The Beauty of Murano Glass
My favorite accessory in the world has to be hand-blown Murano glass, from the island of Murano just off the coast of Venice, Italy in the Venetian lagoon. There are no bridges to the island, it is only accessible by a short boat ride from Venice. Don’t take an organized tour from a guide in Venice, it’s a waste of money. Grab life by the balls and use the readily available easy to use public transportation. Take the ACTV's Line 4.2 waterbus, it will take you to Murano by way of the Fondamente Nove and the cemetery island of San Michele approx.. 40 minutes. You can also take the Line 4.1 boat, which goes to Murano in the reverse direction via the Giudecca Canal, that way will take about an hour. It’s a real adventure and you will be among the local Venetians who shuttle there and back shopping for food and going to the mainland for work.
Upon arrival to the island of Murano, you will be greeted by many shop owners that will try and sell you their wares and show you their factories. These are some of the larger companies with big productions. They are also more costly than the factories in the back. I always walk at least halfway down the central canal to find the best bargains and also get some one on one with the local smaller family owned shops. They are so helpful and will be happy to show you how they blow and make pieces of this truly divine glass.
Some Glass History: Many cultures accidentally discovered glass making. Shipwrecked Phoenician sailors are said to have discovered it when they built cooking fires on a sandy beach. Throughout history, glass blowers were literally held hostage for fear of their knowledge being leaked. During the 1st Century A.D., Phoenician glassworkers were forbidden from traveling, although those who escaped spread the art form into present-day Switzerland, France, and Belgium. Similarly, for Venetian glassblowers, leaving the island of Murano was a crime, punishable by death. In 1291 A.D. All Venetian glassmakers were forced to live on the island of Murano, which protected Venice from potential fires, and controlled the sharing of glassblowing knowledge. Venetian glassmakers invented glass mirrors and crystal.
You can have your purchase send home or if its small and you have room take it with you. Blown glass is extremely versatile and can go in any interior. The cleaner more modern vases and sculptural pieces are at home on a shelving unit, side table or in a kitchen and the more ornate items can be on center tables or used with flowers in them. These pieces are intoxicating and will be a prize for your personal memorabilia collection for years to come and will become heirloom pieces that will be passed down. As always if you have any questions about Murano glass or how to buy the perfect piece email or call me