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From: Murano, the Glass Island
The 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:
From 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.)
If 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|
|Glass factories - public visits|
|Churches, other sights|
|Shopping on Murano|
|Getting to Murano|
|Murano hotels, restaurants|
|Tourist information, books|
|Murano glass repairs and classes|
|More Murano pictures|
|Murano map, satellite photo|
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Top photo copyright © Richard Goerg.
Bottom inset photo © Nickos.