The Artisans of Venice

The outlook for today is miserable.  The note at the reception desk says thunderstorms and rain all day long with zero hours of daylight (I admit I was sceptical at the zero hours of daylight bit).  Great day for sightseeing, especially via boat, island hopping style.  NOT.

However, stepping our way outside the hotel, there isn’t any rain in sight yet, so we start navigating our way through the alley ways of Venice, until we come to our waterbus stop to make our way to the first of the islands – Murano – where the famous Murano glass is made.  When you arrive at Murano, you’ll notice there’s a number of glass factories where you can see glass blowing demonstrations – we turned left off the boat at the Coronna stop and kept going as far as you could to a pinky red coloured building to see their demo for no other reason than we could see lots of people lined up outside.  They weren’t very pushy and just suggested that you could kindly leave a tip for a beer or coffee for the glass blower on your way out or stop by the shop if you felt like it.

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Original Murano glass, handblown by authentic glass masters, is generally VERY expensive so you need to check around to make sure you are getting good value.  There is a huge difference in the quality and style of the works between shop to shop and obviously the more modern amazing pieces are set at a higher price, but justifiably so.

I’m not wiling to part with much, although if this was my last stop there would have been a few pieces I would have gladly paid big bucks for, so my treasure to take home is this little horse…


Burano is the island best know for its brightly coloured homes.

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Oh, and its lace.  Sadly, very little original handmade Burano lace is available nowadays, and it is generally very expensive.  Much of the lace on sale in the shops on Burano is machine made lace imported from abroad (think the People’s Republic of China).


We manage to find a shop that at least has a working lacemaker in it and which it turns out has been visited by Elton John (who owns a property along the Grand Canal).  Here, we buy a few pieces doing our bit to support the local economy, before boarding the waterbus back to the mainland.

It’s fun finding our way home through really quiet streets, devoid of tourists for a change (I know I am one, but I mean to say the groups of day trippers and tour groups that plague the streets every five minutes in the most popular parts of town).  Quiet and different from other parts of town, this is really enjoyable.

Another thing thing that is really enjoyable is our final night dinner, which we decide to take in at a local cichetti bar.  Cichetti is Spain’s answer to tapas or pinxos – small pieces of food.  With cichettti, you choose from the selection of warm food first, before finishing off with any number of cold dishes, all washed down with your selection of red, white or sparkling wine.  Our cichetti bar is small and locals seem to pop by for an evening drink before moving on.  It’s really lovely and a great experience to end our trip with.

Our evening ends as it was supposed to being – with thunderstorms (massive booms of lightning louder than I’ve ever heard in my life) and constant drizzling rain, but it doesn’t matter cause we are tucked up in bed watching Eurovision LIVE for the first time.

Tomorrow – we hit Florence!

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