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Murano Island – Best Things to Do & Travel Tips

A glassblowing artist demonstrates how to shape glass to an audience.

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Murano Island is like a miniature version of Venice, just 10 minutes away by boat from the city. Similar to Venice, Murano is actually made up of multiple islands linked by bridges and canals.

While Venice is home to 118 islands and 438 bridges, Murano is more compact with just seven small islands and seven bridges. Although you have to take a boat to get to Murano, it’s still part of Venice along with other small islands like Burano, Torcello, and Sant’Erasmo.

The total area of Murano is less than two square miles and you can walk from one end of the island to the other in about 20 minutes. Even though it’s so small, Murano has its own Grand Canal like Venice, although on a much smaller scale. Only about 5,000 people live in Murano.

However, the island plays an extremely important role in the history and culture of Venice because it’s the heart of the glassmaking industry.

Murano glass is highly prized and renowned around the world because of its exquisite craftsmanship. Colorful Murano glass is created by local artisans, many of whom come from families that have been making glass for centuries.

In the late 13th century, all of the glassmakers in Venice were required to move to Murano to remove the threat of fire from the furnaces they used.

Away from the city, Murano thrived for hundreds of years as the heart of Venice’s glassmaking industry. It also became a popular resort destination for wealthy Venetians.

However, the glassmaking industry began to decline in the 18th century in Murano. Today it has been revitalized, especially thanks to tourism, and there are still dozens of active glass foundries on the island, some of which are open to visitors.

This post was published in May 2024 and was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Dale Peterson.

A glassblowing artist demonstrates how to shape glass to an audience.
Visiting the glass factories on Murano is a must!

Things To Do on Murano Island

Tour the local glass factories

In my opinion, the highlight of a visit to Murano is touring the local glass factories. You can learn about the process of glassmaking and even watch a demonstration from the artisans at work.

If you’re visiting Murano independently, you can find glass factories and workshops that are open to the public. Sometimes you may need to pay a small entry fee of around 5 EUR ($5.50 USD) for a tour of the factory and a glassmaking demonstration.


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