Formerly called Amuranium, the island lies North-East of Venice, facing the Fondamente Nuove and can be easily reached by vaporetto (the public boat-transport service. It was, along with other islands in the lagoon, a safe haven for the people of Veneto region, fleeing from the barbarian invasions.In 1295, the Republic declared that all the Glass furnaces in Venice should move to Murano, in order to prevent fires in the city.
The island appears, for its shape, a little Venice. It is crossed by canals and bridges connecting the smaller Islands Murano is made of; its central part is covered by the “Angels Canal”. Its villas and its gardens were, in the past, home of social life and literary meetings.
Murano had, until the end of the Venetian Republic, its proper “arengo” (council) and its decisions made laws in the island. It used to have also a “gold book” where the native families can register to get privileges so special that a Venetian nobleman could marry the daughter of a Master Glazier without loosing his titles.
The art of Glassblowing made Murano famous all over the world. The Glass secrets were so dear to the heart of the Republic that Master Glaziers were allowed to leave the city only after receiving a special permit by the Council.
Tourists can learn the history of Murano and Glassblowing visiting the Musuem of Glass. Among the most important pieces presented in the Museum there is the “Barovier Bowl” dating back to 1400 and the Grand Hall with three impressive glass Chandeliers.
It is also possible to visit the furnaces where tourists can see the Master Glaziers at work, using the same techniques of their ancestors.
Another famous production of Murano artists are the “murrine”, small glass pieces obtained by colored tubes that are smashed and assembled together to get fantastic random patterns.