Murano (Creative Commons)
Many people, when thinking of what to buy as a souvenir of their Venice city break, will think of Murano glass. Other people will never of heard of Murano and will perhaps wonder if they are missing out on a well-kept secret of this popular city.
So, what or where is Murano? Murano is, in fact, a small series of islands which lie approximately 1.5km north of Venice and each of the islands are joined by bridges. The whole area is only 1.5km wide and has around 5,000 inhabitants. Sometimes considered to be a miniature version of Venice, Murano even has its own Grande Canal.
Basically an industrial area, the district will have the feel of a small working town when you visit. Normally reached by water taxi, this will make a lovely day’s excursion and your hotel’s reception should be able to advise you, or arrange the trip for you.
That is the where – now the what. Glassware is the product of Murano and has been since the 13th century. Murano was chosen as the place for the glass factories as it was considered too much of a fire risk to remain in the main part of Venice.
Venetian glass is either loved or hated, although many different types can be seen. From chucky tableware to delicate items of jewellery there is something to suit all tastes – and pockets. Elegant chandeliers and mirrors are also made from Murano glass – wonderful, but hardly the type of souvenir to take back in your suitcase. In fact, it would be difficult to even transport these types of items from Murano back to your hotel.
Visit the Museo del Vetro [Murano Glass Museum] located in the Palazzo Giustinian, and you will be able to see glassworks from the past and also get the know about the history of this small group of islands and how glass has been a huge influence on Murano.
For present glassware, many of the factory showrooms will give demonstrations on how items are made and the all-important trademark placed on the pieces. This is protect Murano glass from being copied and sold as Murano throughout the world and is known as the Vetro Artistico Murano trademark.
So, for an ideal souvenir of your city break in Venice, pick up and small item of Murano glassware.