The island of glass: Murano

Murano is an island in the lagoon north of Venice. This is where the glass-blowers of Venice lived. The Venetian glass-blowers were renowned in the whole of Europe for the beautiful glass they made and nowhere they could make it better.

Venice tried to keep the secrets of the trade and prevented the glassblowers from leaving the island. Any glassblower who left the island, faced the death-penalty.

When king Louis XIV of France wanted a Hall of Mirrors at his palace of Versailles, he had Murano glassblowers kidnapped, because they were the only artisans in Europe who could make mirrors of that seize.

Nowadays it is a very nice island and a lovely place to visit and of course: to buy glass.
The main street (a little Canal Grande) is where the expensive shops are, a glass bowl starts from 300 euro's or something like that.

Now, I must warn you that real Murano glass is more expensive than glass 'made in China', and as a responsible tourist you do want to buy real Murano glass and support the local economy.

It is however possible to buy Murano glass that is still affordable, but you have to leave the main street and look a little bit further in the smaller backstreets.
The main street
Even better: visit a glassblower, because here the glassware is made directly on the side and this cuts the costs considerably. And watching a glassblower at work is absolutely fascinating!

Apart from visiting glassblowers and buying glass, it is a lovely island to stroll around and look at things. There is a beautiful church and even a glassmuseum where you can learn about the history of glass and see over 4000 pieces of glass.

Murano's lighthouse
How do you get there?
The easiest way is to buy a daycard for the public transport, it will allow you to travel on each Vaparetto line during the whole day. One day will cost 20 euro's, a card for two days is 30 euro's. (Summer 2016).
The nothern lagoon seen from Murano
You take Vaparetto nr 3 from the Piazzale Roma and the trip only takes 20 minutes.
Advice: try to be early in the morning, so you can avoid the hords of other tourists who will probably come later during the day.