Member Rating 4 out of 5 by artslover on May 22, 2007

We were at the bus station and discovered there you can take the direct vaporetto to Murano. We travelled over some rather choppy water to Murano, the closest island to Venice.

An alternative to the vaporetto for getting to Murano are the free taxis run or sponsored by the glass shops. But beware, if you don't buy anything, they will not give you a free ride back to Venice.

Murano is like a Venice in miniature. It's called an island but like Venice it is a number of islands with canals and connecting bridges.

We visited here because my husband is interested in glass blowing and does it as an amateur. Glass blowers were banished to Murano in the 12th century because of fears about the fires which could be caused by the furnaces necessary for glass making.

The place has seemingly endless glass shops lining the main streets and the difficulty is figuring out which are selling authentic Murano glass and which are made in China.

We visited the Museo di Vetri (Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 Murano, closed Wedsday, admission ‚ā¨ 5), the glass museum, which has some good explanatory displays about the glass making process and its history. After, we wandered about looking at the furnaces, the glass blowing studios. The small ones were not in operation when we looked in but the large ones seemed all to be operating. Glass blowing is fascinating to watch. Seemingly hard glass become liquid when heated and the things that these experts can do are amazing.

Of course, we bought some souvenirs and my husband got some murrinis, glass rods, when cut look like flower designs. He hopes to incorporate them into something he makes in the future.

The back streets away from the glass shops of Murano are also interesting. Quiet like Venice and more people who don't speak English. The tiny church of Santa Maria e Donato is a fascinating pattern of brick work.

The direct vaporetto drops you back in Venice near Piazza San Marco. Murano is a quick trip outside of Venice and an educational peak into the very old and beautiful craft of glassblowing.
Glass-blowing island
Venice, Italy

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