Murano: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murano in the Venetian Lagoon.
View from a bridge on Murano, overlooking the Canal Grande di Murano.
Glass making in Murano.

Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about 1.5 km (1 mile) across with a population of just over 5,000 (2004 figures).[1] It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. It was once an independent comune, but is now a località of the comune of Venice.



Murano was settled by the Romans, then from the sixth century by people from Altino and Oderzo. At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through production of salt. It was also a centre for trade, through the port it controlled on Sant'Erasmo. From the eleventh century, it began to decline as islanders moved to Dorsoduro. It had a Grand Council, like that of Venice, but from the thirteenth century Murano was ultimately governed by a podestà from Venice. Unlike the other islands in the Lagoon, Murano minted its own coins.

In 1291, all the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to Murano due to the risk of fires.[2] In the following century, exports began, and the island became famous, initially for glass beads and mirrors. Aventurine glass was invented on the island, and for a while Murano was the main producer of glass in Europe. The island later became known for chandeliers. Although decline set in during the eighteenth century, glassmaking is still the island's main industry.

In the fifteenth century, the island became popular as a resort for Venetians, and palaces were built, but this later declined. The countryside of the island was known for its orchards and vegetable gardens until the nineteenth century, when more housing was built.

Attractions on the island include the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato (known for its twelfth century Byzantine mosaic pavement and said to house the bones of the dragon slain by Saint Donatus), the Church of San Pietro Martire with its splendid chapel of the Ballarin family built in 1506, and the Palazzo da Mula. Glass-related attractions include the many glassworks, some Mediaeval and most open to the public, and the Glass Museum, housed in the large Palazzo Giustinian.

History of Murano glassmaking

Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and destruction to the city’s mostly wood buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano glass is still interwoven with Venetian glass.

Murano's glassmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. By the 14th century, glass makers were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state and found their daughters married into Venice’s most affluent families. Of course there was a catch: glassmakers weren't allowed to leave the Republic. However, many craftsmen took this risk and set up glass furnaces in surrounding cities and as far afield as England and the Netherlands.

Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these centuries-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass jewelry to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers.

Today, Murano is home to the Museo Vetrario or Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian, which holds displays on the history of glassmaking as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through the present day.

Some of the historical glass factories in Murano are now among the most important brands of glass in the world. These companies include: Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso.

The oldest Murano glass factory that is still active today is that of Pauly & C. – Compagnia Venezia Murano, founded in 1866.

Official government protection of Murano glassmaking

As part of a broader view of protection and enhancement of typical and traditional Veneto product manufacturing and marketing, the Veneto Region protects and promotes the designation of origin of artistic glassworks created on the island of Murano, since glasswork is an inherent part of Venetian historical and cultural heritage.

The "Vetro Artistico Murano" trademark, filed and registered at the 'European Office for Harmonisation in Alicante, no. 00481812, has been established and is regulated by Regional Law no. 70, 1994.

See also


  1. ^ Venice, the tourist maze, p. 171, Robert Charles Davis, Garry Marvin, 2004
  2. ^ Lucartha Kohler Glass: An Artist's Medium ISBN 0-87431-604-x p. 12

External links

Coordinates: 45°27′30″N 12°21′12″E / 45.45833°N 12.35333°E / 45.45833; 12.35333


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Murano is an island town , about 1 km north of Venice, Italy. The town is very famous for its Murano glass production.

Get in

ACTV [1] runs the water buses (vaporetti) from Venice to Murano at frequent intervals.

Map of Venice, Murano and surrounding islands
Map of Venice, Murano and surrounding islands

  • Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, known for its twelfth century Byzantine mosaic pavement. It is said to house the bones of the dragon slain by Saint Donatus, the Church of San Pietro Martire and the Palazzo da Mula.
  • Glass-related attractions include the many glassworks, some Mediaeval and most open to the public, and the Glass Museum, housed in the large Palazzo Giustinian.
  • Trattoria Busa alla Torre (Masiol Gabriele), Campo San Stefano 3 (opposite of San Pietro Martire), 041/739662. A typical trattoria, frequented by both tourists and locals. Excellent food. Two-courses meal with wine €30.  edit
  • Murano Palace, Fondamenta Vetrai 77, 30141, Murano VE (Take DM ferry from Venice, walk 5 min), +39 041 739655, [2]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. Very nice place, very clean, friendly owner. Beautiful views from the balcony. 90-180 euro.  edit
Murano Palace balcony view
Murano Palace balcony view

Get out

Venice is your hub on the way out to the mainland.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MURANO (anc. Ammariuno), an island in the Venetian lagoon about i m. north of Venice. It is 5 m. in circumference, and a large part of it is occupied by gardens. It contained 5436 inhabitants in 1901, but was once much more populous than it is at present, its inhabitants numbering 30,000. It was a favourite resort of the Venetian nobility before they began to build their villas on the mainland; and in the 15th and 16th centuries its gardens and casinos, of which some traces remain, were famous. It was here that the literary clubs of the Vigilanti, the Studiosi and the Occulti, used to meet.

' Shakespeare, Henry IV., Part. II. act II. sc. is `.` Falstaff. And for thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the prodigal,. or the German hunting in waterwork, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings and these fly-bitten tapestries." It was in this method that the lunettes by Lord Leighton at the Victoria and Albert Museum were painted on the plaster wall. The same painter produced a fresco at Lyndhurst Church, Hants.

The town is built upon one broad main canal, where the tidal current runs with great force, and upon several smaller ones. The cathedral, S. Donato, is a fine basilica, of the 12th century. The pavement (of 1111) is as richly inlaid as that of St Mark's, and the mosaics of the tribune are remarkable. The exterior of the tribune is beautiful, and has been successfully restored. The church of St Peter the Martyr (1509) contains a fine picture by Gentile Bellini and other works, and S. Maria degli Angeli also contains several interesting pictures. Murano has from ancient times been celebrated for its glass manufactories. When and how the art was introduced is obscure, but there are notices of it as early as the 11th century; and in 1250 Christoforo Briani attempted the imitation of agate and chalcedony. From the labours of his pupil Miotto sprang that branch of the glass trade which is concerned with the imitation of gems. In the 15th century the first crystals were made, and in the 17th the various gradations of coloured and iridescent glass were invented, together with the composition called " aventurine "; the manufacture of beads is now a main branch of the trade. The art of the glass-workers was taken under the protection of the Government in 1275, and regulated by a special code of laws and privileges; two fairs were held annually, and the export of all materials, such as alum and sand, which enter into the composition of glass was absolutely forbidden. With the decay of Venice the importance of the Murano glass-works declined; but A. Salviati (1816-1890) rediscovered many of the old processes, and eight firms are engaged in the trade, the most renowed being the Venezia Murano Company and Salviati. The municipal museum contains a collection of glass illustrating the history and progress of the art.

The island of Murano was first peopled by the inhabitants of Altino. It originally enjoyed independence under the rule of its tribunes and judges, and was one of the twelve confederate islands of the lagoons. In the 12th century the doge Vital Micheli II. incorporated Murano in Venice and attached it to the Sestiere of S. Croce. From that date it was governed by a Venetian nobleman with the title of podesta whose office lasted sixteen months. Murano, however, retained its original constitution of a greater and a lesser council for the transaction of municipal business, and also the right to coin gold and silver as well as its judicial powers. The interests of the town were watched at the ducal palace by a nuncio and a solicitor; and this constitution remained in force till the fall of the republic.

See Venezia e le sue Lagune; Paoletti, Il Fiore di Venezia; Bussolin, Guida alle fabbriche vetrarie di Murano; Romanin, Storia documentata di Venezia, i. 41.

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