This morning we are arriving in Venice! We are halfway through our cruise and many folks will be departing and new passengers picked up. Since we have been to Venice before, in the two days that we are here, we have decided to visit Murano and Burano, small islands off the mainland of Italy. Murano consists of several small islands that are connected by bridges over the Venice Lagoon to Venice. Although less than a mile away, it will take us an hour to get there by boat. First, let’s look at our ship making it’s way into Venice in the early morning hour!
We are being lead in by tugboat……..
And the city is just waking up……….there is no better light than in Venice!
Artwork on the dock…….
Then onto a smaller boat that will take us to Murano………..
Here we are…..first stop the Murano Glass Factory….and furnaces……
How about this glass on the outside of the building?
This looks like glass, but is a real plant in the garden at the glass factory!
More artwork greeting us!
At first, Murano was a fishing village, but in 1291 all the Venetian glassblowers were moved to the island of Murano, to prevent fires in the wooden structures in Venice. In the next century, the glass, consisting of mostly beads and mirrors, was exported to Europe. Then their chandeliers became famous and the glassmakers were not allowed to leave Murano in fear of giving up their glass making techniques! Now prominent citizens in Murano, the glassblowers were allowed to wear swords, were immune from many prosecutions and their daughters were welcome to marry into wealthy Venetian families. The Murano glassmakers held a monopoly on high-quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including optically clear glass, enameled glass, glass with threads of gold, multi-colored glass, milk glass and imitation gemstones, made of glass. Today, these centuries-old techniques are still in use and many fine glass products are still made here. Let’s step into the furnace area, it is sweltering in here! We watched as this gentleman, who has many, many years experience demonstrated how to make a vase. It took him about about five minutes! You get the molten glass on the end of the stick and blow and blow and turn and turn……..
Then pinch and prod………
After the vase he whipped up a horse………….
Next, we stepped inside the glass showroom. It’s a good thing because the furnace area was unbelievably hot! We were captivated with the demonstration of the fine lead glass. See those beautiful red cups? He held one about a foot from that mirror and dropped it! The cup just rolled upright unscathed! You don’t even want to know what one of those cups cost, never mind that cup, saucer, creamer, sugar, coffee pot and tray assortment!
Moving into the showroom we saw………..
everything you would ever want in glass……..
You can have it shipped home……….but the fine glass was way out of my price range… I did get some jewelry and ornaments though! Let’s move on, so back into the small boat.
It’s a beautiful day in Italy…….now to Burano, another island just off Venice!
What will we find in Burano? See you there!