Escape the crowds and chaos of Venice and catch a glimpse of what the city used to be - an island of artisans world-famous for their craft, where traditional skills have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Join us on a half-day trip to these timeless islands, so close yet worlds away from crowded Piazza San Marco.
After meeting in a central Venice location we'll start our tour with a short and comfortable boat ride to Murano. There's a lot to see on the way and your guide will keep you entertained with a description of the sights as you pass them. It's no time at all until we're off the boat again, taking our first steps on beautiful Murano, a small island world-famous for its glass. Once upon a time Murano glassblowers were the only people in Europe who knew how to create a mirror and their skills were so valued that they were banned from leaving the city of Venice under threat of execution. Many things have changed since then but the craft has stayed the same as you'll understand after our first stop - a glassblower's workshop.
Watch a craftsman in action as he goes about his daily business, describing his process in English while he works - what gives the glass its color? How does silica sand become glass? Which is the most difficult part of his job? This is a real, workaday studio and our experience here will be as authentic as it comes. Afterwards you will have time to browse the huge collection of glass art here and wander the island on your own. We don't take commission because we would rather pass those savings on to you, so shop here with a discount, anywhere else around town or don't shop at all - it's your choice.
Then it's back on the boat and off to our next stop, Burano. The tiny island of Burano is famous for two reasons. The first is for its houses; huddled tightly together along streets and canals, each one is painted a different color, with laundry strung up across the narrow streets. Legend has it that fishermen started this trend, painting their houses in bright shades so that they could see home from a distance. But Burano's major claim to fame is its centuries old tradition of lacemaking. Your guide will take you through the streets of Burano to a small building where women sit working feverishly, stitching lace like their mothers and grandmothers before them. Stay and watch their painstaking work, listen to a full commentary on what, in the age of sewing machines, has become a dying art and then take the time to explore the fascinating museum at the back. When Michelangelo visited Burano he bought an altarpiece for the brand new Duomo in Milan. You can take a leaf from his book and pick out your own keepsakes or spend your free time winding your way along the kaleidoscopic streets, sampling delicious cookies in local bakeries.
While other tour operators also visit Torcello, we have intentionally omitted the third island from our tour in favor of providing you with more time to explore the more memorable islands of Murano and Burano. Our selective tour of the islands spends less time on the boat and less time trekking inland, giving you more time to experience this wonderful corner of the world at a pace that suits you.
- Murano Glassblowing Factory
- Burano Lace-making shop
- Glassmaking demonstration at a factory in Murano with commentary in English
- Lacemaking demonstration at a shop in Burano with commentary in English
- Discount at the glassblowing and lace-making shop where the demonstrations are given (10%+ depending on the item)
- Headsets where necessary
- Round-trip transportation by boat
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities
- Optional activity costs
- Meals and drinks
- Infants up to 3 years old travel for free and do not require a reservation.
- We are unable to accommodate customers with wheelchairs or impairments requiring special assistance and customers with strollers or baby carriages on our group tour.
- It is the individual responsibility of all visitors to arrive at the tour departure points. We recommend that customers who are not familiar with Venice give themselves ample time to find meeting points.
- This tour operates with a maximum of 37 participants.
- Booking modifications made within 72 hours of tour date will be charged an amendment fee.
- This tour is operated in English only.