If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Venice, Murano Island is the perfect place to visit. This colorful island is known for its glass-blowing factories, shopping, and stunning scenery. In this article, we’ll give you tips on visiting Murano Island and some of the best things to do and see while you’re there.
Table of Contents:
- Top 7 Things to Do and See on Murano
- Is Murano Island Worth a Visit?
- How Do You Get to the Island of Murano
- What is the Difference Between Murano and Burano?
- Do People Live on Murano Island?
- Murano Frequently Asked Questions
Although most of your time in Venice will be spent exploring the main island and its many wonderful museums, charmful canals, and beautiful churches, you should take some time for a day trip to neighboring Murano Island.
Known as Italy’s glass island, Murano is a small and lovely collection of seven individual islands linked together by walkable bridges.
If you’re interested in shopping for family and friends and want something unique, Murano is the place to do it. From hand-blown shot glasses to intricate chandeliers, there’s something for everyone.
Although it’s very close to Venice, the atmosphere is quite different. Murano is very small, quiet, and feels lived in. Chances are you’ll see more stores and factories than homes, but you should venture into the neighborhoods to see how people live on this unique island. There are beautiful views everywhere.
Venice’s Island Guides:
Top 7 Things to Do and See on Murano
Murano Island in Venice is a beautiful and charming place to visit. Murano is located just off the main island’s coast and is known for its many glass-blowing factories and shops. With its stunning scenery, unique shopping opportunities, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Murano Island has become such a popular destination for tourists.
Here are the seven best things to do and see when visiting Murano.
Museo del Vetro Glass Museum
The art of glass-blowing has been practiced in Venice, Italy for centuries. Dating back to the 13th century, Murano Island was home to many of the earliest glass factories in Europe.
The Venetian Republic held a monopoly on glass production and closely guarded their secrets, making it illegal for factories to operate outside Murano. This allowed them to maintain control over quality and innovation while protecting their trade secrets from competitors.
As a result, Murano quickly rose as one of the most important centers for the manufacturing and sale of luxury glass products around the world. Today, visitors can observe traditional craftsmanship firsthand at many workshops throughout this beautiful island cityscape.
The Museo del Vetro Glass Museum is a great place to learn about the history of glass-making in Murano and throughout Italy. The highlight of this museum is the gorgeous chandelier room, which showcases some of the world’s most beautiful and intricate designs.
Constructed as a patrician palace, this building has played many roles throughout its lifetime. In 1659 it was transformed into a home for the bishops of Torcello; two centuries later, it acted as Murano’s town hall. Finally, in 1923 when Murano joined Venice, the building became the museum we still admire today.
Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato
The Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato is a beautiful 11th-century church located on Murano Island. This striking building stands out amongst the colorful glass factories with its unique red brickwork and white marble facade.
The church’s interior is just as remarkable with its colorful frescoes and elegant sculptures. The basilica’s highlight is its incredible glass-mosaic floor, which consists of over two million tiny glass tiles.
The basilica was once a popular place for pilgrims to visit, as it contains the bones of Saint Donatus. A Venetian merchant brought the relics from Constantinople in 1103 and are now encased in beautiful glass cases displayed for visitors.
Apart from the bones of St. Donatus, this basilica is thought to feature something extraordinary – four rib bones that belonged to a dragon slain by St. Donatus in Greece. This awe-inspiring story has been passed down through generations as a testament to his courage and heroic deeds.
Today, the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato is a stunning testament to Murano’s extraordinary architecture.
Church of Saint Peter Martyr
Chiesa Arcipretale di San Pietro Martire is one of the most beautiful churches in Murano Island. Built in the 13th century, this church combines Gothic and Venetian styles, making it stand out from its contemporaries.
Its interior features exquisite ornate decorations with intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and illuminated paintings. One of its most impressive features is the baldacchino or canopy, which was built in 1490 and serves as a reminder of Murano’s historical craftsmanship.
The highlight of this stunning church is the artwork found within. The Church of Saint Peter Martyr contains some of Italy’s most important renaissance painters, including Tintoretto’s Baptism of Christ, Giovanni Bellini’s Assumption with Saints and Barbargio Altarpiece (seen above), and Paolo Veronese’s St. Jerome in the Desert.
The Church of Saint Peter Martyr is a must-see destination for any visitor to Murano Island. This stunning building will stay with you long after your trip has ended!
Palazzo da Mula
The Palazzo da Mula is a stunning 17th-century palace located in the heart of Murano Island. This grand building was constructed for the wealthy Da Mula family and boasts some impressive features such as frescoed ceilings, marble floors, and lovely terraces.
Today, the palazzo acts as a museum and a reminder of how beautiful Venetian gothic architecture is. If you’re lucky enough to go to the museum, there’s a host of glass chandeliers, elaborate tapestries, and delicate sculptures, all crafted in Murano’s famous glass.
Located directly next to the water taxi line Murano Faro “B1” and “A1,” the Murano Lighthouse stands 100 feet tall and peers above neighboring buildings and the Venetian lagoon. This 19th-century lighthouse was built to help guide ships safely into the Venetian lagoon and has become a beloved landmark of Murano Island.
Glass Blowing Demonstration
For an unforgettable experience on Murano Island, take a glass-blowing demonstration! This centuries-old art form is still alive and well in Murano, and visitors can get up close and personal with the glass masters as they sculpt and create stunning works of art.
From drinking glasses to elegant sculptures, the glass masters are sure to impress with their skill and creativity. Glass-blowing demonstrations make for a great day out on Murano Island!
Shop in Venetian Glass Factories
A trip to Murano Island would not be complete without a visit to one of its many glass factories. Venetian glass is renowned as some of the most beautiful in the world, and visitors can purchase exquisite pieces at any of the island’s shops and galleries.
Murano glass is intricately crafted, often with unique designs that feature bright colors or swirling patterns. From glass jewelry to vases, Murano is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir that will last a lifetime!
During my last trip to Murano, I picked up a glass octopus (one of my favorite animals) and purchased several multicolored glass rosary beads for my family.
Is Murano Island Worth a Visit?
There’s no doubt about it: Murano Island is one of the most magical places in Venice. Its long history, traditional glass-making techniques, and stunning churches make it a must-see destination for any traveler to the Venetian lagoon.
The streets of Murano are steeped in Italian culture, and its glass factories are a sight to behold. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or an unforgettable experience, Murano Island is definitely worth the visit!
If you ever find yourself in Venice, do yourself a favor and take the water taxi to Murano Island – you won’t regret it.
How Do You Get to the Island of Murano
While Rome uses subways to navigate the city, Venice has the Vaporetto (water bus) to efficiently get around the canals and surrounding islands.
Taking a ferry boat is an easy and convenient way to get from Venice to Murano.
All lines are available daily from 6 am to 10:30 pm (except during holidays). If you’re going to be touring multiple islands, we recommend purchasing a 24-hour ticket for €24 or a 12-hour ticket for €18.
If you’re going to Murano, you can hop on the Vaporetto (ferry) at Venice’s San Zaccaria stop near Piazza San Marco. We recommend taking the Murano Colonna “B” line. It will drop you off at the major entry point for the island of Murano.
The trip takes 40 to 50 minutes.
How Much is a Water Taxi From Venice to Murano?
You’ll buy your ticket from the ACTV kiosk in front of the vaporetto stop. 1 ticket: 75 minutes € 9,50; 24 hours € 25; 48 hours € 35; 72 hours € 45; 7 days € 65.
Can You Walk to Murano?
No, it’s not possible to walk to Murano Island. To get there you need to take a Vaporetto (water bus) or a private water taxi.
The trip itself is relatively short and only takes 40-50 minutes on the boat. The water taxis are more expensive than the Vaporetto, but also faster. A water taxi will get you there in about 15 minutes.
No matter which option you choose, it’s worth the price for a chance to see the stunning views of Venice from the water!
Is Murano or Burano Closer to Venice?
Murano is the closest of the two islands to Venice. It’s just 4km away and will take you around 40-50 minutes to get there. Burano is a bit further away at 12km, but the journey only takes around 50-60 minutes by boat.
What is the Difference Between Murano and Burano?
Murano is best known for its glass-making factories, while Burano is a colorful fishing village renowned for its lace-making. Both islands offer visitors beautiful views and interesting attractions.
Murano has glass-blowing demonstrations, galleries and shops filled with Venetian glass art, and breathtaking churches like Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato.
On the other hand, Burano is a colorful oasis of brightly painted houses and vibrant canals that are perfect for taking photographs. Its winding streets are full of lace-makers offering unique handmade items and cafes and restaurants serving delicious seafood dishes.
Both Murano and Burano are beautiful and well worth a visit.
If you’re planning a trip to lace island, read our article on the top Things to Do and See on Burano.
Which is Nicer Murano or Burano?
It really depends on your interests. Murano is great for art lovers and glass collectors, while Burano is ideal for photographers and those seeking a unique cultural experience.
No matter which island you choose to visit, you won’t be disappointed! I had an amazing time exploring the narrow alleyways of both places, learning about the history and culture, and of course, admiring the breathtaking views.
Murano and Burano are both beautiful islands with a lot to offer visitors. It’s worth taking time out to explore them both!
Should I Go To Murano or Burano First?
Many people prefer to visit Murano first because it’s closer to Venice and the glass-blowing demonstrations and shops offer an interesting insight into Venetian culture and history.
However, some suggest starting your journey with Burano, as this colorful island will provide you with a unique experience that will leave you wanting more time to explore Venice and the Veneto region.
Do People Live on Murano Island?
Yes, there are about 4,000 people that live on Murano Island. Most of them work in the glass-making industry, as this is what the island is most known for.
Murano heavily relies on tourism to prop up their economy, so if people don’t work in glass factories, they likely work in restaurants, shops, or galleries.
Unfortunately, Murano’s population has declined over time, as families often struggle to make ends meet with tourism income. As a result, many residents have left the island and migrated to mainland Italy seeking better job opportunities and housing options.
Murano Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Murano Mean in Italian?
Murano is derived from the Latin word murus, which means “wall” and refers to a walled area around the island.
Can I Get to Murano by Gondola?
No, it’s not possible to get to Murano by gondola. The only way to get there is via boat, either on the Vaporetto or by water taxi.
Are There Hotels on Murano?
Yes, there are a few hotels located on Murano Island. However, they tend to be expensive, and most visitors prefer to stay in Venice. If you’re looking for where to stay in Venice, we wrote a guide on it.
How Can You Tell if Murano Glass Is Real?
A distinctive “Vetro Murano Artistico” trademark decal is now affixed to every genuine piece to ensure the authenticity of traditional and beautiful Murano glass. This label can be seen on any legitimate shop or showroom that sells authentic Venetian glass artistry. Sadly, many souvenir shops have attempted to deceive customers by selling counterfeit Chinese products as original pieces from Venice. Still, with this new labeling system in place, you will never again fall victim to such scams!
If you are in Venice, do not miss the short boat ride to Murano. It is well worth it. You will be transported to a place that feels like it is from another time—where artisans have been perfecting their craft for centuries. And while Burano may get all of the photography attention, Murano is worth your time. So go explore, enjoy, and come home with real murano glass! Let us know in the comments below if you have been to Murano or are planning a trip soon!
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