A Side Trip to Murano

Glass enthusiasts rejoice when they go to Venice. Venice is home to the island of Murano or “the factory” as known by the locals. Venice is a beautiful city in its own right, known the world over for the canals and more recently, the city that is slowly sinking. The San Marco Piazza offers some of the big tourist attractions, the San Marco Campanile (the large tower in the square), which is easy to get to the top of as there is a lift inside it, and the San Marco Basilica, which is almost entirely gold on the inside! The rest of the main island of Venice is peppered with delicious eateries and a wide variety of shopping. But what of the Murano glass? Some of the shops on the main island sell pure, genuine Murano glass, others sell a variety of real and fake, and some shops are downright shams. A side trip to Murano can cure the problem of real versus not real.

A short boat ride takes travelers on a nice cruise around the island then straight to Murano. Once on the island, visitors can choose from many glass demonstrations; some demonstrations are 3 or 5 Euro, others are free.  The paid demonstrations usually have English commentary running in the background explaining what the glass master is doing. The free ones are really more for observing. Showings run until 3:00PM or 4:00PM, depending on the glass master. Travelers to the island have the opportunity to soak in the process behind glass making. The island of Murano is crammed full of genuine Murano glass stores, meaning no need to second-guess. And for people who really care about quality, real Murano glass is important. After all, it’s often the little details that make all the difference in the world.

Sonja Englund

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