What do you you think is the most representative souvenir that you can take that will later make you think “Aha! Venice”? Something unique, something that only Venetians know how to make.
Something that has been throughout the centuries one of their most safely guarded secrets.
I can most certainly say that the Murano glass is one of the most emblematic symbols of Venice. It goes right up there, right after Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace.
Why do they call it Murano glass?
Murano is actually a group of islands connected through a series of bridges to the rest of Venice. The islands have been the center of Venetian glass industry for over eight centuries.
The glass working artists were forced to move away from the city and settle the islands because the officials of the Venetian Republic feared that they may accidentally set the city of fire. Most of the houses were made of wood at the time and a simple mistake could spell disaster.
The artists of today still manufacture glass jewels with the same tools as they did centuries ago. It’s one of those secrets that Venice went to great lengths to protect. The glass workers enjoyed privileges that only the rich had.
Unfortunately for the city, they could not keep all artisans within the boundaries and plenty of them fled and opened glass factories throughout the Italian peninsula and even further away, in England or the Netherlands. This way, they gave birth to the Italian glass industry.
The fine glass working techniques were actually developed elsewhere, in the Byzantine Empire. However, because of the devastation brought by the crusaders in the thirteenth century and later by Ottoman Empire, the artists fled and took refuge in Venice.
So where can you get these beautiful Venetian glass jewels?
There are actually a number of companies that have their manufacturing centers in the Murano area.
The one that sells the largest selection of Venetian glass jewels is Antica Murrina Venetiana. There’s something for everybody with Antica Murrina and you don’t want to miss that. Check out its catalog.
Forzieri, which is actually based in Florence, is also an important manufacturer of Murano glass and, in some respects, they’re taken the whole concept a step further. While they can’t pride themselves with the same portfolio as their competitors, they sure have some great pieces. Find out more about them!
Hope you likes this article. If you have friends that may also be interested, I would be grateful if you can share it with them on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus! Thanks!
P.S. There’re a whole catalog of Venetian glass jewelry on Forzieri’s website so, if you’re interested, head over there and claim your piece. Enjoy!