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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 29 March, 2024
Expert travel writer: Nicky Swallow

Murano became the capital of glass in 1291 thanks to a decree banning all furnaces from Venice proper to avoid fire risk. The island soon became centre for glass-blowing, shipping chandeliers, mirrors, vases and glass tableware across the world. Today, Murano remains a unique place where the skills of centuries are still practised by latter-day artisans.

Watching a top glass-blower is an absorbing sight, from the ferocious heat thrown out by the yellow glow of the furnaces to the balletic genius of the Murano craftsmen as they blow, snip, twist and tug at their fiery blob of liquid to transform it into an exquisite vase or seahorse. Afterwards, you can buy pieces in the showrooms.

Don't miss

The Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) is housed in a beautiful 17th-century palazzo and has a vast collection of Murano glass from elaborate 18th-century chandeliers to exquisite glass beads.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

While it is perfectly possible to wander round the glass shops independently, you need to book an appointment at a furnace in advance. You’re best off booking onto a guide tour. If you want to buy glass, a few pointers to sort the schlock from true quality:

  • glass shops toting vetro di Murano are usually a rip-off
  • shops selling  vetro artistico di Murano are a little more reliable.
  • the real deal is VERY expensive; a wine glass costing under €10 will be an Asian import.

Newly-opened gallery/design shop/restaurant/bistro Punta Conterie is a good stop-off for snacks or a gourmet meal and some contemporary glass culture. It has a rooftop terrace with watery views.

When to do it

You can visit Murano seven days a week, all year round. But in the summer months it will be packed; go in winter for a more authentic experience.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Murano & Burano Islands Guided Small-Group Tour by Private Boat

Venice

Murano & Burano Islands Guided Small-Group Tour by Private Boat
Cruise the Venetian Lagoon by private water taxi and meet the artisans keeping Venice’s traditional crafts alive. You’ll see demonstrations of traditional glassblowing on the island of Murano, and traditional lacemaking on Burano. The tour includes discounts on souvenirs from both demonstration workshops. Both islands have plenty to see, and you’ll have ample time to explore.

Price: €48

Min age: 0

Rating 4.57 / 5 [3808 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Murano Glass Experience with a Visit to a Burano lace island

Venice

Murano Glass Experience with a Visit to a Burano lace island
Meet you local guide in Venice city center, then board a private boat and admire the lagoon of Venice. Stop in Murano island to see S. Maria and Donato Cathedral followed by an old glass factory visit. Afterwards stop in Burano island and explore the lace island

Price: €35

Min age: 0

Rating 4.52 / 5 [847 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Private Excursion by Typical Venetian Motorboat to Murano, Burano and Torcello

Venice

Private Excursion by Typical Venetian Motorboat to Murano, Burano and Torcello
Visit the most beautiful islands of the lagoon: Murano, Burano and Torcello. A private boat tour with friendly guide and driver will let you discover the best of Venice like a local. You will reach the island of Murano with possibility either to visit a glass factory or to stroll around its quiet streets. Then you will reach Burano, a fisherman island with picturesque houses and great local biscuits. The last island of the tour will be Torcello, with the first Basilica of Venice.

Price: €180

Min age: 0

Rating 4.65 / 5 [325 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Venice Murano Island Glass Factory Tour with Glass Blowing Demonstration

Venice

Venice Murano Island Glass Factory Tour with Glass Blowing Demonstration
Take part at the Colleoni Glass Factory tour and admire an expert glass Master creating an object with the blowing and the sculpture techniques. Visit our showrooms and use you ticket as a credit to spend by us

Price: €10

Min age: 0

Rating 4.05 / 5 [225 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Murano by Private Watertaxi Including Glass Blowing Demo with Hotel Pickup

Venice

Murano by Private Watertaxi Including Glass Blowing Demo with Hotel Pickup
Travel by private taxi boat through the Grand Canal from Venice with your guide to reach Murano Island. Visit the historical center with its 7th-century cathedral and watch a glass-blowing demonstration in a glass factory. Enjoy free time in the showrooms and a special 20% discount on purchases.You then will be able to return to the city center at any time by public transportation (own expense).

Price: €45

Min age: 0

Rating 4.35 / 5 [173 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Venice

Veneto, Italy

Venice

Crammed with picturesque canals, Renaissance palazzos and artistic masterpieces, this unique and alluring city is heaven-on-earth for art lovers and romantics.