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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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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Hi Noel, you pictures are amazing! going through your pictures made me remembering the time I had in Murano with my love one, few years ago.
Thanks for your beautiful photo report!
Hi Noel! Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures of Murano main canal, life around it, glassmaking process and of course, the short and sweet video of you along with your friend jumping, turning and twisting. That’s a hidden talent of yours apart from your stunning photography. Thanks again!
I loved watching the glass blowing demonstration when I visited Venice. I’d never seen it before and the guy that showed our group made a standing horse in ten minutes! I was skeptical about Venice at first when I saw how many tourists there were but a few minutes after “getting lost” in the alleys, it was beautiful and I loved it.
Lovely photos Noel! Didn’t you just love Venice and Murano? I have so much respect for those glass artists! What an amazing job!
Beautiful photos – I especially like the venetian window detail and fruit and vrg shot 🙂
We were in Murano two years ago and this post brought back wonderful memories.I really like the intermixing of color and black and white photos – both capture that magical little place so well.
Oh your video did make me chuckle!! I bet you had fun making it. Was it a REALLY quite corner or did you get a few bemused on lookers?
Haha, no not really quiet but who care’s when you are on vacation 🙂 love to do spontaneous things
Fantastic photos of Murano!
That was a fun video and a good way to show off your camera’s burst mode. You certainly have a lot of energy. I would love to visit a glass factory one day and try my own hand at blowing glass. I bet I don’t have the lung capacity to do it. Are the boats with the produce frequented by locals or is it more for the tourists’ benefit. Murano looks like such a beautiful island. I hope to visit it some day.
Yes burst mode is appropriate for the video especially when you just want to work on action shots, thanks for checking out the video
Great photos, as always Noel, lots of fab scenes, colours and contrasts. Love the video, you should do more of them 🙂
Gorgeous images of Venice and its beautiful architecture and colors! Makes me relive my visit there over 10 years ago…. time to definitely go back.
Those artisans are incredibly talented – it’s great that they are continuing their traditional work. Looks like a perfect day trip!
I well remember the beauty of Murano, although it looks like you had a much better day than we did. We popped over when we were in Venice for three days (I’d already been so we just wandered a bit), and it rained the entire time. What a mess. But on the bright side, we met our very good friends from London at a restaurant while on that trip and have been friends ever since! Thanks for hosting!
we visited Venice and the islands years ago, before I had a digital camera. I would love to go back again some day. Your photos are really inspiring.
I love markets, and these glass markets and floating markets look fascinating. I enjoyed your short video.
Beautiful pictures. Makes me want to get on a plane to Venice!
Glass blowing is a fascinating art, I can’t imagine the skill and patience that must be required in order to master the craft. Another reason to visit Italy on my ever-growing list of “Why I want to visit Italy.”
Murano is on my list of places to visit when we go to Italy next year! This post got me really excited to travel there. Great photography!
I loved these pictures! The last time I was in Venice I was with my sister. We wanted to go to one of the island but ruled out Murano because I knew I’d buy a lot of glassware. So we went to Burano where I bought a bunch of lace stuff that was gorgeous and I never wear!
Amazing photos! I’d love to visit Venice – so much to see and do, and some incredible creativity that’s survived over the centuries. This looks like it was a great experience!
Interesting video, Noel! 🙂 Was that just done with your camera set to take a series of multiple shots per second?
Like the creative use of the boat to sell free fruit and veg… allows a lot to be displayed without talking up the walkway, and presumably makes transporting the goods easier…
I loved how they are selling vegetables on water… Another exquisite travelogue 🙂
Always loved the canals…wanted to visit 🙂
Beautiful photos 🙂
Venice really is a photographers dream!
I [particularly like the veggie stall on the canal – You don’t see that on the main island –
And I too loved the leaping interlude 😉
Yay! Now I have an excuse to go back to Venice. We didn’t visit Murano. Clearly a mistake.
The shot of Main canal at Murano is definitely my favourite one!
Hi Noel, I visited Murano in the late 90’s. This certainly refreshed my memories. Your photos are absolutely stunning and took me back there. I so love the video of you and Kyna You’re so cool and a lot of fun!
Your pics exude life there. I LOVE glass blowing – and the result of course:)
Sorry forgot to include: my post is about Balboa Park, San Diego. Lots to see there.
Hi Noel! It’s wonderful to get to travel through your photography. Watching glass work is always amazing to me. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin
That was fascinating. And on the plus side, I discovered you’re quite the dancer!
Thanks, more like a crazy guy jumping up and down, hilarious! Thanks for checking out the video.
More lovely photos (and ones that mean that I STILL can’t publish my Venice and Murano pics because they’re nowhere near as good!). Oh, love the video too! 🙂