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Gondolas and glass-making. These are the two images that are unconsciously linked in the collective imagination with the city of Venice. They have now become symbols of the city.
Wood and metals were cut and forged to build the ‘Queen’ of the lagoon. Sand, minerals and fire were skilfully mixed and blended with chemical knowledge obtained from the study of alchemy. Using skill and dexterity, the incandescent substance was shaped and turned into glass.
Man manipulates elements in nature to transform them as he pleases. Likewise, the hands of a master craftsman work quickly using tools that have remained unchanged for thousands of years. Only the shapes have been altered, while the combination of techniques has become ever more daring.
The story of glass is ancient and mysterious: some individuals, like Pliny The Elder in his “Naturalis Historia” in 77 A.D., have turned it into legend. The writer describes how some Phoenician merchants disembarked onto sandy beaches after a long voyage at sea and, since there were no stones, they used clods of sand to build small walls to support their pots when cooking. They lit a fire underneath the pan and found to their surprise that a molten white-hot liquid flowed out, which would become known as glass.
Its actual use is even less clear to us. Glass had already appeared in the Middle East between 3500 and 3000 B.C.; hence the Phoenician merchants and sailors can only be credited with having facilitated the spread of glass objects and techniques throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Later the Venetians, who were in constant contact with areas occupied by the Phoenicians, imported their techniques to become the most famous masters of glassmaking in the world.
Legend and history meet once again in Venice: so let us continue along the Strada del Vetro until we come to the island of Murano. Here we will visit the Glass Museum in which the past has been perfectly preserved, allowing us to appreciate the evolution of this ancient art. We will then visit a glass factory – off the beaten tourist track – to marvel at the skills learnt by master craftsmen from their fathers. Who knows, they might even let us in on some of their secrets!
The tour includes:
- Pick up at your hotel if located in Venice
- Hire of a private boat
- Guided tour of the Museum of Glass
- Visit a glass factory in Murano
- Return to Venice with a private boat
Pricing Information: € 300,00 (from 1 to 9 persons)
The tour does not include:
- Museum of Glass entrance Tickets. Ticket price 10.50 € per person, 8.00€ reduced (kids from 6 to 14 years old, students from 15 to 25 years old, over-65 U.E. citizens) ;
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)