ABOVE: A glass factory's chimney on Murano.
Murano was absorbed into the municipality of Venice in 1924 and
is represented by the Venice Tourist
Board. The island is small, so you'll find most of the information that you
need in this 11-page guide or in any comprehensive Venice guidebook.
If you want a map that's more detailed than the
Murano map in this Web travel guide, check your
guidebook or see our review of Venice street
maps that include the island of Murano.
Murano glassmaking information and courses
To learn more about Murano glass production, visit the industry
association's Web sites at
and www.muranoglass.com. You'll also
want to read
Marco Piazzalunga's comprehensive article, "The
Wonderful History of Venetian Glass Beads and Murano Glass Jewelry."
If you're seriously interested in glass, you can take classes at
Abate Zanetti Glass Center or read
about the Experimental Glass
Station on Murano. Another option is a
3- to 14-day mosaics class in Venice at Orsoni, which has been making glass
and gold mosaics since 1888.
Venice guidebooks have short chapters or sections on Murano. Still,
for in-depth advice on the island and its glassmakers, there's no
substitute for Michela and Nicoló Scibilia's Comprehensive Guide to
the Island of Murano. This guidebook has a list
price of €19,90 and is available in several languages, including an
outstanding English translation by Giles Watson. The book was published
in 2007 and is now out of print, but if you're lucky, you may be able to
find a copy at a secondhand bookseller such as
Libreria Alta Acqua in Venice's Castello district.
The Scibilias' 162-page book discusses the island's history, the
history and techniques of glassmaking, tourist itineraries, the leading glass
factories and workshops (arranged by type of production), and hospitality. The
book is richly illustrated with glass photos, aerial pictures, and maps. It's
well worth buying even if you aren't planning a trip to Murano but are
interested in Murano glass.
can also recommend Gianfranco Toso's
Murano: A History of Glass, which was published in 2002 by Arsenale
Editrice of Venice. The 190-page book is printed on quality paper and filled
with beautiful color and black-and-white photographs. The price is downright
cheap at €9,00. In Venice, look for Murano: A History of Glass at museum gift
shops, larger bookstores, Amazon.com, or the publisher's own store (Bookshop
Arsenale Punto Libri, San Pantalon, Santa Croce 29).
Another book to consider is Carl I. Gable's Murano Magic, which is
based on content that formerly existed on Mr. Gable's
Murano Magic Web site.
of our favorite Venice coffeetable books, Venice Master Artisans by
Cristina Gregorin and Norbert Heyl, has profiles of leading Murano glassmakers.
(See our illustrated review.)
Finally, don't miss Venice (U.S. title:
The World of Venice), by Jan Morris (formerly James Morris). The noted
British travel writer's entertaining blend of history, social commentary, and
personal narrative is the definitive "must read" introduction to Venice and
Venetians. The author's comments on Murano glass and factories are well worth
Murano glass repairs and classes