Discover the secrets of Murano Island

What to do in Murano, the island of Italian glassware

Close to Venice, Murano is full of buildings, workshops and churches testifying to its past linked to the glass industry. It is an excellent destination for people looking for peace and quiet away from its famous neighbour. Going to Murano will allow you to dive into the heart of Italy, its history and get off the beaten track.

An Island near Venice

The island of Murano is located in the north of Italy, in the middle of the lagoon of Venice. This space of 1.17 km2 is divided in two by the Canal Grande and makes it a river island, which owes it the name of “Little Venice”.

The history of Murano

The arrival of the first populations on the island dates back to the 6ᵉ century and took the name of Amurianum. From then on, Murano became an important trading point in the Mediterranean with many flows of people and goods. However, we are witnessing a real development of the island from the 13ᵉ century with the Venetian glass industry. Inspired by oriental know-how, many glassworks flourished in Venice at this time. Threatened by numerous fires and espionage, the authorities decided to relocate the workshops to this island. Since then, this tradition of Murano glass has been passed down from generation to generation. The most telling example is that of the Ballarin family and one of the most famous glassmakers on the island, Giorgio Ballarin, born in 1440 to glassmakers parents. After having scoured the workshops of the island, he met in 1492 the glassmaker Robert de Thysac from Lorraine. They both create a clandestine workshop and mix their common knowledge to create an exceptional glass, with red, pink and ruby ​​tones which makes them the most successful glassmakers of the time. Venetian craftsmanship reached its peak during the Renaissance. The creations spread throughout Europe and the know-how of Murano is threatened. Attracting French and European covetousness, the export of glass stops, production is highly regulated and monitored. Patents and licenses are difficult to access for master glassmakers and workers working in workshops. In the 18ᵉ century, glass craftsmanship slowed down. In full Napoleonic conquest it is the end of the Republic of Venice. It was at the end of the 19ᵉ century that Murano glass craftsmanship regained its former glory and found a second wind.

Murano glass

Since then, Murano glass has been recognized internationally, it is exported all over the world. Copied, but never equaled, this exceptional glass constitutes the heart of activity of the Venetian archipelago. It is recognizable by its singular colors, its transparency and its luminosity. A mixture of sand, fire and light, this glass is first blown from a solid or hollow cane, then it is then softened with methane and air. It is at this stage that the craftsmen model the different objects such as Murano jewelry and leave the mark of manual work: irregularities and round water.

Visit the island's glassworks

You have therefore understood that visiting a glass factory and observing a blower in action is a must if you go to Murano. Discover the demonstrations of these artists during the many visits organized on the island. There are currently more than fifteen workshops in Murano which work manually according to the ancestral method and which will allow you to discover the different stages of creation of objects, such as a Murano glass lamp for example.

Venture into the island's beautiful gardens and palaces

To immerse yourself in the history of the lagoon of Venice, nothing better than a passage through the gardens of the island. It is here that the rich craftsmen, the nobles and the artists met. They appreciated the softness and the scents of Murano like Alduce Manue or Pietro Aretino. The glass industry having allowed the island to develop, the families at its head have seen their fortunes grow over the centuries. In fact, until the 18ᵉ century, many palaces were in Murano. However, they were ransacked and destroyed by Napoleon Bonaparte and his army of Italy during the siege of Venice in 1797. However, by venturing on the island you will find their traces in particular at the Museum of Murano.

Immerse yourself in the history of glass with the Murano Museum

And for those who wish to learn more about the art of glass, the Murano Museum has several thousand jewels made on the island such as Murano rings. Discover the first Phoenician designs, of ice and glass of all colors. You will discover the capital importance of the island in Venetian and Italian industry over the centuries. To get there for the Vaporetto, you will have the opportunity to admire the Palazzo Giustinian. This Gothic monument which houses the museum, previously hosted the monks of Murano. With many shops offering Murano glass objects, it will also be an opportunity for you to do your shopping and bring back some superb Murano earrings, for example!

Bring back with you Murano objects and jewelry

At the exit of the museum, as in the glassworks, you will be offered many hand-made. Beware of tourist traps, each object must be certified as to its provenance with a certificate or the artist's signature. We advise you to take an interest in the Murrines which are superb local creations. These are rods made up of different successive layers of glass and of different colors. These murrines are often used in the realization of murano chandeliers. In addition to the demonstrations, you can also take part in workshops to create your own jewellery: bracelet, ring, earrings. This type of activity costs around €30 and requires booking in advance.

Cruise the canals of Murano

Murano is not really an island, it is an archipelago of islets separated by canals and connected by various bridges. Like Venice, you can travel on gondolas to discover the different activities of the city. The Grand Canal separates the archipelago in two and is crossed by the Ponte Lungo, a bridge that allows you to cross from one bank to the other. You can also opt for the vaporetto to get around. This Bateau Bus network is made up of 4 stations: Fondamenta Venier, Fondamenta da Mula, Fondamenta Museo and Fondamenta Navagero.

The Basilica of Saint Mary and Saint Donat

The Chiesa dei Santi Maria e Donato is the first church built in Murano in the 7th century. Built on the Campo Santo Donato, it is the main historical monument of the island. In the 12th century, the body of Saint Donat was buried there and allowed the reconstruction of the church in a Veneto-Byzantine style. This architectural gem includes reliefs of Saint Donat on its facade. The interior is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and decorated with marble and splendid mosaics.

The churches of the island

The island of Murano also has two churches: San Pietro Martire and Santa Maria degli Angel. The first is a Gothic Dominican church located in the center of Murano. Inside wooded, it has beautiful Murano chandeliers and fine paintings by local artists. A word of advice, take a walk around it as soon as night falls, you can admire it, shine. The second is a Catholic church in the west of the island. Built in the Renaissance, it includes an Augustinian monastery. If from the outside it seems sketchy, it is known for its magnificent ceiling which once housed a painting by Tintoretto now moved to the Galleria dell'Academia in Venice.

How to get to Murano?

Close to Venice, you can only get there by boat. We therefore recommend opting for a crossing with a public boat or Vaporetto. The shuttles leave every 20 minutes from the Fondamente Nouve stop with lines 12, 13, 4.1, 4.2 and from Pizzale Roma with line 3. Tickets for the round trip will cost you between 15 and 20 euros from 6 years unless you already have a Venice City Pass. However, be careful, thousands of tourists take these boats daily to visit Murano but also the other islands of Burano and Torcello. Also remember to buy your tickets a little in advance to avoid queuing at the counter. In addition, we advise you to avoid peak hours. Indeed, leaving early in the morning or around noon will allow you to avoid the large flow of passengers. You can also get there directly from Marco Polo di Venezia Airport (VCE). Indeed, from April to October a boat leaves every hour and the crossing lasts 30 minutes. The price for the round trip is 15 euros. A good solution if you want to save time.

Where to stay in Murano

If you prefer to appreciate the region of Venice in peace, residing in Murano is ideal. Several accommodations are available to you. Let's start with hotels from €100 for a double room: Hotel Al Soffiador: simple 2-star rooms, one minute from the ferry terminal, Hotel Conterie: comfortable rather family rooms in a traditional Venetian style, Casa sulla Lugana: located above the Murano boat stop, Navagero, this hotel has a superb view of Venice, However, if you prefer to opt for an individual residence, the island of Murano has many rental apartments. The Beocio Home welcomes you with an interior courtyard, a terrace, gardens and a delicious homemade catering offer. You can also opt for Ca' dei Ferro, a residence with apartments equipped with individual kitchens.

A getaway on the island of lace

Burano is another island in the lagoon. Located in the North, it is also known for one of its skills: the production of lace. Composed of 4,000 inhabitants, it looks like Murano with its small houses of all colors, painted by local fishermen to find their way in the fog. It is made up of 4 islets: San Mauro, Giudecca, San Martino and Terranova. The development of the island took place during the renaissance with the development of the lace industry and its European export. But like glass, this exchange ceases when Louis XIV forbids this exchange and the French embark on the creation of lace. Even today, you can observe Italian lacemakers embroidering refined works on the island. A short visit to the San Martino church and the lace museum are obligatory passages. A getaway on the island will take you half a day from Murano with line 12.

Immerse yourself in Roman times in Torcello

Almost uninhabited, Torcello is the third island of the archipelago. This is the first inhabited area of ​​the Venice lagoon. Indeed from the fourth century, during the fall of the Roman Empire, people fled the city of Altinum and settled there. This exile is accentuated in the 5th century with the numerous barbarian conquests forcing the local populations to flee to the island. From the 6th to the 10th century Torcello grows to become the most powerful island in the region. It has about ten thousand inhabitants and about ten churches. However, the island was ravaged by Malaria in the 12th century and gradually declined in favor of Venice. If you are passionate about history and especially the Middle Ages, Torcello is the destination for you with its churches, its mosaics, the throne of Attila and the Devil's Bridge. You now have all the keys in hand to discover Murano and its surroundings, its secrets, its cultural and artistic heritage. We hope that like us, you will find inspiration there and that you will enjoy exploring the magnificent lagoons of this archipelago.
March 11, 2023
Qu'est-ce qu'un miroir de Murano ?

What is a Murano mirror?

What is a Murano mirror?

An interior designer by training, Michèle Richer has worked for more than 20 years with the craftsmen of Murano.

A mirror shaped in Murano is a guarantee of quality and authenticity.

It is the guarantee of ancestral know-how which requires great experience and an incomparable level of requirement.

This allows you to personalize it according to your interior and your requirements. The close ties we maintain with our Murano craftsmen and our expertise in this field allow us to respond to all types of tailor-made projects.

Propose, advise, custom-design your mirror according to your wishes.

On catalog or made to measure, for individuals as well as for prescribers, decorators, architects, hotels...

We have been specialists and experts in Murano for over 20 years.

Our catalog is a working basis since each model can be custom-made. We are here to advise you.

Install, restore Murano glass mirrors

Milodina, through its experience, intervenes on sites of all sizes and we adapt to each one with the same rigor of care and quality of service.

Our small team allows us to be flexible and responsive.

Mirrors of very varied styles but always of quality

Classic style, design, contemporary...

For the living room, the bedroom, the entrance, the hallway, the stairs, the kitchen, offices...

Do not hesitate to ask us for advice.

October 20, 2022
Nettoyage - restauration - installation - électrification de vos luminaires ou miroirs

Cleaning - restoration - installation - electrification of your lights or mirrors

Thanks to many years of practice and experience, we know how to intervene on sites of all sizes and adapt our expertise to each one with the same rigor of care and quality of service.

Our small team allows us to be flexible and responsive. We take the time to dismantle all the parts of the luminaire for perfect cleaning, whatever its size.

We can also electrify them again to bring them up to standard if necessary or even adapt them to LED bulbs.

Some illustrations of our work:

Supplies of broken or missing parts

Pieces redone identically for the restoration of a mirror
The master glassmaker at work to redo a piece of chandelier
October 10, 2022
Les luminaires en verre de Murano, vous connaissez ?

Murano glass lights, do you know?

Did you know ? Murano glass lights have been our core business for over 20 years!

An interior designer by training, Michèle Richer has worked for

more than 20 years for a beautiful Parisian house specializing in

Murano glass fixtures.

In charge of their design office, she was therefore in daily contact with the glassmakers of Murano for projects for individuals or for projects for professionals.

Architects, specifiers, developers, builders, decorators, hotels...

Since 2016, Michèle founded her brand MILODINA

Propose, advise, design tailor-made and according to your desires your Murano glass lighting.

On catalog or made-to-measure,

for of the individuals as for prescribers, decorators, architects, hotels...

We are Murano glass specialists and experts and are in close contact with the glassmakers/craftsmen of Murano.

Our catalog is a work base since each model can be personalized; We are here to advise you.

Install, restore Murano glass fixtures or mirrors

Milodina, through her experience, knows how to intervene on construction sites of all sizes and we know how to adapt to everyone with the same rigor of care and quality of service.

Our small team allows us to be flexible and responsive.

We take the time to disassemble all the parts of the luminaire for perfect cleaning whatever its size.

We can also re- electrify to bring them up to standard if necessary, adapt for LED bulbs...

Luminaires of very varied styles but always of quality

Classic style, design, contemporary...

For the living room, the bedroom, the entrance, the hallway, the stairs, the kitchen, offices...

Our selection of Murano lights and mirrors

A exceptional craftsmanship

Of the exceptional craftsmen

A shared passion for Murano glass

that we want to share with you

September 28, 2022