Murano is located in the Venetian Lagoon less than one mile from Venice. It is a chain of islands that is known around the world for its glass making. As in Venice, there is a main canal in Murano, called the Canal Grande di Murano. The charming islands are the perfect destination for the traveler looking to break away from the crowds in Venice for a day of relaxation in a much slower paced environment, but still find plenty of things to do in Murano. There is a nice selection of places where you can stop off for a latte or glass of wine, or perhaps some seafood. You can either book one of the Murano Italy tours, which gives you access to the Murano Glass Museum, the famous churches on the islands, and guided explanations of the various sites, or you can simply go it alone. Just as in Venice, if you really want to get to the know the place for yourself, nothing really tops getting out to explore on your own.
If you are traveling by vaporetto from Venice, get off at the Colonna stop. This will drop you off at the main street in Murano, Rio dei Vetral. Along this strip you will find everything from quality gift and souvenir shops, to restaurants, casual cafes, and charming bars. It is always pleasant just to sit back and watch the boats wisp by as you pass an afternoon away, relaxing in the storied Venetian Lagoon. There is a variety of things to do in Murano, including simply taking it easy and enjoying the nice cafes and such, but there are several great attractions as well.
Murano Italy Glass
The Murano Glass Museum is perhaps the most famous and popular of all the attractions on the islands because of Murano’s international reputation as a leading producer and manufacturer of glassware of all kinds. The Murano Glass Museum features not only the incredible works of local artisans, from beads and chandeliers, to mirrors and blown glass pottery, but also puts on display a history of the art of glassmaking over the centuries, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt. The tradition of glassmaking in Murano started when the glassmakers who were situated in Venice proper were told to move to the foundries in Murano due to fears of fire consuming the wooden buildings in which the artisans were housed. One of the most important things to do in Murano is to simply take in as much of the local glass art as possible. You can watch the entire process being carried out or purchase some of the pieces to take home for the ultimate souvenir.
Murano Italy Hotel
The most impressive other attractions on the island include the brilliant churches. The Church of Santa Maria e San Donato is a twelfth-century Byzantine church known for its interior floor comprised completely of mosaic tiles. The Church of San Pietro Martire dates back to the fourteenth century and contains spectacular works by the likes of Tintoretto and Veronese. You can find this stunning church at the convergence of the Canal Grande di Murano.
Top image: D&S McSpadden (flickr)