Murano’s glassmakers led Europe for centuries, developing or refining many technologies. Glass art is a traditional expression of Italian artisans. Italy considers glass to be an artist’s material having remarkable and complex expressive range. The Venetian island of Murano is the place where everything started.
Exportation of professional secret was punished by death. Many craftsmen took this risk and set up glass furnaces in surrounding cities… (Wikipedia)
Moreover, getting to Murano is a very short pleasant trip. A fantastic occasion to admire Castello, one of the six district of Venice from its hidden canals. in addition, don’t forget to visit the fantastic church of Santi Maria e Donato. It is a byzantine masterpiece with beautiful mosaics. Not to miss.
Glass art in Murano
Murano glassmaking originated in 8th-century Rome, with significant Asian and Muslim influences. The island of Murano is the center for luxury Italian glassmaking from the 14th century. Here, artisans developed many new techniques and soon Murano became the center of a lucrative export trade in dinnerware, mirrors, and other items.
The local quartz pebbles were almost pure silica and combined with soda ash obtained from the Levant – for which the Venetians held the sole monopoly – made Venetian Murano glass significantly different from the other ones.
Do you know why glassmakers are in Murano?
The Venetian Republic, fearing fire might burn down the city (mostly made of wooden buildings), ordered glassmakers to move to Murano in 1291. The moved their foundries and Murano’s glassmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. Glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic or share their secrets. In fact, the Venetian ability to produce this superior form of glass resulted in a trade advantage over other glass producing lands.
In conclusion, you could learn everything about the venetian blowing glass, observing a real master at work. You can’t understand until you won’t see.
Don’t miss the chance to observe venetian artisans at work in our 10 days tour in Rome, Florence and Venice.
A beautiful video by Stuart’s Travel about glassmaking in Murano: