Category Archives: Venice News

Learn about the news that affect Venice and the happenings in this unique Italian city with rich history and culture.

Murano Glass Is In Trouble. How Skyrocketing Gas Prices Are Affecting The Ancient Industry.

Murano Glass exists in Venice for over 1,000 years and survived multiple upheavals. However, this time it is in real danger of extinction.

Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island
Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island. Photo courtesy of

Murano Glass is one of the world’s oldest surviving industries. While glass-making was known to humans even as far back as ancient Egypt, the production of glass in Venice was established on the heels of the craft developed in ancient Rome.

Fleeing from the barbarians, the Romans who settled in Venice established glass-making furnaces and used local silica and soda to create their first glass vessels. After the industry got established on Murano island by the government decree in 1291, the local glass furnaces have been working full force despite the difficulties brought by wars, floods, and competition.

However, this time it’s different. The Murano Glass industry has encountered the perfect storm created by the horrible flood of Venice in 2019, the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the enormous increase in gas prices brought on by the war in Ukraine and the transformation to renewable energy. This gas problem may just be the last straw to break the back of the ancient industry.

Murano Glass furnaces are notoriously gas-hungry. They have to burn at 1500 degrees Celsius and cannot be turned on and off daily. It takes about a week to ignite a furnace and bring it to the stable high temperature required for glass-making. This process costs tens of thousands of euros. Therefore, the furnaces are normally only extinguished for one month a year, august, when the local glass artisans traditionally take a break amid the summer heat.

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The Carnival of Venice 2014 – Welcome to the Fairy Tale!

Venice Carnival Rialto venice carnival restaurant carnival venezia venice carnival

Have you ever thought of visiting Venice in the winter but decided against it for fear of cold weather, potential floods, and worry that there wouldn’t be much to do but hide all day in little osterias? Well, maybe you’ve made a mistake. Actually, Venice in the winter is fascinating, not least because of its annual Carnival that is a gorgeous cascade of colors, festivities, balls, wine and food, turning the city into one magnificent party, fifteenth-century style.  This Carnival that takes its roots in the middle ages is still one of the most beloved events held in Venice each year. For 2014, this exciting event will be held from February 15th through March 4th and will be focused on the kindred spirits that intertwine to connect humankind with mother earth, and with the fairy tales that are part of many different cultures. Represented at the Carnival this year are Oceania and Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Organizers of the festival plan to guide attendees toward rediscovering the rich tapestry that can be so beautifully woven by the fantasies of costume, the global cultural experiences, and the romance of the city itself, creating a fantastic fairy tale world.

This year’s Carnival starts on February 15th, with a festive evening show featuring music, fantasy and fairy tale elements on the banks of Cannaregio. The lineup of titillating Carnival adventures includes Ice Skating on a beautiful oval ice skating rink in the center of ancient Campo San Polo, masked balls, and special events both for the general public, and for exclusive crowd in private palazzo’s. Some visitors will choose to partake in the mysterious Walking Theatre, “Secrets of Venice. ” This Carnival event is in keeping with the fifteenth century tradition when nobles and wealthy Venetian residents would walk down a dark path by lantern light and thrill to the stories and anecdotes told by the legendary, “Codega,” a servant that leads the way. Today’s version includes actors of the Pantakin theatre company, who lead visitors to unique, fun and secret locations in Venice for exciting historically based tall tales.

In March, the Gran Finale of the Best Masked Costume Contest is one of the most popular events of the entire Carnival. Revelers will parade their magnificent costumes before a host of judges that will award them with a number of thrilling and prestigious prizes. Among the prizes there will be gorgeous Murano Glass pieces, representing the art that which has flourished on the nearby island of Murano since 1291. Consorzio Promovetro, the world’s only Murano Glass-makers consortium and the owner of Murano trademark, is one of the official partners of the event, and will offer the Best Costume winners precious Venetian Glass gifts as mementos of the fairy tale spirit of Venice Carnival. And for those who don’t win these gifts, we at GlassOfVenice always offer the widest variety of high quality authentic Murano Glass pieces that are guaranteed to lift your spirits and become your own wonderful mementos of Venice.

by Kevin Grinberg


Venice on Ice – Enjoy at Your Own Risk

Winter weather in Venice ItalyMost people think of Venice as a sunny city that sees its fair share of natural cataclysms, mainly in the form of floods, which make it even more picturesque, if somewhat challenging to navigate. We bet you haven’t really thought of Venice as Winter Wonderland, with snow covering its cute bridges and ice floating in its canals. Yet this is exactly what Venice has become a week ago.

After weeks of frigid weather and record low temperatures, most of Europe (and even Algeria) lay covered in snow. Europe’s famous waterways and channels froze, turning entire cities into picturesque skating rinks and bringing the nostalgia of the much simpler life in centuries past. However, what brings good old-fashioned fun to cities like Amsterdam and Berlin becomes a logistical nightmare in Venice, which is not accessible by land-based transport. As Venetian Lagoon started freezing over and the canals were covered in ice, Venice struggled to keep its water-based traffic operating. Water taxis were not running for fear of ice damaging the motors, many private boats were docked for the same reason, and special ice-breaking boats were working overtime to clear up the canals for vaporetti, commercial and private boats.

In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, the famous regatta opening the Venetian Carnival was postponed a week due to the ice, the chill, and the winds reaching 30 mph. However, this is not the first winter when Venetians had to suffer from extreme cold and challenging ice, and they are dealing with it by dressing up in stylish warm outfits (read furs), flocking to the bars and restaurants, warming up with coffee, hot chocolate, and stronger liquids, and welcoming the Carnival amid the snow. Venetians certainly love a good show, and in Venice Show Must Go On!

And the Glass Making must go on too. Despite the tough weather, we would like to assure all our customers that none of our shipments from Murano have been delayed due to the hard work of the glass artisans braving the freezing temperatures and chilly winds to bring you the beautiful Murano Glass creations, and the efforts of UPS and FedEx braving the ice of the Venetian Lagoon. In these days of snow and ice the fire of Murano furnaces is burning brighter than ever, and you can enjoy the reflections of its glow with our Murano Glass Art right in the comfort of your own home.

Murano Glass Heart PendantDon’t let your heart freeze over! Stay warm and enjoy winter Venetian-style with GlassOfVenice

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Christmas in Venice: Romance, Art, Tradition

Christmas in Venice ItalyChristmas is an enchanted time, especially when it’s celebrated in the enchanted city of Venice. Winter Holidays bring special cheer and magic to Venice and we will give you a quick overview of Venetian celebrations and events this holiday season.

This year Venice set up its largest skating rink ever on Piazza San Polo surrounded by a traditional Christmas market. At the market you can buy Murano Glass, Venetian masks, and other local artisanal products, as well as try great local food and wine. When you get tired of skating and feel like getting a culture fix, you can visit a very interesting exhibition in Murano Glass Museum on the island of Murano, entitled “1861-2011: UN’ISOLA, UN’ARTE, UN MUSEO” (translated as “One Island, One Art, One Museum”). This retrospective exhibition dedicated to the long history of Murano glass-making offers insight into Murano Glass tradition and showcases almost two hundred of the most significant items in the Museum’s collection made in the last 150 years.

If you are in Venice over the Holidays, you will get a chance to enjoy some colorful centuries-old Christmas traditions honored here and in the rest of Italy. One of them is Messa di Mezzanotte, Christmas Mass that starts around midnight. After the Christmas dinner, families head out and walk brightly decorated streets to a candle-lit church, where choirs sing Christmas songs and create true Christmas spirit. Evoking spiritual traditions of the centuries past, festive and beautiful Messa di Mezzanotte is an event not to be missed.

After Christmas, all eyes turn to the New Years with its own share of colorful celebrations and interesting traditions. Make sure to eat lentils on December 31st to attract money and riches in the new year. Lentils symbolize coins, and, according to the Italian tradition, the more you eat, the more money you’ll get. On New Year’s eve, most Italians serve their lentils with either cotechino (pork sausage) or zampone (pig’s trotter stuffed with the same filling as cotechino). After this feast, head to Piazza San Marco, where New Year celebrations take place. The festivities focused on beauty and romance and entitled “The Love Celebration” will continue through the night and culminate with the spectacular fireworks over the Venetian Lagoon.

Whether you manage to travel to Italy this Holiday season or just enjoy reading about Venice and Italy, we hope you get a cue from Italians and remember to take a break to enjoy good food, festive atmosphere, art, and the company of friends.
Murano Glass Christmas Ornament

Happy Holidays from all of us at GlassOfVenice and best wishes for happy and prosperous New Year!

Holiday Sale Reminder

Remember to take advantage of our limited time Holiday Special and get 15% OFF everything on our website when you use coupon DECSALE15 during Checkout until January 1st, 2012. Plus, as always, get free shipping in the U.S. on all orders over $100 and discounted shipping on all other orders.

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Dali in Venice: Paintings, Bronze, Glass and more

Venetian Art - Dali Exhibition in VeniceAs if Venice itself was not surreal enough, a large doze of surrealism was injected into the city’s artistic appeal this Spring. More than 100 works of Salvador Dali, the king of surrealism, are now featured in Venice’s Museo di Sant’Apollonia conveniently located across the canal just behind Basilica San Marco. The exhibition illustrates Dali’s genius in many art forms and his fascination with different materials reflected in the works rarely seen before, such as a collection of Glass Objects made at the famous “Daum Cristallerie” and even a set of Gold Objects. The exhibition is a perfect way to add color and excitement to a foggy Autumn day in Venice and it runs till 11th of November, 2011.


Glasstress in Venice: Contemporary Art in Murano Glass

Venice Biennale is always a grand event in the world of art, which ambitiously attempts to represent and explore the international contemporary art scene. This years’ Biennale is the 54th one and features artworks spanning painting, photography, film, and modern art installations made of paper, steel, glass, wax and even vapor, presented by 89 countries. Multiple concurrently running shows and exhibitions make up the Biennale and attract hordes of artists, journalists, celebrities and tourists. One of the most interesting exhibitions in this year’s Venice Biennale is Glasstress, an attempt to explore modern art themes in Murano glass. Glasstress is the result of the joint efforts of some of the best contemporary artists who came up with the ideas for sculptures and installations and Adriano Berengo’s Murano glass factory, which implemented them in Murano glass.

Glasstress runs from June 4 to November 27, 2011 and is held at Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti and the Berengo Centre of Contemporary Art and Glass in Venice, Italy.

After Venice Biennale Glasstress will present travelling Murano Glass exhibitions around the world, including one in New York City.

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Water and Music: Venezia Jazz Festival July 23rd – 31st, 2011

The fourth Venezia Jazz Festival, one of the most famous musical festivals in Italy, will be held in Venice from July the 23rd through 31st, 2011. This unique festival traditionally attracts the most established names in music and this year is no exception with Sting performing on July 29th in Piazza San Marco. This performance will be a part of Sting’s Symphonicity European Tour featuring the musician’s biggest hits in symphonic arrangements. Sting’s fans and lovers of good music will hear such greatest hits as “Roxanne”, “Every Breath You Take”, “Englishman in New York”, “Russians”, “Fields of Gold”, and “Desert Rose”. The Festival program will also include other concerts in Piazza San Marco and in the Fenice Theater, and even special lunches and dinners in various city museums, including Palazzo Grassi, Punta della Dogana, Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

This will be a great week to spend in Venice due to the abundance of music events and entertainment options throughout the town, as well as special Festival-inspired programs in art, literature, and even culinary experiences, many which will be open to the public. Venice is enjoyable any time of the year, but this July you have a unique opportunity to enrich your Venetian experience with wonderful music.

Read more about Venice and see photos of La Serenissima at

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Murano Glass Exhibitions in Venice

Venice never ceases to amaze tourists not only with its unique beauty but also with the richness of its cultural heritage and the many museums and exhibitions that offer insights into Venetian history and art. Murano glass art has recently been in the spotlight, and two current exhibitions in Venice celebrate the contribution of two very prominent Murano glass creators – the Venini glassworks and Lino Tagliapietra – to the 20th century renaissance of this ancient Venetian art form.

The first exhibition dedicated to 90 years of Venini family glassworks is called NOVANTESIMO VENINI, 1921 – 2011, and is open until July 10, 2011 at the Murano Glass Museum. It highlights in chronological order the achievements of the famous Venetian glass masters from Venini Glass Company in the time span from 1921 through 2011 and features about 100 works characteristics of various artistic periods in the life of the company.

In another very exciting development, the first ever exhibition of the masterpieces created by world-famous Murano glass master Lino Tagliapetra is set up in Venice and will stay open until May 22, 2011 to the delight of all Venetian glass and Tagliapietra fans. The exhibition is housed in beautiful Grand Canal Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, the home of Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti and features a selection of the best art glass pieces created by the master in the last decade. Lino Tagliapietra, who was born in Murano, Italy in 1934, is one of the most prominent Venetian glass masters currently working, and his creations can be seen in galleries, museums, public spaces and private collections around the world.

If you are in Venice this Spring and Summer, we highly recommend that you visit one or both of these exhibitions for a rare in-depth look at the modern interpretation of the ancient art form that is so unique and characteristic of Venice.

To learn more about Murano glass history and techniques, please visit

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Finally, a perfect way to learn about Murano glass and experience its magic!

Numerous times on various travel websites, forums, and blogs, including ours, travelers to Venice ask the question of whether and how to see a demo of Murano glass making without wasting precious time in Venice and experiencing an annoying sales pitch. GlassOfVenice is happy to report that finally there is a way for most people to learn more about this fascinating art and experience it first-hand in the studio of a famous Murano maestro at very reasonable cost and without being pushed into buying anything. This definitely makes it worthwhile to make a trip to Murano and see the world of artistic glass making with your own eyes.

The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and Murano Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) together with Abate Zanetti Murano Glass School present GLASS IN ACTION, a comprehensive overview of the ages of Murano glass history. This one-of-a-kind begins with a guided tour of Murano Glass Museum, which has on display a unique and extensive collection of glassware from ancient Rome through Murano glass of the Renaissance period to modernity. After that it’s on to the Murano Glass School, for a glass working demonstration with an accomplished Murano glass maestro, and the viewing of a documentary film.

Use this unique opportunity to learn more about Murano glass at its birthplace and get enchanted by the birth of glass from the magic of fire and the skill of an artist. The cost of the entire program is just 15 euro per person, and it runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. English tours start at 2:30pm at the Murano Glass Museum (Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano, Italy).

Learn more about this program at the Murano Glass Museum’s website.

Learn more about Murano glass and its history at GlassOfVenice – About Murano Glass


Venice Architecture Biennale starts August 25th, 2010

Venice Biennale art exhibition, which has been existence for 115 years, is one of the most famous art-focused events in the world drawing over 100,000 visitors last year alone. The history of the Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized in the city. In the 1930s Music, Cinema, and Theatre festivals became a part of Venice Biennale. The Venice Film Festival organized in 1932 in fact pre-dates all the other world festivals around the world. Becoming a true all-encompassing artistic establishment, in 1980 the Biennale hosted the first International Architecture Exhibition, and in 1999 Dance was added to the menu. In its early days, Venice Biennale used to be, as its name suggests, an event that took place every two years, but it has grown so popular over time that it is now held every year, with contemporary art exhibitions taking place on odd years and architecture exhibitions in even ones.

This year the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, directed by Kazuyo Sejima, will be held from August 29th to November 21st, 2010. One of the prevalent themes of the event will be sustainable building, featuring an off-site symposium on the approach to energy use and the alternative energy sources. This theme is very relevant to the issues faced by modern-day Venice, the unique historic city which strives to stay alive, vital and relevant while being positioned on the water in centuries-old buildings and undergoing frequent floods. Refitted historic buildings are being increasingly used for hotels and stores and the huge numbers of tourists arriving to the city in every season add to the stress on the Venetian environment, both natural and man-made.

You can read more on Venice Biennale on its official website at