Murano is one of the best-known islands in the lagoon of Venice
. It is famed for its glass factories and laboratories where many generations of craftsmen have been working for centuries. Here’s a look at some of the top activities and sights the area has to offer.
Museo del Vetro
The Museo del Vetro is possibly one of the most renowned cultural museums in Venice. It is housed in a palace dating back to the 17th century, which was converted to the purposes of a museum only at a later stage, from 1861 onwards. The collections of the Museo del Vetro were enlarged by donations from the local artisans in the second half of the 19th century, when production in the area reached its peak. This glass museum offers an insight into the history of glass production from antiquity up to the modern day, thus contributing to making Murano the center of glassmaking in Italy and in the world.
Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano, Venice, Italy, +39 041 5274718
Mazzega Glass Factory
Mazzega is one of the most renowned glass factories in Murano. It has inherited the traditions and expertise of the historic Mazzega IVR, which revolutionized the technique of glass making in the 1950s and it is now regarded as one of the centers of glass production all over Murano. In the establishment it is possible to visit its showroom, sub-divided into 11 rooms, which displays some wonderful masterpieces resulting from the efforts of the local experts of glass making. There is also a knowledgeable international guide who can introduce visitors to the techniques and different products on offer.
Fondamenta da Mula 147, Murano, Venice, Italy, +39 041 736 888
B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria
Restaurant, Seafood, Italian, Mediterranean, $$$
B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria
Located near a glass furnace with a view of Rio dei Vetrai, where glass makers are housed, B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria is a multi-functional restaurant that attempts to make room for culinary adventure, comfort and pleasure amidst the local businesses of Murano. It offers good aperitivos and coffee breaks for those who need to rest their legs during a visit to the glass making island. For the hungry, B Restaurant alla Vecchia Pescheria serves some of the finest local seafood.
Opening hours: Mon to Tues 12 – 3pm/7 – 11pm, Thurs to Sun 12 – 3pm/7 – 11pm
Look out for: The local seafood.
Address: Campiello Pescheria 4, Murano, Venice, Italy, +39 041 5274957
Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato
Dating back to around the 7th century, this basilica is the Duomo of Murano and is dedicated to two saints, St Mary and St Donato. It boasts a sort of architecture that is typical of Ravenna in its mosaic style. It is made out of brick and of marble, which allows for an alternation of white and red that appeals to the eye. Inside the basilica it is possible to observe several mosaics from 1104, the year in which this cathedral was re-built, as well as other paintings inspired by Byzantine art.
Campo San Donato 11, Murano, Venice, Italy
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria degli Angeli is one of the main churches in Murano and is located on Canal Grande. The building dates as far back as 1188, but was later re-constructed and consecrated in the 16th century. With a simple, almost basic façade and a bell tower, Santa Maria degli Angeli invites any tourist into its interior, decorated here and there by Carrara marble and playing host to some wonderful paintings and interesting representations of Catholic virtues.
Fondamenta Cristoforo Parmense, Murano, Venice, Italy
Just like Venice proper, Murano is split in two by its own Canal Grande. This Canal Grande is much smaller and is not usually thronged with crowds, making it a fine spot to explore. It is crossed by Ponte Vivarini – called by the locals ‘Ponte Lungo’ or ‘Long Bridge’ – which allows visitors to go from one side to the other in style.
Bruno Fusato Signoretti
Bruno Fusato Signoretti is one of the most renowned personalities of glassmaking in Murano – and not only there. He also boasts a honoris causa degree from the Constantinian University at Cranston because of his entrepreneurship and his social and cultural merits. He contributed a great deal to the management of the Fenice Theater in Venice and carried on the traditions of glass production in his workshop. His famed Rezzonico chandeliers are admired and purchased around the world, too.
Calle San Cipriano 48, Murano, Venice, Italy, +39 041 5274294
Schiavon Art Team
This is one of the most famous workshops and ateliers in Murano. With both a vast and diverse offer of all sorts of products made out of glass, Schiavon Art Team will certainly make jaws drop. Amongst its creations are, for instance, incredible chandeliers, beautifully crafted vases, astonishing sculptures and other decorative pieces that all contribute to making a house a dream home. It also has showrooms, where it is possible to look through its best products, as well as two galleries and a furnace, where the magic really happens.
Fondamenta Vetrai 26, Murano, Venice, Italy
Palazzo da Mula
This palace is one of the very few remaining examples of Venetian Gothic architecture. It is a wonderful building dating back to the Renaissance which attempts to conjugate different styles and architectural tendencies, creating something fresh and original. As opposed to many palaces in Venice, Palazzo da Mula, because of its location in Murano, boasts a courtyard and a garden, two additional features that were very rare in this city built on the sea.
Fondamenta da Mula, Murano, Venice, Italy
Chiesa di San Pietro Martire
Originally built in 1348 but actually constructed in this form only in 1511, after being completely razed to the ground in 1474, this church features some peculiar aspects of Renaissance art and hosts some beautiful paintings besides. As well as being a cultural site visited by international tourists, it is also one of the weekly religious destinations for local Christians. Most of the paintings protected by the interior space of this church are the products of 16th-century artists, thus adding to the Renaissance quality of the building as a whole.
Campo Santo Stefano, Murano, Venice, Italy