Murano - Island of Glass
Trip Start May 14, 2010
21Trip End Jun 02, 2010
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We wanted to see Murano, an island off the main island of Venice, so that was our first stop. Murano is known for it’s blown glass and there is LOTS of it! I don’t think I’ve seen so much glass in one place in my life. It was all amazingly beautiful some of it was incredibly elaborate. Huge Chandeliers, vases, and sculptures…the shops (and there were many) all felt like museums. And it was a bit scary…one wrong move and it would be disastrous…and for those of you who know Trystan, well, we were really wondering what we were thinking bringing HIM into a shop like that, we must have been crazy LOL
After eating we felt ready to look around more and try and find a glass blowing demonstration. We found one that cost 2 Euro a person…probably the best 2 Euro we spent. These guys are true artists and it’s amazing to see them do their craft. We watched him create a cruet, a horse and a little kitty all from just a red-hot glowing blob of glass. It was as though he pulled them right out of the glass, and it looked a little like pulling taffy. Especially the horse he made. He pulled out one leg at a time, then the head and tail. Amazing! We talked to the artisan and his assistant after the demonstration and he told us that he had been doing that for more than 30 years - as security for his mother :) His apprentice has been learning for 3 years, and it’s a craft that takes many years to learn. We bought some pieces like those we watched him make
We also wanted to see Basilica di San Marco before it closed for the day, so back to the island we went. The basilica is just beautiful - no photos allowed, so nothing to post, but it’s a really beautiful church. Lots of very elaborate mosaics and gold leafing everywhere, I mean it’s really, really gold. If your are interested, here is a link to a site with pics of the interior: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/venice-san-marco-photos/ The Basilica itself was free, so we decided to pay the 3 Euro to get into the Treasury. There were lots of really old items from the Byzantine Empire, etc, but not a whole lot of explanation of what we were seeing. Even though it was only 3 Euro, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The street vendors are all over Venice (and really Europe what we‘ve seen), and fairly aggressive…if you even look in their direction you get a high pressured sales pitch for whatever they happen to be selling. Venice is a really beautiful city, but definitely geared toward tourists. We looked at some of the vendors, actually looking specifically for one that we had seen and talked to the day before who had some original watercolors that we liked, but we did not find her. It became a challenge for me to look without being seen so I could avoid the high pressure sales pitch - yikes!! We decided to head back toward our hotel and check for something quick for food along the way. We ended up with Kebabs for Brian and Trystan and a grilled prosciutto and cheese sandwich for me - topped off with a couple of beers while sitting on some stairs in the street and we had a great meal!
As we headed back toward our hotel, we noticed a street vendor stand with watercolors...and started looking at what was displayed
Since this was our last night in Venice and we didn't have such a painfully early departure (10:45 flight to Rome), we had really hoped to find a bar or pub to have a few beers in and just chill. Well, we found out that Venice practically rolls up the streets by 10:00. We did find one place to sit outside and have a drink, but they started closing up before we were even done. As we walked back, the streets were nearly deserted. We had wandered way off the beaten path, and in some cases the alley was very nearly only shoulder width, but eventually we did find our way back, packed up for the next day and called it a night. Good Bye Venice, I do hope to return someday!