How To Buy Murano Glass In Venice Or Online

Murano Glass store selling authentic glassware made on Murano
Murano Glass storefront in Murano, Italy

Want to know how to buy Murano Glass In Venice Or Online? Worried about counterfeits? If you want to buy Murano Glass in Venice or from sellers on the internet, you need to understand several key things: how Murano Glass is made and what it looks like, where to find genuine Murano Glass, how to pay the right price, and how to bring your purchase home from Venice safely.

How Murano Glass is made.

There are many different methods and techniques of making Murano Glass. Some are ancient and some are modern. Some are used to make very light and delicate pieces, others to create large and heavy imposing objects. Jewelry is frequently made under a small gas flame from special pre-made glass canes, using a technique called “a lume” in Italian or “lampworking” in English.

Mosaic-like designs are crafted using the Millefiori technique, milky opaque designs are achieved with Lattimo technique, regular bubble patterns crafted with Bullicante technique, just to name a few. You need to become familiar with all the main techniques and the resulting designs to understand the important information that the appearance of Murano glass pieces can relay to you.

Where Murano Glass is made.

Murano Glass has been traditionally made on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. These days the production spilled over into Venice proper. While the official Murano Glass consortium refuses to acknowledge any glassmakers who do not physically have an office on Murano, those based in Venice are really every bit as genuine and legitimate as the ones based on Murano. Their glass-blowing methods and techniques are exactly the same. It is important to remember that Murano Glass is not made outside of the administrative confines of Venice, even if elsewhere in Italy. Also few masters of non-Venetian origin are involved in this craft.

Where to buy genuine Murano Glass – Overview.

If you familiarized yourself with Murano glass-making methods and designs, and have checked out enough stores (or at least store windows) on Murano Island and in Venice, you will probably know well enough what to expect and what to look for. Of course, any place that has suspiciously low prices should be avoided. Your best bets are stores that carry many different styles and types of items, feature sophisticated store designs, have knowledgeable staff, and sell pieces that have stickers, signatures, and authenticity certificates. If you are not sure, or you feel like the prices charged by legitimate stores in Venice or on Murano are too high, do not rush into a purchase.

Buy Murano Glass Online

You may want to shop online instead. There are reputable sellers online, and Murano Glass prices are often lower than in Venice. Online Murano Glass shops do not need to pay for real estate, buy flood insurance, and have many salespeople. This makes the prices lower. The selection of Venetian Glass online is often much bigger than in any one store in Venice. At GlassOfVenice.com we stock over 4,500 unique pieces in our warehouse in the USA. We also offer free U.S. shipping, making buying Murano Glass much easier and safer for Americans.

Buy Murano Glass In A Store Or Gallery

If you do decide to buy in a physical store in Venice or Murano, always try to talk to the salesperson or store owner before making a purchase. Find out as much as you can about the artisans he works with. Talk about his experience with Murano Glass. Discuss his thoughts on the current state of Venice and Murano Glass industry, and his local knowledge. Stores that stock fakes typically try to save on everything, from store design to sales staff. Such sellers often hire salespeople of non-Venetian or even non-Italian origin, who know little about Murano Glass.

How to pay the right price for Murano Glass.

It is very disappointing to find a piece you love and pay a fortune for it, only to find out later that the next store sells something very similar for half the price. Of course you should be aware of places that sell things very cheap (which typically means they sell fakes). That being said, it is important to get a good feel for the prices on authentic Murano glass in Venice before buying that piece you just love. It is true that there are rarely two pieces that are exactly the same in different stores. However similar pieces made in the same technique are often easy to find, and comparison-shopping is very possible and advisable.

Contrary to popular thinking, you will not always find best prices for Murano Glass on Murano Island. Many glitzy showrooms on Murano have agreements with Venetian hotels, which talk guests into free no-obligation visits in private boats. Once in the showroom, such captive visitors often experience lots of sales pressure. They feel that this is their last opportunity to buy, and the best price they could possibly get. Needless to say, this is usually not the case. However, many unsuspecting tourists do fall into this trap and buy expensive pieces on the spot, which they later regret.

How to ship Murano Glass home from Venice.

So what happens when you found the piece you love, know it’s authentic and think the price is right? Don’t yet rush to make a purchase. Find out first how the piece will get to your home. Of course it may be tempting to just take the piece with you, but it may not be practical. If the piece is very fragile, large or heavy, it will present a challenge on your way home.

Many Venetian and Murano merchants will offer you to ship your purchase. This sounds convenient but presents its own challenges. When and how will it be shipped? Will you be able to track it yourself? What happens if it gets damaged in transit or disappears along the way? What will you do if due to some misunderstanding or error it never leaves the warehouse, or if you receive the wrong piece altogether?

Always make sure that you have the information of the contact person in the store or factory, and have recourse in case something goes wrong with the shipment. If you can take your Murano Glass treasure with you without too much trouble, we always advise you to do that rather than have it shipped.

If you do ship it and something goes wrong, contact the store that sold you the item and talk to them about resolving the situation. The more reputable the store, the higher the chances that they will work with you and make things right.

How Murano Glass is shipped from Venice
Transporting Murano Glass from a factory in Murano to Venice mainland





Summary – How to Buy Murano Glass

In conclusion, many people believe that it is best to purchase Murano Glass in Venice because that way they will certainly get an authentic piece at the right price. Unfortunately, just by buying in Venice you are neither assured authenticity, nor a good deal. So many merchants peddle fake glassware in Venice that police is periodically raiding the stores and seizing the counterfeits.

Moreover, lots of unscrupulous store owners take advantage of unsuspecting tourists charging them sky-high prices for mediocre-quality pieces that may or may not be genuine. If you do decide to shop for Murano Glass in Venice, please follow our advice to avoid the common traps. It is important to be armed with information in order to avoid any potential problems.

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8 thoughts on “How To Buy Murano Glass In Venice Or Online

  1. Joanne Schwandt

    What are your suggestions for buying genuine Murano glass online? What sites sell authentic pieces?

    Reply
  2. Virginia

    My husband and I are planning a return trip to Venice October 2019. I would like to purchase 2 pendent light fixtures approximately 6 inches wide and 10 inches tall. These are to hang at the sides of our master bedroom bed. What are the logistics of making the purchase. Is this a easily found glass piece or must it be custom. If custom, what would that entail time wise and shipping. This would be our third visit and while Venice is amazing, we are hoping to do this as a day trip from Florence. Is this possible or should we spend a day or 2? Are you able to recommend a particular store for this type of glass work?
    Your article was quite helpful, especially concerning the shipment. May just make Venice our last stop.

    Thanks in advance,
    Virginia

    Reply
    1. GlassOfVenice Post author

      Hello Virginia,
      There are stores on Murano island that sell various pendant lights. It is best to select one of the available pendant lights and not attempt to get a custom-made piece, as the logistics and communication to get that done will be very difficult and you may well end up with a piece that does not match your specifications or look at a very long time-frame of getting it, or both. Just make sure the piece is authentic before purchasing – read our other blog articles to help you with ascertaining the authenticity.

      Visiting Venice as a day trip from Florence may not be a good idea- the time to get there and back will leave you with a very short time to explore Venice, especially if you also plan to go to Murano (which is the best place for Murano Glass shopping). You are better off sleeping in Venice – this will not only give you more time to enjoy Venice but will also allow you to be in Venice during the times of day when tourist flow subsides – early morning and late evening – the most magical times in Venice.

      Have a great time on your trip and enjoy Venice and Murano!
      Best,
      GlassOfVenice Client Service

      Reply
  3. Sheila Swallow

    My husband brought a slid clown figure about 8/9″ high in the early 1960s. Unfortunately our cleaner broke it and hoovered up the pieces without telling us, so it has pieces missing and needs quite a lot of work. Is it possible to give me an idea of what would be the starting price for this to be looked at and mended.

    Reply
  4. Laura

    I have 6 Murano champagne flutes – hand-signed, certificate of authentication with stickers on. Never used. a wedding gift from 1983. I am want to sell them. They are packaged in styrofoam.
    They are simple, with square form, gold edged. Lovely.
    Any interest?

    Reply
    1. GlassOfVenice Post author

      Hi Laura, thank you, but we do not buy Murano Glass, whether vintage or modern, from the public. We only buy directly from Murano Glass artisans, factories and workshops in Venice, Italy

      Reply

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