Having plenty of things to do and visit, Murano, the enchanting island of the Venice lagoon, is the perfect place for a day trip from Venice.
Located far from the liveliness and crowdedness of Piazza San Marco and the other Venetian top attractions, it's a touristy place indeed, but you will not find too many visitors here.
If you organize your trip well, as we will show you in this article, you will find something that leaves you amazed.
Before exploring the many wonders of this great island of the Venice lagoon, do you know why Murano is so important for Venice and its lagoon?
Why you should definitely visit Murano, one of the greatest Venetian islands
To understand why Murano is so important for Venice, we have to know more about its history.
Coming here you will see, in fact, that it truly seems like a smaller Venice, with canals, narrow streets (calli) and so on. Why is this so? Why does Murano truly resemble Venice?
A bit of history of Murano island
There was a time in the past in which all the furnaces dedicated to the glass production were not in Murano. This island was too far from the city and not so many people lived there.
At the time, all the glass factories were located on the main island of Venice. More precisely, they were located in the Rialto area, the most ancient heart of the city.
Unfortunately the presence of those factories was causing too many fires in a city that was merely built by wood. For this reason, the city decided to make all the furnaces and, consequently, all the glass masters with their families move to Murano.
This great relocation dates back to 1291.
For this reason, the island of Murano became renowned all over the world for its glass factories, producing the so-called "vetro di Murano", the Murano glass.
However, the history of the island is teaching us another important thing.
The Murano glass blowing art was a secret to be protected
The secret of this timeless art had to be protected by all means by Venetians, and that's another reason why the furnaces were moved here.
From the chaotic and lively Venice to the quiet and silent Murano, in the northern part of the lagoon.
However, this decision not only made the glass blowers rich and famous, but also made the island very attractive for tourists nowadays.
Here it is possible to experience Venice far from the chaos of San Marco but also watch the glass masters at work. It's an amazing activity which we truly recommend you to do here.
Let's dig in the most interesting things to do here.
What to do and visit in Murano: 5 things you cannot miss in the glass island
1. Visit Murano just strolling around its narrow streets and beautiful bridges
One of the best things you can possibly do in Murano is that you simply arrive here (by private or public water transports) and decide to visit Murano on your own.
The island is not as small as you may think, so you can spend a half day at least walking by its streets and bridges.
Start your walking tour from Murano Faro (where there is a vaporetto stop of the same name) and admire the Murano lighthouse (Faro, in Italian) that was opened in 1912.
Like Venice, also Murano has a Grand Canal and walking by the water can make you think of Venice. However, the island is much quieter and there are much fewer boats navigating the canals.
As you will see, most of the shops are dedicated to glass art and you will see amazing art pieces displayed in the shop windows.
Don't forget to pass by the Palazzo da Mula, the Municipal building, which once belonged to one of the most distinct and noble families of Venice, the Duomo and the Glass Museum.
2. Visit the Murano Glass Museum
One of the greatest things you can do in Murano and in Venice is to visit the Murano Glass Museum.
In case you want to know more about the history of glass making and the history of the island itself, this is definitely the place where you should come. Here you can learn the traditional techniques and also admire the precious collection of glass works hosted here.
It was opened in 1861 and it is housed inside the Palazzo dei Vescovi di Torcello in Fondamenta Marco Giustinian.
This incredible destination is very close to "Museo" vaporetto stop.
3. Visit the Duomo of Murano
The Duomo of Murano is the most important catholic church of the island.
It's dedicated to two Saints, Santa Maria e San Donato, and it is one of the best examples of the Romanesque architecture of the Venetian lagoon.
Beside that is considered a minor Basilica, the Duomo is also very famous for its magnificent 12th century Byzantine mosaic flooring. It is made of porphyry, serpentine, and other precious stones, and represents some cocks, carrying a fox, a peacock, an eagle and griffins.
This church is also said to house the relics of the Greek saint Donatus of Euroea.
The Duomo is located in Campo San Donato, close to the Glass Museum, so the reference vaporetto stop is, once again, the "Museo".
4. Visit Fondamenta dei Vetrai
During your walking tour, you have to dedicate some time to the Fondamenta dei Vetrai. This is the most scenic "street" of the island of Murano, where a great concentration of glass shops is located.
Spend some time here, admiring the windows but also entering inside the shops.
Before purchasing anything, however, just be sure that you are purchasing a Murano glass. It's written on the object, so you can't make a mistake. Additionally, authentic Murano objects are more expensive than their imitations.
5. Attend a glass blowing demo in Murano
One of the most thrilling things to do in Murano is definitely attending a glass blowing demonstration.
Just select your favorite glass factory, reserve your entrance in advance and let the magic begin!
The island has plenty of choices, but we truly can't recommend one factory among the others. It's such an ongoing situation that what we think is good at the time we are writing this post, could not be as good in just a month or two.
However, that's an amazing experience that you can do with your family, friends and also with kids.
You won't see anything like this in another part of the world, so we definitely suggest you come here!
Info & tips: how to arrive and visit Murano island
Coming to Murano is easier than you might think. For this reason, we have actually prepared a full guide on how to reach the island by public and private transports (from Saint Mark square and also from Santa Lucia train station).
We have also prepared some simple itineraries so that you can enjoy the island tour at its best.
Visiting Murano: when is the best season to come here
Even though Murano is not as touristy as Venice, it might be more crowded during the summer.
If you are coming here in the winter days, however, you might face the acqua alta natural phenomenon.
What we can suggest to you is that, in case it is possible, you come here during Spring or at the beginning of Autumn.