Murano and glass

One of the most famous Venetian islands is undoubtedly the island of Murano. Murano, like Venice, is also an inhabited centre, created by the union of seven small islets, across bridges. Murano too, like Venice, owes the beginning of its history to the period of the barbarian invasions, due to which many populations sought refuge and the possibility of new settlements in the Venetian lagoon. Venice always gave Murano a certain autonomy, and indeed, thanks to a decree of the Serenissima Republic of 1295, all the furnaces were transferred to Murano, since the latter had caused devastating fires in the centre of Venice. In doing so, the Serenissima Republic allowed Murano to become a real centre for the artistic processing of glass, which over the centuries brought the island of Murano to represent the beating heart of quality glass processing all over the world. On the island of Murano, which before the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte and his famous looting counted eighteen convents, monasteries and churches, now only three remain. The oldest is the church of Santa Maria e Donato, born even in the seventh century, first dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and later, after the placement of her remains, also dedicated to San Donato. Santa Maria Degli Angeli, a church born in 1188, has a historical peculiarity since it was even visited by Henry III, king of France and Poland and until 1907 the remains of Doge Sebastiano Venier were kept in this church. The Church of San Pietro Martire is located in the Rio dei Vetrai and was founded in 1348 in honour of San Giovanni Battista. Given its location in the glassmakers’ area, the presence in this church of fantastic glass chandeliers with famous mandolas should be emphasized. Unique and priceless works that fascinate and leave you breathless. Walking through the cobblestones of Murano and finding oneself in front of churches with the ancient charm of the past millennia, on an island so far from the chaotic canons of our cities, really gives incredible suggestions.

In addition to the sacred buildings, there are important civil buildings such as the Glass Museum. The museum is hosted by Palazzo Giustinian, an elegant building in the Gothic style. In the museum, you will encounter admirable works, which only craftsmanship that leverages an experience cultivated over centuries of hard work can create. The most striking is a sixty-branched chandelier that was made by the masters Santi e Fuga. The Gothic style is also the master of the Palazzo da Mula, which today after several restorations is the seat of the Murano town hall, and here exhibitions and meetings are held on the main theme of this island, namely glass. Murano and glass, from this meeting a special story is born from which narrations and events arise that really make you breathless. In fact, having discovered how the Serenissima Republic had brought the ovens that had caused many fires in Venice to the island of Murano, one is speechless to discover that Venice was so jealous of the art of its glass masters, that it prevented them from leaving the island, for fear that they might spread their knowledge around the world. In fact, many even managed to escape by exporting their precious knowledge beyond Venice. However, this never stopped the great tradition of the Murano glass masters. To understand how important it was who embodied the art of glass at the time of the Serenissima Republic, just think that only the master glassmakers, albeit not noble, could marry the daughters of patricians. All these words, however, are only a grey outline, compared to the unique emotion that one can feel, seeing with one’s own eyes a master glassmaker create a glass masterpiece. On the island, many workshops allow the public to admire the processing of glass in all its steps, leaving anyone who witnesses it, the doubt that what they are seeing is the result of magic with ancient roots.