History of Glass Making Private Tour

Learn about the history of glassmaking with an expert guide and visit the Murano Glass Museum and Island of Murano.


Per Group (Up to 12 people): $560.00

Tour Details

Venetians have been making glass since the middle ages, and the importance of glass objects, glass trading, and glass craftsmanship is so deeply interwoven with Venetian history and identity that it’s impossible to visit Venice without considering it. During this half-day walking tour, we’ll visit the Venetian island of Murano, home to the city’s glass factories and artisans, in the company of a historian. We’ll see glassmakers at work in local factories, learn how the craft has evolved, and discover what makes Murano glass so unique.

We’ll begin with a trip across the Venetian lagoon by private boat to the island of Murano where the city’s glass factories have been located since 1291 when The Doge forced all glass factories to relocate out of Venice proper in order to minimize fire hazards. Along the way our expert, a trained historian, will provide a vivid background on glass and how glass-making first came to Venice.

Once we arrive in Murano we’ll head straight to the Murano Glass Museum, which contains a fantastic collection of historic glass objects and allows us to trace the development of glass in Venice over the centuries. We’ll consider, for example, how the relocation of glass to Murano fueled a production boom and rapid innovation like the creation of transparent glass, unknown until that moment, to such extravagant concoctions as the white milk-like “lattimo” glass. As we make our way through the museum our expert guide will also get into some of the details of the art, craft, chemistry, and trade that shape the story of glass, Murano and Venice more broadly.

At the end of our time together we’ll emerge with a better idea of what makes Murano glass unique. We’ll understand the history of glass in Venice and have witnessed actual glass making up close and in a non-touristy, sustainable environment. And, we’ll consider the wider context of global trade and how artisan crafts like this are carving a new path for themselves in our modern world.

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