When you are on a GoAheadTours trip you are given lots of time, and even whole days, to explore on your own parts of the city or area that the tour doesn't include. For us it was a visit to the Island of Murano. I am fascinated with glass blowing and the gorgeous Venetian Glass that we had seen all over Italy comes from Murano. I couldn't wait for our free afternoon and the chance to see someone create a piece of glass artwork!I don't know why I was surprised to see a lighthouse as we got close to Murano but I was! It is open sea so the islands most certainly need a lighthouse and this one is beautiful!
We took a waterbus over from the dock in Venice near St. Mark's Square and it only took a short trip and we were cruising into the dock in Murano.
It is fairly hard not to be totally romanced by the gondola poles.
As with Venice, Murano is actually made up of several islands and they are all connected with bridges. The view of the town is wonderful from the top of the bridges so take the time to take a good look when you are in the middle!
The art installations were simply gorgeous. To know that this wasn't created by a machine of some sort but was made by an artist who handblows this into shape is simply overwhelming!
The shape, the texture as well as the color is what sweeps you away with this art form. Just gorgeous.The Church of Santa Maria e Denato. It looks so clean and new that you wouldn't suspect that it was originally built in the 7th century. It has had some additions and restorations over the 9th and 11th centuries and there may have been more but the condition of this church is amazing.
The brick detailing is what I find so fascinating about this church. It goes past brick construction and evolves into a mosaic type of fine detail that is just gorgeous.
But the details are what make the architecture over here. Even the door pulls are set upon beautiful wrought iron and backed with glass here.
We did have the pleasure of watching an artist at work. He took this blob of glass and created a gorgeous vase from it. Here he is adding details to the neck of the piece. The process is so cool to watch and so impossible to imagine doing myself.He then blew it out to fill out the piece and make a wider base for the vase. After this part he was able to break it off for finishing. After the demonstration we were able to go inside the studio and buy some of the pieces. Not all of them are huge. I brought home this little glass egg that was just stunning in it's perfection and color.
The beautiful island of Murano is so colorful and such a pleasure to visit. We were there early enough for a late lunch and it was wonderful to look out onto the canals, the art sculpture and the brightly painted buildings. Unfortunately the afternoon isn't the best time of day to visit this little island because the Italians take an afternoon break and all of the shops close up. So head out in the morning if you can and end your day with lunch at one of the wonderful outdoor cafes. We ended ours with gelato from the one shop still open by the waterbus stop.
This upcoming weekend I'll share with you the last of our tour of Venice which includes Venice at night. Hope you can come back and join us!