Murano comprises several small islands that are connected by bridges. Why does glass have such a strong long-term tradition there?
Glass already arrived in Venice in 1204, when this city provided asylum for the Byzantine glassmakers. For a long time after that Venice had a monopoly on the production of luxurious glass. During the Middle Ages glassmakers from Venice began to move there because they were escaping from a greater risk of fires.
In the 15th Century glassmakers were producing glass by using sand from the sea lagoons to which they were adding soda ash made from sea plants. Later they introduced completely new decorative techniques, such as special manner of staining and of diamond dotting. Thereby Murano glass became a prestigious and luxurious item.
The secret of making glass was not permitted to be divulged and the glassmakers were not allowed to leave the island. The punishment for the violation of this rule could be capital.
The Middle Age period ended and today tourists from all over the world can visit the glass workshops and observe the production of luxury glasses, beads, jewellery and the traditional Venetian mirrors. Many glassworks also double as combined galleries and studios. The best-known type of glass from Murano is known as Murine in Canna. Multicoloured strips of glass are combined and then cut, thereby creating luxurious patterns.
On the island you will also find a Museum and luxury boutiques with glass lurking around every other corner.
Luxury Murano glass is utilised by many different designers. Every other year a Grand GLASSTRESS event is held on the island, which features the most significant artists and designers who work with Murano glass. This represents a credit to the Fondazione Berengo organisation, which aims to present Venice and the Murano Island as the centres of glass industry and thereby to attract a new community, which would support this art. An additional goal is to present glass as a medium for artistic creation for those people who are specifically interested in it.