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Murano: the glass island

The Best Western Premier Hotel Sant’Elena carries on the travel through Venetian glasses’ shades, suggesting you some of the most beautiful and interesting venues to visit.
As you already known, Venetian glasses are worldwide famous and all around the city is full of shops and markets where you can buy a glass souvenir. Actually, to understand the soul and processes of glassmaking you should take a trip to Murano island.

Murano Island

The first documental evidence we have mentioning Murano glass working dates from 982 AD. It was not until the 12th century, however, that it started to be an organized manufacturing business. In the same period, the activity gradually concentrated on the island of Murano, before becoming exclusively dedicated to the purpose when, in 1291, the Republic decreed that all glassworks were to be transferred there for safety reasons. As the fire risk were too high, a single flame would have been enough to destroy the city, which was built mainly of food. So Murano became the heart of the Republic of Venice’s glass making sector, whose product were exported world-wide: France, UK, Flanders, Northern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean.

The beautiful glass museum will receive you offering access to the significant historical and artistic heritage database preserved in its collections.

Glass Museum

The museum is the largest historical collection of Murano glass in the world, with pieces dating from the 1st century A.D. to the 20th century, many of them world-famous masterpieces.
In the mid-1400s, Angelo Barovier made his discovery of fundamental importance, crystalline glass, a perfectly colourless and transparent glass. Angelo understood that the impurities in the raw material made the glass opaque and therefore invented a complex procedure for purifying it to obtain very pure glass. It is this discovery that decreed Murano glass’ worldwide success.

The Barovier Betrothal Globet (1475 – 1500), Glass Museum

Starting from the first decade of the 20th century, the history of glassmaking reached an authentic turning point: master glassblowers started to work together with other professional figures for the design and production of their articles and started a profitable partnership with designers, sculptors and Art Directors. The acclaim achieved by Italian design in the 1950s further contributed to the growth and diffusion of the Murano glass culture that attracted the attention of the 1900s’ biggest names in art (including Calder, Moore, Fontana, Guttuso, Le Corbusier, etc.).

Venini & Ducklings in bubble and filigree glass (1928), Glass Museum

The recent history of glass is particularly tied to Venice Biennale, who for long time has hosted the art and craft expressions of the city in the Venice Pavilion. The collection, resulted from this relationship, is a perfect picture of the excellence of the famous glassmakers’ production as Barovier & Toso, Pauly & C., Venini, Seguso.
Glass Museum, Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano, Venice
From 10am to 6pm (Ticket office from 10am to 5.30pm)

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