Murano and Burano
The eyes of visitors to Venice are often drawn to the lagoon, which is a great place for their journeys to continue.
Murano and Burano are two of the best known and most visited islands. The former is famous for its outstanding glassmaking and the latter for its prized Burano lace.
Murano is the larger of the two islands and it was first settled in Roman times. During the barbarian invasions, the people of Oderzo and Altinum sought a protected place of refuge and they found it here.
Murano was originally a trading centre but over time it developed the art of glassmaking for which it is still famous today. It all began in the 13th century. Following a large number of fires, it was decided that the furnaces had to be moved from Venice to Murano. This helped to spread the fame of the island across Europe, as it built up a reputation for making exceptional glass and in particular as the place where fragile, precious crystal glass was invented.
You can catch a water bus to the island from the Fondamenta Nuove stop in Venice. When you reach Murano, walk along Rio dei Vetrai, where you can still see some medieval homes/furnaces. From there, it’s just a short stroll to the countless workshops and glassworks in the centre of the island.
Places of interest:
- The large Gothic church of San Pietro Martire and Palazzo Giustinian, which was once a bishop’s residence and has been home to a Glass Museum since the late 19th century.
From the Fondamenta Nuove in Venice you can also catch a water bus not only to Murano but also to Burano. The buildings there may not be as majestic, but you’ll feel like you’re walking through a painting as you admire the hues of the houses, the cosy little shops and the brightly coloured flowers in the windows. It really seems like a totally different world. Burano is best known for the needle lace made by the women of the island from the 16th century onwards. When they first started creating the fabrics, their designs were considered so original that they soon found themselves making their exquisite lace for noble women all over Venice and throughout Europe.
Places of interest
- In Piazza Galuppi, you can find the 16th century Cathedral of San Martino.
- The Oratory of Santa Barbara.
- The Lace School and Museum, where they strive to preserve and promote the traditional lace production process and prevent imitations. In the museum, you can admire the oldest masterpieces of this kind.