Murano glass and the artisans

The Venetian glass industry was established on the island of Murano as far back as 1292. In the 16th century the finest glass in the world was produced here and the island enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the manufacture of mirrors.  All variety of shape and every sort of techniques were tried as we will see in the wonderful local museum .

Murano is naturally famous around the world for its glass, but with this tour you can see it from behind the scenes, and if you are interested in taking some glass home with you, we can find you the best prices on the highest quality work . You will come with us to the oldest glass factory on the island where you will see the craftsmen at work and have an expert on hand to describe the process of blowing glass. 

Here they still make mesh and filigree glass, clear and tinted, with glaze applications.  There is all sort of drinking glasses, chalices, tall stemmed cups, any sort of dishes in clear glass or decorated with vivid colours or even lattimo, a special opaque paste with a milky aspect invented in the XVIth century to counterfeit porcelain – now more precious than porcelain itself. Naturally this is all blown glass, that means it is made without a mould, by hands, so that all pieces are always one of a kind and its origin is certified by the official trade mark “Murano Glass”.

So you will find vases, statues and mosaics, with the “avventurina”, a yellow glass paste with gold iridescence, and the famous Murrine, obtained by slicing long glass canes together, mirrors with diamond engraved decorations, and spectacular chandeliers.

As Murano is for Glass, the island of Burano is for Lace. You’ll see not only the most beautiful lace, and lots of it, but you will see the most beautiful island of the lagoon, with its brightly colored houses and relaxed island atmosphere.

There are also other aspects of Venice which are quickly disappearing: the handicrafts of the woodworkers, lace makers, guilders, textile specialists, shoe makers, and many other artisans who make their wares as their masters taught them. Visiting them is a once in a lifetime opportunity, because these craftsmen are getting older, and there are almost no young people taking their places.