesting Murano attraction, little known yet unparalleled in the world, is its Glass Museum or Museo Vetraio. It is located in the Palazzo Giustinian (the Museo vaporetto stop), close to the famous Basilica of Santa Maria and San Donato. This museum boasts the best collection of Murano glass in the world that spans all major periods of glass production on the island from 15th to 20th century.

In addition to the outstanding permanent collection, the Museum runs temporary exhibitions focusing on various artists or periods of Murano glass making. The current exhibition running until June 15, 2010 is called “REDISCOVERING MUSEUM: The revival of the second half of the 19th century. Antonio Salviati and Vincenzo Zanetti”. It allows a rare look into the collections which are not usually exhibited to the public, yet are important and significant in underscoring the role of Antonio Salviati and Vincenzo Zanetti in reviving the art of Murano glass in the second half of the 19th century after a long period of decline.

This museum is open from 10am to 5pm from November 1st to March 31st and for an hour longer for the remainder of the year. The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the closing of the Museum. It is closed on Wednesdays and major holidays.

Address: Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano
Web: Murano Glass Museum, Murano, Italy


Murano Glass Museum in Palazzo Giustinian – Murano, Italy

Murano Glass Museum, Murano, Italy


Murano Glass Museum Exhibit – Murano, Italy

Murano Glass Museum Exhibit, Murano, Italy


Murano Glass Museum Exhibit – Murano, Italy

Murano Glass Museum Exhibit, Murano, Italy

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