A water bus ride away from the main island of Venice are the smaller islands Murano, Burano, and Torcello. My second day in the floating city was spent visiting these islands, each of which have their own special something that they’re known for.
Murano was my first stop. This little island is famous for its glass blowing. The day before I had been admiring the blown glass art pieces that lined the shelves of practically every other shop I walked passed and so I was excited to see where they had come from and how they had been created. Throughout the day on Murana there are glass blowing demonstrations, so after disembarking the water bus I followed the signs to where the demonstrations were being held. I was seated on a bench, where I had a view of several people working on their pieces. I watched as tiny bulbs of glass, no bigger than a ping pong ball and glowing red hot, stretched and expanded into much larger bulbs, basketball sized and growing. The process was explained as the demonstration went on. Apparently it takes 20 years to become a master glass blower in Murano. Talk about dedication to your craft!
I walked the streets then, weaving around and over canals, peeping into shop windows. Most of the pieces were far too expensive for me (not to mention too breakable for backpacking) so I simply looked and marvelled at the intricacies of a flower’s petals or a horse’s mane. It’s incredible how detailed they could get the glass. Even the streets were decorated with glass creations.
Next, I headed to Burano, which is known for its lace and its colourful houses. Again, I walked around the island, maneuvering its canals, but this time I was seeing lace creations everywhere and brightly coloured houses, no house the same colour as the one next to it. I also went to the little lace museum to learn more about the craft and got to witness the women working the intricate patterns into the cloth. I had heard earlier that back in the seventeenth century, Burano lace workers were so good at what they did and original in their technique that many of the girls would disappear in the middle of the night and be stolen away to different countries where they were forced to make their lace. This intrigued me and I jotted it down as a potential story plot, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any more information regarding this while I was there (nor has a basic Google search revealed more about the topic). Once again I was blown away by all the detail that goes into making these pieces.
I then took the water bus to Torcello. Torcello is the smallest of the three islands I visited and it has old ruins from the original Venetian settlers covering it.
I ended up going back to Burano for dinner, and then I called it quits for the night. It was a relaxing day of exploration – the best kind!
Until next time travel bugs, signing off ♥