With Venice on my mind this week, I'm happy to highlight the beautiful, ancient craftwork of glassblowing and relaxed sightseeing on the islands of Murno - a must-see on your visit to Venice!
Below excerpt of 2/15/2022 Virtuoso article by Clara Tuma can be found HERE.
In 1291, authorities moved all of Venice’s glassmaking to Murano, a small cluster of islands in the Venetian lagoon, to avoid a fire threat in Venice – and keep trade secrets confined to the area. To this day, the glass objects made in Murano are a protected art form. To visit is to immerse yourself in glassblowing and the beauty of the chandeliers, lamp work and millefiori beads, and artistically shaped vases and bowls that the island’s artisans produce. At sixth-generation glassmaker Massimiliano Schiavon, the furnace the temperature is around 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. These artists transform pieces of color – in a few blows, twists, and cuts – into smooth, totally unique handmade objects.
Murano is much quieter than Venice, especially in the mornings and in late afternoons and evenings, when most visitors have taken the return ferry to have their dinners in Venice. Stroll along the quiet canals, stopping to watch the occasional motorboat go by (locals coming home!), people walking their dogs, teenagers playing soccer, and children riding their bikes. This was how Venice felt before modern-day tourism, populated just with locals, living and working there.
Don’t miss the Museo del Vetro, Murano’s glass museum. Housed in an ancient palazzo, some of its magnificent pieces date as far back as the fifteenth century.
Shop for glass in the showrooms of Venice’s most venerable makers – such as Barovier & Toso, Simone Cenedese, and NasonMoretti – along Rio dei Vetrai (Glassmakers’ Canal) and nearby.
Have a gelato or a panino farcito (stuffed sandwich) and do some boat-watching.
Order cicchetti (Italian tapas) and an Aperol spritz for aperitivo or enjoy spaghetti alle cozze and calamari fritti at one of the canalside restaurants.
Tour the Seguso glass factory (by appointment only).
What to Do and Where to Stay in Venice
Spend two and a half hours visiting a glass furnace and the Museo del Vetro during a private tour of Murano with Context Travel. Departures: Any day through 2022.
Tour operator Family Twist lets kids (safely) try their hands at Murano-style glassmaking at a small Venetian atelier. During the two-hour session, parents and kids get to create their own glass souvenirs. Departures: Any day through 2022.
Baglioni Hotel Luna
The newly renovated 91-room Baglioni Hotel Luna, at the edge of Piazza San Marco, blends its refreshed interior touches with antique Murano chandeliers to stunning effect. The palazzo, which dates to 1118, reportedly once sheltered the Knights Templar. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
On Giudecca Island, the 96-room Cipriani, practically synonymous with Venetian hospitality, drips with Murano glass and history. Casanova once whispered sweet nothings to his love interests in the gardens here (now named for him), a constant parade of luminaries has boated up to the lobby since the hotel opened its doors in 1958, and its blush-colored facade remains a canal landmark. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
Three palaces, including the gilt- and marble-festooned fifteenth-century Palazzo Dandolo, a masterwork of Gothic architecture, compose the lagoonside Hotel Danieli. Its 204 rooms and suites, many with canal or lagoon views, feature Laura Tonatto products (in standard rooms) or Acqua di Parma products (in suites). And in fair weather, the rooftop Bar Terrazza Danieli opens for cocktails and bites. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.
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