Murano is a Venetian lagoon situated about 1.5 km North of Venice and is a group of seven islands linked with bridges and canals. The island is famous among tourists for its unique style of glass making which dates back to the 10th century. As per the story, the Venetian rulers banned glassmaking across Venice fearing that the furnace used to make glass might cause a dangerous fire across the island and so, moved all the glassmakers to Murano. However, the island made a great name and good money as the sophisticated glass items were a sign of luxury and royalty. The elite class as well as the royalty purchased glass items from Murano and made it a style statement.
As a tourist, visiting Murano you can experience this stunning technique of artistic glass making by going to the glass factories, art showrooms as well as attending the expert workshops on Murano glass making by the glass masters. However, if you are checking out your exploration options in Murano beyond just glass making, the island certainly holds more to it with the architectural richness of historical sites, churches, European architecture.
Just not that, the floating island houses many modern day cafes by the sea side with the venetain view making it a pretty destination to go to. Some of the activities you can participate in during your visit to Murano are enrolling in a master class of glass making, touring across the island learning about their life and culture and also giving the venetian cuisine a taste.
How to Reach Murano
The nearest airport to Murano is Venice. The distance from the airport to Murano is about 5 kms via waterway and around 14 kms via land. Here are the various commute options to choose from:
Via vaporetto (water bus): Vaporettos have multiple water lines. The waterline 12, 4.1 and 4.2 from Fondamente Nove takes about 9 mins to reach your destination. Whereas, the waterway 4.2 and 4.1 from San Zaccaria take about 40 - 50mins to arrive at Murano.
For the shortest route: Board a vaporetto line on 12 from the ACTV docks at the Fondamente Nove to arrive at Murano Faro in about 9 mins. This is the fastest route to arrive at your destination, as you are departing from the northern side of Venice.
Via a ferry: You can board a ferry from the airport to Murano, which takes about 50 mins to reach your destination.
Via bus: A bus from aeroporto marco polo would take you to Murano in about 24 - 30 mins.
Via car/taxi: Driving down to Murano will take about 15 - 30mins from Venice.
Best Time to Visit Murano
If you are thinking of pleasant weather and moderate temperature for a trip to Murano, Italy it is best to visit during the spring and fall season i.e., in the months of April to June or September and October. The pleasant weather and moderate temperature is apt for a comfortable vacation. You also get the cheapest deals during this time of the year due to lesser tourists. However, the summer season is considered as the peak season to explore Italy. But it is also the most expensive time of the year for a tourist.
To explore the most of Murano it is recommended to pay a visit during the day. The museums, glass blowers and tourist sights would be open and you can also witness the glass makers demonstrate their fine art of making the famous and alluring glass artifacts.
What Not to Miss at Murano
If you are planning an itinerary for a visit to the scenic island of Murano here is a listing of things you should do:
1. Museo del vetro: Housing in one of the palaces in the 17th century this museum captures the history of the glass artistry of Murano. Antique pieces of their work dating back to the 10th century are exhibited here along with some roman glasswork. The entry fee to this museum is about 10 euros.
2. Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato: Head to this 12th century venetain church by the bell tower. The architectural detail of the church that impresses the visitors is the high ceiling, the posh mosaic style of flooring with geometric designs and the enticing mother mary’s mosaic picture at the altar that adds to the artistic appeal of the church. Spend some time at this calm and cool church for free.
3. A glass factory tour: There are a number of glass factories you can choose from, you can walk around the island and walk into any factory for a 10-15min tour. Watch the glass item being made from the oven, witness glass sculpting and also have a factory tour looking at their collection and the items produced.
4. A Murano glass making workshop: If art tempts you to try out a crafty hand, you certainly can book workshops in Murano and attend a session with an expert. Pick some marbles, learn to make a basic murano glass item or jewelry along with a factory tour. You can book this experience online or enquire at the factories in Murano too. However, not all the factories in Murano conduct workshops, so it’s suggested to do some homework before you jump into the boat.
5. A picture with the ‘Comet glass star’: Created by master glassmaker Simone Cenedese in 2007, ‘Comet glass star’ is a star structure assembled from 500 blown glass elements on the Campo San Stefano near the Murano clock tower. This is one of the appealing installations you should visit. The bright blues of the star with the colourful backdrop of the island makes this one of instagram friendly locations.
6. Visit to the Murano lighthouse: You can make a stop over at the Murano lighthouse to see the sunset. The lighthouse is located in the south east Murano and so might have been missed by many visitors.
7. Coffee with the view: Morano has the perfect setting of a retro play by the venetian lagoon. The island has water boats, bridges and cafes by the side of them. Sip coffee while you enjoy the view. You can also make this interesting by planning to shoot with a friend by the Murano setting.
8. Savoury of the italian seafood and gelato: This petit island would surprise you with the authentic taste of oyster dishes, they also serve impressive seafood in Murano. After a long tiresome walk, a cone of gelato is a good idea. An exotic choice of gelato flavours will pump you up to continue your travel.
9. Santa Maria degli Angeli: Located on the Canal Grande is one of the main churches of Murano, the 16th century built with the design of the Carrara marble speaks of the history of the time. Architecture lovers or history enthusiasts will indeed enjoy interpreting the style of the church. The interior is marvelous.
10. Visit to the canals and bridges: A set of seven islands together makes Murano the island it is, connected by multiple small and large bridges and canals this island has a romantic setting. Crossing the bridges to and fro isn’t an experience you might get in countries that are now a concrete jungle. Hence, it is exciting strolling through the town, crossing bridges, boarding a water boat, checking out the canals. Make some time to try and cover as many as you can.
11. Schiavon art team gallery: Schiavon art team is yet another artistic group engaged in excelling products made from the famous Murano glass blowing technique. However, their artistic designs and wide collection has made them world famous. You can visit their gallery and showroom. If you are interested in re-decorating your home the Murano style you can pick some elegant chandeliers, show items or glass sculptures from here.
12. Palazzo da Mula: This intriguing palace is a must visit site in Murano, it is one of the very few remaining examples of the Venetian Gothic architecture, also an important building of the Renaissance period. The palace also has a courtyard and a garden in its vicinity which makes it different from the other palaces in Venice. We call it a must visit as you might encounter many structures, paintings and more dating back to the renaissance period but the gothic detailing added to it will leave you flabbergasted.
Attractions Near Murano
Two other islands you can add to your visit along with Murano are Burano and Torcello.
1. Burano is a 4 - 5hr ferry ride from Murano. Known as the fisherman’s town, the town is well known among tourists for its bright and colourful houses. The tale goes by that the fog used to make it difficult for the fishermen to identify their homes and so the fishermen collectively decided to paint the town with different bright colours. Hence, Burano is the destination to capture bright and attractive instagrammable pictures. You can also go shopping or taste some Burano special butter biscuits.
2. Torcello which is about a 5 min ferry ride from Burano is a tiny yet scenic island around Murano. The island is famous among the tourists for its mosaic architecture. The Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, with its Venetian-Byzantine mosaics is a touristy site you can head to. The views of this little town move the tourists. Torcello’s simplicity is what people come here for.
Other Essential Information About Murano
Location: 1.5 km North of Venice, Murano is a Venetian Lagoon.
Timing: Throughout the day
Entry Fee: Entry to Murano is free
Distance from the nearest airport: 5.2kms (GPS distance)
Famous Places to Eat in Murano
1. Osteria al duomo: Close to the Museum of glass is Osteria al duomo. Famous for its stone baked pizzas and gluten free italian dishes, this is one of the highly recommended places in Murano. (Location: Fondamenta Antonio Maschio, 20/21, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy)
2. La perla ai bisatei: This small eatery on the island is well known for serving authentic italian food. Termed as a gem of a place by reviewers, this restaurant is a place you should head to if you want to try a sumptuous italian platter. (Location: Campo S. Bernardo, 7, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy)
3. Versus Meridianem: Known for its highly maintained quality of food, this place has impressed visitors with its delicious pizzas, mushrooms and risotto. You could also treat your sweet palate with some delicious tiramisu served here. (Location: colonna, Fondamenta Manin, 1, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy)
4. Pizzeria Marlin Ristorante: Pizzeria Marlin has a wider variety to choose from. You have multiple options to savour in pastas, oyster based dishes and more. (Location: Fondamenta dei Vetrai, 53, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy)
5. Murano artisan ice cream: A highly recommended destination for an authentic cone of italian gelato. This dessert shop is one of the favourite spots for tourists. (Location: Calle Angelo dal Maestro, 3, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy)
Tips to Travel Murano
1. Visit during the day: The best time to explore the island is during the day when the glass makers are at work. It is a beautiful site to witness the artistic make of glass.
2. Walk around the town: The best way to explore Murano is by walking around the island. It is suggested to roam around the town to savour some italian food, capture pictures by the canals and bridges, board the boats and explore the floating markets.
3. Travel independently: The travel guides or travel agencies around might try to trap you as a tourist. However, exploring Murano by yourself isn’t a tough task. You can easily explore the island yourself and request a local to guide you if necessary.
4. Water taxi pass: Take the waterboat pass that allows you to travel through it as many times you wish to for 24 hrs. It is a convenient and cheap way to manage your commute.
5. Witness the glass blowing technique: The extraordinary glass art and the glass blowing technique of making it cannot be missed on your visit to Murano.