Since 1291 Murano has been supplying the world with rich hand blown glass in brilliant colors. Murano was a commercial port as far back as the 7th Century, and by the 10th Century it had grown into a prosperous trading center with its own coins, police force, and commercial aristocracy. Then, in 1291, the Venetian Republic ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano because the glassworks represented a fire danger in Venice, whose buildings were mostly wooden at the time.
As I travel throughout Italy I can identify a chandelier in a Villa by the intricate worksmanship and bright colors. The Pandora bracelets that you see today are inspired by non other than Murano and Venice Art.
What made Murano’s glassmakers so special? For one thing, they were the only people in Europe who knew how to make glass mirrors. They also developed or refined technologies such as crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Their virtual monopoly on quality glass lasted for centuries, until glassmakers in Northern and Central Europe, introduced new techniques and fashions around the same time that colonists were emigrating into this country.
There is no doubt that Murano’s craftsman & woman, do produce stunning works of Art from glass, although some of the designs are by foreign artists. Visit the galleries and showrooms on Murano, and you’ll find works that are technically and Art (because that is what it is) simply stunning. Also, don’t miss the island’s glass museums and leading churches.
To plan your trip to Murano (which is only a few minutes from central Venice by public waterbus),