Where To See Murano Glass Blowing is the most frequent question about Murano Glass that we receive at GlassOfVenice. While there are many factories and workshops on Murano, there are also many that pretend to be factories, when in reality, they are merely showrooms. These showrooms run very basic short demonstrations and quickly usher you into the retail area urging you to shop and overspend. To avoid this experience, we recommend a place where you can see the authentic glass-blowing process on Murano without any sales pitch.
Read on to find out how to locate the best glass-making demonstration on Murano island. We also strongly recommend to steer clear of hotel-sponsored trips to see Murano glass-making, or following suggestions of people strategically standing near vaporetto stops with signs on seeing Murano glass-making.
Murano Glass Blowing is a mesmerizing process which takes its roots from Roman glass-blowing and has evolved over the centuries in Venetian Republic and in modern-day Italy into a prominent art form. There are hundreds of workshops and small factories on Murano island, most family enterprises, where one or more maestro’s work with hot glass, assisted by a few helpers.
A typical factory has several furnaces where the artisans repeatedly heat up the glass mass to make it malleable. Once heated up, the master takes the glass blob on a metal rod to the special bench, where they work on the hot glass blob, while constantly turning the rod to make sure the shape stays and the glass doesn’t fall onto one side. The masters use very basic tools and instruments to cut and shape the glass, and it’s their precision, experience, talent, and fantasy that make their creations unique art glass pieces renown throughout the world.
To become a Murano Glass master, one has to start out working in a furnace as a child and work alongside an experienced maestro to learn all the tricks and secrets of this unique and ancient trade. The most talented artisans then develop their own manner and artistic style, becoming famous maestros in their own right. This old-fashioned way of learning is still practiced on Murano, and all the masters we work with at Glass of Venice have learned their craft in this way.
In order to get the best glass-making demonstration experience, a tourist must be careful and not get pulled into showrooms and retail stores pretending to be factories. Most places that offer demonstrations on Murano are just such retail locations. They often claim to be the only place where you can see a real Murano Glass demonstration and the items they sell are overpriced and often not authentic Murano Glass.
The place that we know well and recommend to our customers and all Murano visitors is located at Calle San Cipriano 48, 30141 Murano and is called Vetreria Murano Arte or VMA. For a small 3 euro fee you can see real masters work in the real family-owned Murano Glass factory and create wonders of Murano Glass. The added benefit is that you don’t need to make reservations in advance or connect with an organization that will facilitate the glass-blowing demonstration. Just show up at your convenience and see the demo with no sales pressure.
To see this glass blowing demo all you need to do is take vaporetto to Murano from Fondamente Nove stop in Venice and get off at Murano Colonna stop. Then ignore all the people promoting demonstrations and holding up signs, get off the vaporetto, turn left and walk along the embankment. In about 5-7 minutes you will reach Vetreria Murano Arte. The demonstration is open weekdays between the hours of 9am and 4pm. Children under 11 years all can see the demonstration free of charge.
If this sounds interesting, the next time you are on Murano make sure to visit the real glass-making demonstration without the sales pitch, and then walk around Murano island at your leisure. Peek into stores and galleries and view the beautiful Murano Glass jewelry, vases, sculptures and figurines to see if anything attracts your attention. If you find a piece that you’d like to purchase, make sure it’s authentic. If you are taking it along with you, ensure that it will be packed well for its voyage home. Otherwise, if you would like it shipped to your home, remember to take down the information about the store, the salesperson, and agree on all the specifics of shipping to avoid any surprises with regard to the shipping fees and timing.