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  • Admission: Free

Murano is one of 118 islands in the lagoon of Venice, famous for its glass factories. This is where the unique colored glass of Venice is made, in family-owned factories. Once located in the main city of Venice, they caused too many fires and were exiled to Murano in 1291 - that's how long the industry has been going.

It takes ten years to master the art of making proper Venetian glass. It's such a specialized art that in centuries past glass-makers were forbidden to leave Venice, and if they looked likely to betray industry secrets they were killed! These days the handmade glass is expensive and the industry is dying out - you are enthusiastically encouraged to purchase when you visit.

Murano is home to 4,000 people. In its heyday it had 30,000 residents and the rich Venetians built their summer houses with lush gardens on the island. In fact, Murano had Italy's first botanical gardens. There are also some lovely churches to see, one of which is rumored to house dragon bones behind the altar!

Practical Info

Take Vaporetto (ferry) 41 or 42 from central Venice (but not from stops along the Grand Canal or San Marco), get off at the stop Museo on Murano island. It is definitely worth visiting one of the glass factories and seeing chandeliers, vases and animals being made. A guided tour of the three islands, Murano, Burano and Torcello, is definitely worthwhile.

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