In depth walking tour of Murano, Italy

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Since we have already visited the main island of Venice Italy we felt really bad about being near Venice and not visiting more. So we decided that we would visit Venice again for the second day but this time we wanted to visit the two islands that are well known but not visited as much as the main island.  So on our second day to Venice we decided to visit the island of Murano and the island of Burano.

What to expect in Murano, Italy

First of all, Murano is an island…another island in the string of man-made islands that make up the area called Venice in Northern Italy. In addition, Murano is a small island which is separated by a wide body of water from the main island of Venice. While on the map they appear to be close to each other, be prepared to spend at least one hour to get from the main island to Murano.

Secondly, it is small and with that come less tourists (much less tourists) and less tourist attractions. However, even though it is smaller, you can still experience the Italian charm with narrow streets and wide water canals.

Murano, Italy - Main canal and old buildings seen from the Glass Museum top floor.
Murano, Italy – Main canal and old buildings seen from the Glass Museum top floor.
See my photos from Murano

My favorite tourist attractions in Murano, Italy

After lots of research we came up with the following list of tourist attractions in Murano that suited our travel style:

  • See my travel photos from Murano, Italy.
  • Visit the Murano Glass Museum in the main square near the Murano Museo boat stop.
  • Try to get a glass factory tour of one of the glass manufacturers in Murano.
  • Walk on both sides of the main canal along Fondamenta dei Vetrai (glassmakers’ street).
  • Walk on Calle Bresagio towards the Murano Faro boat stop.

My map of tourist attractions and walking tour for Murano, Italy.

Arriving in Murano, Italy

Getting to the islands of Murano and Burano from the main island in Venice, Italy is no small feat. You have to take into account the fact that there are no roads and no cars. Even though the distances seem small on the map, once you are in Venice you realize that it takes quite a long time by boat to get anywhere. So you need to plan accordingly and allow for extra time so that you don’t have too high expectations for what you can accomplish in one day.

Our visit to these islands started with waiting in line a very, very long time on a very, very hot day…waiting for the boat to take us from Venice’s main train station to the island of Murano. We waited in the hot Italian sun with our two small children for probably about 45 minutes. When our turn to finally get on the boat came, we were so tired and exhausted that our expectations for that day became very, very low, very quickly.

Venice, Italy - A water taxi boat (Vaporetto) passing in front of beautiful Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
A water taxi boat (Vaporetto) passing in front of beautiful Church of San Giorgio Maggiore on the way back from the island of Murano
See my photos from Murano

In addition, the boat ride itself took a long time as well which we were not prepared for. The boat ride from the train station in Venice to Murano took over 30 minutes. It was hot and the boat was very crowded.

Start at the Murano Museo boat stop

However with lower expectations, we finally arrived at the island of Murano at the Murano Museo boat stop. We picked this boat stop after some prior research and also asking around while on the boat. Murano Museo was a good stop for us because we wanted to see the Glass Museum right away before the children would get too tired.

A good walking route starts at the Murano Museo boat stop and then across the Ponte Longo (long bridge) bridge and then down on Fondamente dei Vetrai (Glassmakers’ street) slowly all the way to Murano Faro where you can then take another boat to Burano or back to the main island.

Slowly we warmed up to the place and we started liking the fact that the island of Murano is a lot less crowded with tourists even in the middle of summer. Since we were in Murano, we knew that the island is famous for the old glass manufacturers which line up every street and every corner in the island of Murano. Glassmaking is what made Murano famous throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.

Murano, Italy - Pulling into Murano on the main canal.
Pulling into Murano Museo boat stop on the main canal.
See my photos from Murano

Visit the Glass Museum

We took our time. Our visit to the Glass Museum in Murano was very enjoyable as we explored the many old glass artifacts on display.  We also learned a little bit of history that spans hundreds of years in Murano with regards to glass. After visiting the Glass Museum, we walked around the main square. We crossed the beautiful bridge and then we found our way down the other side of the canal, going towards another boat dock called Murano Faro (the Murano Lighthouse). We learned that this is the right spot to pick up another boat for the island of Burano, where we wanted to go next.

Glass shops and factories

We stopped in a few glass factory stores along Fondamenta dei Vetrai and admired the colorful and intricate works of art that each glass factory produces and sells. Yes all these beautiful ornaments are expensive, but you can simply walk through the stores and see all the shapes and colors…without buying anything. The glass creations in Murano are simply beautiful to look.

Murano, Italy - Colorful glass ornaments for sale at a local glass factory in Murano
Colorful glass ornaments for sale at a local glass factory in Murano
See my photos from Murano

We wanted to visit one of the glass factories and see how glass is being produced and painted by hand. This sounded like fun for the whole family. So, as we were visiting different glass factory stores, we were also asking if we could tour the glass factory. To our disappointment however, we found that in the middle of August all the factories are closed. The simple reason is that it is too hot to work in a glass factory during the summer.

Every answer we got was accompanied by a frown from every factory owner. It felt as if we didn’t know what we were asking. The expression on their faces seem to add a new twist to their answer. Their words and face expression was implying something like this: “How could you ask to visit a glass factory where we use extreme heat…in the middle of the summer? Don’t you know that we all take vacation the whole month of August and nobody works especially in a glass factory? How could you not know that and ask me this silly question?”.

All right, all right I got it…we can’t visit a glass factory in August.

All glass factories in Murano are closed from middle of July through the end of August. So, before you’re making plans to visit a Murano glass factory, check to make sure they are open.

We stopped asking about taking a glass factory tour and settled for visiting the glass factory store fronts. We made our way to our next boat stop called Murano Faro, where we waited for our boat to Burano.

Is it worth visiting Murano, Italy?

If you have already visited the main island of Venice, then a visit to Murano will be appealing for you if you want to see the Glass Museum and avoid a lot of the crowds. If you couple your trip to Murano with a trip to the colorful Burano, then it is very well worth your time.

My best tips for planning your trip to Murano, Italy

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