Table of contents:
- Remote areas of Venice
- How to get to Murano?
- Infrastructure and population
- Venetian Glass Island
- Secrets of glass making
- What was produced on the island?
- Where to live?
- Murano Island: reviews of tourists
Murano is an island in Italy where the famous glass is produced, the secret of which the local craftsmen have guarded for centuries. It is located northeast of the city of Venice, in the Venetian Lagoon. Murano is a small area, its area is only a little more than one and a half kilometers. But his fame extends far beyond Venice, and even Italy. The demand for glass, which is still made here, the amazing beauty of glass products attract tens of thousands of tourists to the island of Murano.
Remote areas of Venice
The city itself consists of dozens of different islands. Between many of them there are bridges, and they are separated by canals. But some - and quite large - areas of the city are quite far from its center. They are scattered across the lagoon, and no one has built bridges to them. These areas include the island of Murano in Venice. But there are other similar places here.These are the islands of Burano, San Michele, Lido and Torcello. The first of them is known for its needlewomen, embroideries and especially lace, as well as brightly colored houses. San Michele is a Venetian cemetery. Lido is famous for its beaches and film festival. And the island of Torcello is completely different from other parts of the city. It is quiet, small, with green meadows, ancient churches and Byzantine mosaics. But Murano is the most popular and most visited of all the Venetian islands. His glass "art" is known all over the world.
How to get to Murano?
You can get here only by river minibuses, or the so-called vaporetto. How to get from Venice to Murano island? You need to take routes 41-42 or 51-52 at the Santa Lucia railway station or at the main pier in Piazza Roma (near the Doge's Palace). Vaporetto depart approximately once every half an hour. In addition, the ride on this “sea tram” is a real excursion in itself. First, the vaporetto circles Venice from the north, then stops at Fondamente Nuovo. Further on the path of the boat is almost open sea - the Venetian lagoon. Crossing it, the vaporetto makes another stop at the famous cemetery of San Michele, where, by the way, Joseph Brodsky is buried. On the way, you will also see an interesting sculptural group "Dante and Virgil", set right in the water on a pontoon base. The drive from the city center to the island is approximately thirty to forty minutes.
Infrastructure and population
Murano is actually an archipelago. It's seventiny islands, which are washed on all sides by the Venetian lagoon. However, since time immemorial, they have been interconnected by bridges, so they are perceived as a single whole. The island is a self-governing district of the Venetian commune. It has its own infrastructure, shops, administration, hospital. Lives on the island about four to five thousand people. And during its heyday - in the Renaissance - many more people settled here. The population of the island in those years was more than thirty thousand. However, now there are much more tourists in Murano than local residents. Although sometimes it seems incomprehensible how such a number of people could be accommodated on this small piece of land. The island is "Venice in miniature". It is also only accessible on foot. It, like the main Venice, is divided in two by the Grand Canal, along which gondola rides.
The island of Murano has been inhabited by people since the 5th century BC. The Romans and different tribes of the Goths visited here. The city founded here was both a fishing port and a center for the s alt trade. In the 11th century, monks of the Camaldul order moved here. In the beginning, the community was small. Then they founded the monastery of San Michele di Murano, which later became the center of printing. But the heyday of the island came at the end of the 13th century. In 1291, the government of Venice decides to move all the city's glass-blowing workshops there. By medieval standards of fire safety, this craft was a constant threat to the surrounding inhabitants. In the townfires were constantly breaking out, and given that most of the houses in those years were wooden, one can imagine the damage the fire caused.
Venetian Glass Island
In fact, it is, of course, Murano. There are many workshops on the island where you can see firsthand the process of its manufacture. According to tourists, this is a bewitching and simply magical sight. And in souvenir shops you can buy various products - earrings, jewelry, accessories, interior decor - which is not here … And all this is of amazing color, incredible texture and amazing ornament. Just keep in mind that it is better to buy all this in more remote areas, and not in the center of the island. There prices may be lower. But even if you do not have free money, you will spend half a day just looking at the windows and just moving from one workshop to another. There is also a Glass Museum on the island, where thousands of tourists flock every day. Luxurious compositions in a modern style are installed on the streets and courtyards. They are also made of glass.
Secrets of glass making
The production process was a secret for many years. Venetian glass was one of the city's sources of income. It was made according to special technologies invented by local craftsmen. It is not surprising that the government - the Council of Ten - did not even let the craftsmen out of this island. The glassblowers who settled there were to stay there forever. If such a master left the island, then he was declared a traitor, he was secretly hunted and killed wherever he was.was. But for such insulation, glassblowers received huge privileges. The daughters of masters could marry aristocrats, and their children retained the titles of patricians.
What was produced on the island?
Produced on Murano mainly mirrors and glasses, as well as various figures. For a long time, nowhere else in Europe could this be done. Then the range of production expanded significantly. Products, in addition to their pretentiousness, seemed so weightless, as if floating in the air. This was written about in books, and glass masterpieces were depicted in paintings. The island of Murano became so famous that the products of glassblowers were presented to the guests of the doges and various high-ranking persons. When Venice paid tribute to the Turkish sultan, she sent as payment some of the masterpieces of her masters. Glass-blowing art reached its peak of glory by the 16th century. However, after a hundred years, these products go out of fashion. In the 18th century, Venetian glass production declined. And with the advent of Napoleon's troops, all the factories were destroyed. But since the 19th century, the fashion for glass has returned and still reigns. A lawyer from Vicenza, with the help of English merchants, built a factory here and resumed the famous production.
Exhibition rooms, where different types of glass are exhibited, were opened in the Palazzo Justinian in 1861. Previously, it was the residence of the Bishop of Torcello - a patrician palace built in the Gothic style. This building has long been the city hall.Here you can get acquainted with the history of how the amazing craft that glorified the island of Murano arose and developed. In addition, the museum contains exhibits, which are glass products of different times and peoples, starting from Ancient Egypt. You can only reach the museum on foot, following all the signs, from the main vaporetto station called "Murano Faro". The exposition is closed on Wednesdays. The museum is open in summer from ten in the morning to five in the evening, and in winter - until four.
What is the Venetian island of Murano famous for besides its famous glass? Of course, its architecture. During the Renaissance, aristocrats and noble rich people began to settle on this island. At this time, it became fashionable, as in ancient times, to settle closer to nature. That is why people with money and good taste began to build villas, which were decorated with statues and paintings. And in their spare time they invited astrologers, philosophers and poets and had exquisite conversations here about art and mysticism. There are beautiful palaces and ancient churches here. For example, the Cathedral of Santa Maria e Donato is known for its stunning frescoes from the 12th century. This is one of the oldest churches in the entire Venetian lagoon. It was built in the Byzantine style - there are rich mosaic panels on the floor, walls and ceilings. The Clock Tower of the 19th century is also interesting. This is one of the most visited places. And the oldest palace on the island is the Palazzo di Mula. It was built in the 12th-13th centuries and managed to avoid renovation like other beautiful villas. That is why here you can admire the Gothic lancet windows andpanels in the Byzantine style.
Where to live?
The island of Murano in Venice is mostly a day trip destination. Most tourists come here for a few hours. But there are those who want to spend at least one day among this beauty, because how nice and calm it is on the island in the mornings and evenings, when endless crowds of people subside. For such connoisseurs of exclusivity, Murano has seven hotels. They are small, but quite expensive, however, like any accommodation in Venice in general. The cost of living ranges from 75 to 200 euros. The only hotel with a four-star classification is La Gare Hotel Venice - McGellery Collection. The rest of the hotels are not as luxurious, but nevertheless very romantic.
Murano Island: reviews of tourists
Travelers believe that even if you have only two days allocated for Venice, one of them should definitely be spent exploring the surroundings. You simply won't have a choice. Otherwise, you will not understand what the real Venice is. And the whole day just needs to be allocated to visit Murano. You will never forget the moment when you are seated on high chairs, offered tea or wine, and you will watch another masterpiece appear under the magic hands of a glass blower. The unlimited textural and color possibilities of this glass can bring to life any, even the most insane fantasy of artists and designers. It looks great both among decorations or household items, and in any interior. The best place to buy glass from Murano isofficial workshops or souvenir shops, otherwise you can buy a Chinese fake. Although every little thing there will cost at least two euros, all these products will be heavy, bright, with a deep overflow of shades. It is also surprising that such fragile jewelry - albeit of a huge size - is stored right on the streets, and no vandals have yet broken them.