The Jewish artist and sculptor Arbit Blatas once said: “The surface of Venice is constantly metamorphosing [and] painting Venice is almost like being a restorer, peeling off the layers to find the picture after picture underneath.” Venice is home to many magical areas, including Murano Island, home to a traditional craft village that produces exquisite glass works.
Most tourists pass through Venice too quickly, not spending enough time exploring the many surprises that this iconic Italian peninsula has to offer.
Venice features various small islands connected by centuries-old bridges and a maze of canals and alleyways that perplex visitors. Tourists short on time generally visit the main island, stopping to see St Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, and the Piazza San Marco. Many visitors miss out on Murano, a small island to the northeast of Venice. Murano boasts a unique charm thanks to its long-standing history of glassmaking and its picturesque scenery, which is perfect at sunset.
To reach Murano, one can rent a boat or simply travel by water taxi, a typical form of transport in Venice. The journey from the main island to Murano allows visitors to feast their eyes upon the dreamy blue sea, imposing floating buildings, the clear sky, and gliding birds. Upon reaching Murano, visitors will notice differences between this island and Venice. If Venice is a painting in soothing weathered colors, Murano is brightly colored, evoking both serene and vibrant feelings. Walking along Murano’s tranquil canals and admiring ancient buildings with mottled walls, it’s easy to lose all sense of time. As the sun sets and gives way to darkness, the island is submerged in shimmering gold. Among the sparkling waves, Murano feels simple and tranquil.
Murano shimmers thanks to sunlight reflecting on glass products handmade by the island’s locals. The story of this craft village is interesting. In 1291, all of Venice’s glassmakers were required to move to Murano to reduce the risk of fire spreading to other craft workshops. Thanks to this decision, a glassmaking village was born on this picturesque island, turning it into one of the top tourist attractions even 700 years later.
Murano’s glass products are distinctive thanks to the glass-blowing process, which has been passed down from one generation to the next for about one thousand years. As a thin layer of gold or silver is always added during the crafting process, the finished works all possess brilliant, glistering colors. Handcrafted with care, sophistication, and intricacy, these products boast high artistic value. Strolling across the island, tourists will have a chance to watch local artisans at work, practicing their craft with pride and passion. These glass-blowing demonstrations also promote Murano’s culture and heritage. Colorful products like goblets, plates, vases, pots, jewelry, and home decor items are sure to be meaningful and valuable souvenirs.
Despite occupying only just over one square kilometer, the island has so much to offer. Every pretty local glass store, faded ancient building, and artistic bridge over a blue canal fills visitors with amazement. Having stood for centuries in the sea, Murano is a perfect place to escape, uniting the gifts of human artistry, architecture, and Mother Nature.