The Glass Merchants of Venice: Murano’s Master Glassblowers
With the Venetian sky the most marvellous blue above us, we set of on our private transfer to the famous glass island of Murano just a short distance from Venice’s main island.
Pulling up at the pier of the Murano Glass Factory we were visiting, we walked along the jetty, and stepped into the cool of the factory showroom and museum space.
The whole room seemed to gleam as the light glinted off the hand-blown glass items on display as we passed through on our way out to the factory room to see the Master glassblower at work.
Glass has been made on Murano island for some 1200 years, when the Venetian locals insisted the artisan trade be isolated on the island to stop the continuous fires from the firing ovens that were plaguing Venice!
The works created on the island were so amazing that they became famous around the world, so much so that to safeguard the glassblowing secrets, the masters of the trade were never allowed to leave their island home.
By the 1300s, the Master glassblowers had acquired fame among the Venetians akin to that of today’s sports stars. They were afforded the privileges of the noble class, and even had complete immunity for criminal acts!
Today, the privileges may have changed somewhat but the esteem remains.
Now there are only 12 Masters on the island, all of whom are greatly revered for their skills in creating the stunning glass items Murano is renowned for.
Each Murano glass factory has its own unique glass colour pallet stored in the form of crystals that are blended then heated in a flaming oven to form molten silica with the consistency of molasses.
This is worked on the end of a long but fine metal tube, which is twisted and blown with expert skill to form coloured drinking glasses, chandeliers, artworks, vases, jewellery and a range of other great signature things to buy in Venice.
Having seen just how the Master works, we were all the more appreciative of our time in the showroom, admiring the great range of incredible artworks and glass items, each more beautiful than the next.
We were like kids in a candy store, eyes jumping from one fabulous coloured work to the next.
Each item was a glimmering testament to the genius of the artistic nature of human beings, the skill of the master artists able to transform sand into such incredibly beautiful items.
Whilst we’d love to fill our house with chandeliers and glass sculptures were it plausible for us to do so, we were happy with our purchases of a beautiful vase, and other great little suitcase-friendly gifts we picked for our friends and family (and ourselves!).
Now, on our desk sits a blue-toned Murano glass paperweight. When the morning sunshine hits it, it casts out blue reflections that form a stunning daily reminder of the unforgettable blue of the Venetian sky – a memory that never fails to raise a smile and a sigh.
To experience for yourself what Venetian dreams are made of, we have a great Venice tour discount package. In one glorious afternoon, have a ride in a gondola on our small-group Original Gondola Tour. Visit St Mark’s on a guided tour and have our expert tour guide take you on a tour of the Doge’s Palace. Conclude your day with a relaxing ride on the Grand Canal in a motor launch on the small-group Grand Canal tour.
Booking this package entitles you to a free return transfer to Murano, including factory visit and a special discount voucher.
These Venice tours are also part of our super-discounted Grand Italy Tour discounted tour package including small-group tours in Rome and small-group tours in Florence.