Photo by Egon Bömsch / imageBROKER / age fotostock
Famous for its long history of handblown glassmaking, Murano sits just a few minutes' ferry ride offshore in the Venetian Lagoon. The main attraction is the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro), which recounts the history of glass through the centuries, with the largest focus on important pieces of Murano glass produced between the 15th and 20th centuries. You can also join a guided tour and catch a glassmaking demonstration here. When finished, do a bit of shopping for locally produced glass at some of the boutique shops. Also check out the Romanesque-style Church of Santa Maria and San Donato, which may or may not house the bones of a slain dragon under its boldly hued mosaic floor.
By Becca Blond, AFAR Local Expert
Not one island but seven connected by bridges and canals, Murano is the famous home of Venetian art glass. While you're sure to find cheap knockoffs at the ubiquitous city souvenir stands, the glass factories of Murano sell one-of-a-kind pieces that have been made in front of your very eyes. Like French champagne, Murano glass is highly regulated and the secrets behind its creation are closely guarded. If you're taking the water bus from San Marco, give yourself slightly over 45 minutes traveling time. The trip back through the lagoon is particularly lovely at sundown.
By Gretchen Kelly, AFAR Local Expert
Island of Glass
Murano is Venice's island of glassmaking, and worth a day's visit, providing that you do your best to avoid the insistent shopkeepers who greet you immediately upon your arrival. The island is quiet and charming.
By Erica Firpo, AFAR Local Expert
Art display showing off the amazing qualities and dynamics of Murano glass. I got two really great gifts on the island of Murano. One was a glass blown pen handle for pen and ink. The other was a glass plate that showed in glass an ocean wave brushing up on the shore.