Exploring Murano and the glass factories and galleries on the island

The island of Murano which is famous for it’s glass factories and galleries is an amazing place to explore and wander around the island. An easy commute by ferry from any Venice ferry dock, you’ll get to Murano on these fun and cheap ferries and arrive in no time. It’s a casual experience to drop into any of the glass factories to see them in action and also visit the galleries in the workshops. Below is a highlight tour of what to expect, see and do while you are out exploring Murano island and the famous glass factories of Murano.





Exploring Murano, Travel Photo Mondays #36

Main canal at Murano


Murano: exploring the creative glass works and the island

I do love glass art so taking a visit to Murano Island was definitely on the agenda during my visit to Venice. It is amazing that the glass making community in Murano has survived for many centuries and is still on the cutting edge of beautiful glass artistry.

The trip over by water ferry to Murano from Venice is enjoyable and seeing different vistas of Venice from the water along with some of the islands we passed is a wonderful way to see the entire archipelago.  We even cruised by the cemetery of San Michelle which looked very regal and yet strangely eerie with its elaborate church and above water tombs built since the early 1800’s.


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The cemetery at San Michelle island




Exploring Murano, Travel Photo Mondays #36

The water ferries


Catching a local Ferry to Murano

Getting a local ferry is an easy and cheap way of getting to Murano island. You can catch a ferry from any of the Venice docks that have schedules in the direction heading out to Murano island or you can buy day ferry passes to explore around the various parts of Venice, islands including Murano. The ferry ride over is fun as you see different vistas from a water vantage point and enjoying the slow pace of water travel here in Venice which is pleasant and fun to do.



Exploring Murano island

Traveling by vaporetti


When you land at Murano, it’s easy to walk around the island, visiting the main art galleries or taking a detour to any of the glass making factories. You’ll get a free tour and demonstration of how art glass is created with the artisans working at different stations – the glass making craft being passed down from generation to generation. (Of course they would also appreciate you visiting their gift shop afterwards which is not mandatory, but a nice gesture)


Exploring Murano island

Working glass bits

Visiting the glass factories of Murano

Once you arrive at the island dock, you’ll see placards of some of the most famous glass factories that are open to visiting on the island. Just follow the signage and arrows and you will get to the glass factory section in no time and get to visit a variety of factories around the island. After you tour the glass factories, you can check out the main shopping venues and downtown area which is filled with more galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops to explore and of course look at glass souvenirs to take home.

Glass artisans give a demonstration showing the glass bits of color being added to the large molten glass piece and different techniques of dripping, blowing and adding colorful details to their work in progress.


Exploring Murano island

Glass demonstration





Exploring Murano island

Glass detail work at a foundry


Afterwards, walking along the main venue which is actually a canal lined with colorful shops and cafes on both sides of the canals is a pleasant pass time. The glass galleries along the canal are fun to explore or just window shop. But, once you step into one of these shops be prepared to be wowed by all the colors and selections and eager sales people to hang on your coat tails. It’s going to be difficult to walk out without taking home a wonderful glass souvenir – and why not – it’s worth it along with supporting the glass industry in Murano (Be advise thought that  the really cheap glass items for sale are usually made in China. So always ask if it’s made in Murano)


Exploring Murano island

Fresh vegetables sold on the canal





Exploring Murano island

Delicious looking fruits and vegetables






Exploring Murano island

Vaporetti passing in the canal






Exploring Murano island

Main canal details


There are many smaller side streets, plazas and churches to explore outside of the galleries and shopping areas. It’s fun to wander and discover the quiet areas outside of the tourist zone and stroll around the neighborhood areas that are home to many Venetians that live and work on Murano and Venice.



Exploring Murano island

Venetian styled window detail





Exploring Murano island

Huge glass sculptures in the piazzas





Exploring Murano island

fountain details


Here’s a fun video I did with my friend Kyna in one of the quiet corners of Murano below


Leaving by water ferry to other island destinations including Burano and the more remote but also historic Torcello island is also a wonderful experience, getting away from the maddening crowds of Venice. Do give yourself extra time to see these colorful and historic islands, they are worth seeing on their own so do put them on your buck list of things to explore in Venice.

 Conclusion to visiting Murano Island

This island is a definite must visit if you love taking ferries, exploring cool islands and seeing glass making in progress and it is all free except for the cheap ferry ride or lunch if you have time to enjoy a wonderful meal on the island. Hope that you get a chance to visit soon or if you have please leave a comment below about your experience visiting Murano please.

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