on March 9, 2005
Murano is the island of glass-blowing. The artisans of Venice were forced to live on this island in the 13th century in order to prevent fires in the city and to help keep the secret of Venetian glass-making a secret.
The boat ride to the island is reason enough for me to go to Murano. You can even see the Alps from the boat, and there are beautiful views of Venice and the other islands.
We got off at Colona and headed left. There are glass-blowing demonstrations that you can pop in and look at for free. If you keep walking along the road (left from the Colona stop), you come to a gate directing you to a glass-blowing demonstration. This one is pretty nice, as there's a man who explains the whole process while you watch. All demonstrations have tip plates, but don't feel obligated to tip unless you really want to.
The Museo Vetrario (Glass Museum) is the main attraction on the island, but unfortunately it was closed when we went. Make your plans in advance and note that the museum is CLOSED on Wednesdays.
San Pietro Martire: A Dominican church containing two paintings by Giovanni Bellini. Open daily 9am to noon and 3 to 6pm. Entrance is free.
Santa Maria e Donato: Founded in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 12th, this Veneto-Byzantine church boasts some beautiful mosaics. The baptismal font to the right of the altar as you come in is particularly unique, so be sure to get a glimpse. St. Donato's bones were brought to the church and are kept there along with bones from the dragon he supposedly killed. Four dragon bones hang behind the altar. Open daily from 8am to noon and 4 to 7pm. Entrance is free.
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