The best way to visit Murano is on a boat tour of the Venice islands. These tours make stops on Murano to see traditional glassblowing the island of Burano, famous for its lace-making; and Torcello, believed to be the first populated island in the Venetian lagoon. Private tours let you enjoy a boat ride across the waters of the lagoon, visits to artisan workshops and factories accompanied by an expert tour guide, and a bit of free time for shopping and exploring without having to navigate Venice’s complex vaporetto (ferry) system between the islands.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Be sure to bring your camera, as Murano glassblowing and Burano lace-making demonstrations make for great photos.
Murano glass and Burano lace are both famous for their impeccable craftsmanship and quality—and prices reflect that. Be wary of “bargain” prices, which often mean counterfeit goods.
Murano’s glass shops are known for their hard-sell techniques, which can be uncomfortable. To avoid being strong-armed, always book your Venice islands tour through a reputable company.
How to Get There
From St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), take vaporetto (ferry) 4.1 from the San Zaccaria stop, or a private water taxi from the Grand Canal boat launch, just steps from St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
When to Get There
The Venice islands are most crowded in summer. From November through February, Venice is relatively quiet, though the temperatures can make for a chilly boat trip across the lagoon.
There Be Dragons
Murano’s seventh-century Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, one of the oldest in Venice, is famous for its exquisite Byzantine mosaics. It’s also known for what’s on display behind the altar: four massive rib bones said to be from a dragon slain by St. Donatus in Greece.
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- Museo del Vetro
- Venice Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
- Madonna dell’Orto Church (Chiesa della Madonna dell'Orto)
- Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli)
- Querini Stampalia Foundation (Fondazione Querini Stampalia)
- Campo Santa Maria Formosa
- Church of Santa Maria Formosa (Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa)
- Ca' d'Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia)
- Rialto Fish Market (Mercato di Rialto)
- Church of San Zaccaria (Chiesa di San Zaccaria)
- Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)
- Campo San Bartolomeo
- Venice Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto di Venezia)
- San Marco Chamber Orchestra (Virtuosi di Venezia)