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Murano Glass Factories

From: Murano, the Glass Island

Murano glass furnace

ABOVE: V.I.A.'s glass furnace on Murano. INSET BELOW: A factory showroom, the V.I.A. factory entrance, and a barge filled with waste glass.

Public factory visits

Murano glass showroomsThe most interesting glass factories and ateliers on Murano aren't open to visitors, for two reasons:

  • They're in the business of making glass, not entertaining tourists;

  • Master glass artisans have spent years refining their proprietary techniques and don't want competitors taking notes.

Still, as you walk around Murano, you're likely to find mass-market fornaci or furnaces that welcome tourists. The V.I.A. factory is a good example:

glass factory tour signFrom the Colonna waterbus stop, turn left as you exit the boat platform and walk along the water until you reach a "Fornace Glass" sign on a door below the Calle S. Cipriano street sign. Pass beneath the "Fornace - Entrata Libera" entrance sign, follow the sidewalk, and enter the factory to view a free glassmaking demonstration. (Afterwards, you'll exit through the showroom.) The demonstration takes less than 10 minutes, but it's interesting if you haven't seen a glass furnace.

Tips for visiting:

  • Look for open factories on weekday mornings. Don't count on much action during the lunch hour (which can run from noon or 1 p.m. until mid-afternoon).

  • In Venice, you're likely to be approached by representatives of touristy factory showrooms that offer free boat trips to Murano. If you accept, be prepared for a high-pressure sales pitch. (We'd recommend getting to Murano by public transportation, which is quick, easy, and pressure-free.)

  • Murano waste glass for recyclingIf you're a serious glass collector or buyer, you may be able to visit some of the more artistic fornaci by appointment. we'd suggest making arrangements through a gallery, dealer, or decorator who has contacts in Murano. To phone or correspond with workshops directly, buy Michela and Nicoló Scibilia's Comprehensive Guide to the Island of Murano (see page 8 of this article) and use the listings in its "Production" chapter as a starting point for your planning.

  • Glass factories are normally closed during August, though a few tourist-oriented demonstration furnaces may stay open. (Check with the Venice tourist office during your visit.)

Next page: Churches, other sights


In this article:
Murano - Introduction Murano hotels, restaurants
Glass museums Tourist information, books
Glass factories - public visits Murano glass repairs
Churches, other sights More Murano pictures
Shopping on Murano Murano map, satellite photo
Getting to Murano  

On our main Venice for Visitors site:
Aerial Venice: Murano
Fisheye Venice: Murano
Venice Islands Tour (by public transportation)
Orsoni Mosaic Courses - 3- to 14-day courses in Venice

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Top photo copyright © Richard Goerg.
Bottom inset photo © Nickos.

 


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