Venice is known as the most romantic destination in the world, so it’s only fitting to combine Venice with the most festive time of the year to get the potent cocktail of beauty, spirituality, and magic! Not many people think of Venice as an ideal winter holiday destination, yet Venice is truly enchanting this time of the year with few tourists, the convivial atmosphere, the music of church bells, and the romance of snow falling on water and covering the world’s most beautiful sites. Here we offer you a few tips for discovering Venice at Christmas and having a wonderful time.
1) Nativity Scenes
Venice is a perfect place to escape the commercialization and hoop-la around winter holidays that took the United States and much of Europe by storm in recent years. In tune with Venice’s centuries-old traditions, Christmas trees and crazy amounts of Christmas decor are not favored in Venice, giving place to elaborate nativity scenes or Presepi, which were first invented in Italy by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. The beautiful and elaborate handcrafted Nativity Scenes can be seen in hotel and shop windows, Christmas markets and in churches, though many Venetian churches do not unveil them until Christmas eve.
No matter what your religion, gorgeous Venetian churches are a must-visit destination around Christmas time when they are hosting concerts, Nativity scenes, and, of course, masses. Some church concerts are free, such as the one at Frari church in sestiere San Polo which is held on December 26th at 4pm. Other concerts are held in historical palazzos and scuolas and require tickets for entry, and there are some that are by-invitation only, such as the famous Concerto di Natale at the Basilica di San Marco. It is difficult to get invited, but if you would still like to experience holiday spirit in the Basilica, you can attend the high mass there on Sunday before Christmas or the midnight mass on Christmas eve, which starts at 10:30 p.m. and you should get there early to get a seat (no tickets are needed).
3) Christmas Markets
Christmas markets are a long-time tradition in Europe and Venice is no exception. The biggest and best Christmas market in town is at Campo San Stefano and runs from early December until Christmas. The market features cheerful atmosphere with special performances, tasty regional food and hot spiced wine for adults, sweets and entertainment for kids, and local crafts such as Murano Glass Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and figurines, Burano laces, masks, and other artisanal specialties. Italian Babbo Natale (Father Christmas), a Santa Claus-like figure, is loved by kids throughout Italy and makes and arrives into Venice by water (of course) stepping off a gondola and giving out sweets to the delight of children and tourists alike.
4) New Year’s
The most cherished New Year eve tradition in Venice is to gather at Piazza San Marco for a convivial evening of live music and dancing, toasts, a midnight kiss with beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica and water splashing in the distance as a backdrop. The magnificent fireworks follow and then DJ’s continue to light up the night. In other words, if you are in Venice over the New Year’s San Marco is the place to be for the festivities. Of course, we recommend heading there only after you’ve had a delicious dinner at one of Venice’s many great restaurants, which always need to be reserved ahead for New Year’s Eve.
5) After New Year’s
In Italy New Year’s is not the end of holiday festivities. Italians love their holidays and their winter holidays end only on January 6th with Epiphany, when a witch called La Befana flies on the broomstick and leaves gifts for good children all over Italy. La Befana is celebrated in Venice with special races where men over 55 years old dressed as old witches row their boats along the Grand Canal. The rowing club Canotierri Bucintoro, the sponsor of the races, serves hot chocolate and mulled wine for spectators on Fondamenta del Vin. This one-of-a-kind annual Venetian festivity is not to be missed if you are there on Epiphany day.
by Kevin Grinberg
Thanksgiving is a distinctly American tradition, yet over the years it’s gotten some interesting touches from other cultures which make up the famous “melting pot”. Coming from the culture of food connoisseurs who love a good feast, Italian-Americans put their own twist on a traditional Thanksgiving celebration and we think there is much the rest of us can learn from them. Here are a few Italian-inspired ideas on decorating, cooking, and setting the table to help make your Thanksgiving warm, stylish and delicious.
Warm fall colors and gentle glow of the autumn sun have traditionally been the top themes in Thanksgiving décor. A few strategically placed artistic Murano Glass pieces such as candle holders, centerpieces, vases or sculptures in the bright shades of fall foliage can quickly dress-up your home for Thanksgiving with just the right dose of glamour and style
Of course the main event at Thanksgiving table is turkey. There are thousands of ways to cook it and every family likely has their own tradition for cooking the most delicious turkey. However, there is still space for creativity and interesting touches in other dishes, so here are a couple of Italian ideas to get your imagination going:
Spiced Wine (known as vin brulé in Italy, gluhwein in Germany, and vin chaud in France)
1 liter (1 quart) of red wine
100 grams (5 tablespoons) of sugar
a few cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
A little grated nutmeg
Grated orange peel or slice 1 orange
Mix wine and spices on low heat. Then add the sugar. Keep on low flame for about 15 minutes stirring periodically and try to not let it boil. Take off the flame. Strain. Serve warm and garnish with a slice of orange. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium butternut squash – peeled, diced, seeded
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 celery sticks diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt, pepper to taste
Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, or a clove to taste to add spice and autumn flavor
In a pot heat ½ cup of olive oil on medium flame, add carrots, celery, garlic, onion and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Add squash, bay leaf, a bit of fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté for another 15-20 minutes on medium to low flame until the squash becomes soft.
Add vegetable stock to cover the squash and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from flame and
blend, preferably with hand blender. Mix in about half a cup of heavy cream.
Add the seasonings to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg or clove)
Serve with a toast
Setting the table
Italians love being stylish in whatever they do, and they certainly know the importance of eating in style. Discover for yourself how elegantly set table makes for a convivial atmosphere and enjoyable meals. Beautiful Venetian shot glasses, tumblers and goblets offer a great way to enjoy your spiced wine and other drinks in old-world European elegance, while unique Murano Glass serving pieces will impress your guests with 24K gold foil infused in glass and rich warm colors. Murano Glass offers many ways to dress up your Thanksgiving table – check our website, www.GlassOfVenice.com for more ideas.
Once you made your home and table Thanksgiving-ready, it’s time to enjoy, Relax, gather the family and friends, make a toast and give thanks for everything you have. Happy Thanksgiving!
by Kevin Grinberg
While Murano Glass is ancient and famous art known well beyond the borders of Murano Island, unfortunately it is rare to see a major Murano Glass exhibition outside of Venice, Italy. It is even rarer to see one in a world-class museum, so we are delighted to let you know about the new exhibition opening up in Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated to the art of famous architect and modernizing force in Murano Glass, Carlo Scarpa. Called “Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa. The Venini Company, 1932–1947” this exhibition illustrates how Carlo Scarpa led the way in breaking the mold of classic Murano Glass making and bringing out new facets of this ancient art in line with the changing times.
Carlo Scarpa was a talented Venetian architect who became familiar with the medium of glass and skilled at glass-making while working at famous MVM Capellin Glassworks on Murano Island for five years. Scarpa was fascinated with the possibilities that the medium of glass offered to an artist with its fluid nature, transparency and color. Having learned the intricacies of glass-blowing, Scarpa was invited to work at one of the most famous glass companies on Murano at the time, Venini, in the role of artistic consultant. Scarpa’s talent quickly became obvious in this job ,where he promoted innovative techniques that built on the solid foundation of ancient art but took it to new levels, achieving the colors, shapes and designs beyond anything created by Murano masters before. Venini Glassworks enjoyed great success with Scarpa’s innovations, showcasing his works at prestigious international exhibitions and gaining global fame.
The exhibition at Metropolitan Museum is organized chronologically and by technique, featuring new takes on traditional Murano decorative techniques. Among others you will see colorful objects created in Bullicante technique where carefully controlled pattern of small bubbles is introduced into the glass, as well as trendy pieces made in elaborate and labor-intensive Filligrana and iconic Murrina (aka Millefiori) techniques. Streamlined shapes, elegance and bold colors characterize many of the pieces and highlight their contemporary appeal.
The exhibition at New York’s world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art will be running from November 5, 2013 through March 2, 2014 and is certainly not to be missed. We highly recommend visiting it for a unique opportunity to see the artistic value of Murano Glass up close and appreciate its transformation to a contemporary art form evolving in step with modern times.
by Kevin Grinberg
Venice Historical Regatta
First Sunday in September is always a big day in Venice – the day of famous Regata Storica or Historic Regatta, a rowing competition traditionally held in Venice for centuries. Although over 120 different regattas are held in Veneto region of Italy from April to October, Regata Storica is the most special of them all, a spectacular cultural and sporting event eagerly anticipated and celebrated by Venetians and tourists alike.
Venetian Historic Regatta has a rich and colorful history stretching back to the 13th century, when historical evidence first points to the boat races in the Venetian Lagoon for celebration of a Venetian religious festival. In the Middle Ages Venetian regattas were held to celebrate important events such as accession of a new Doge and appointments of key political figures, commemorate military victories, or to honor visiting foreign dignitaries. These were always popular events among Venetians and foreign visitors, patriotic, pompous and hugely entertaining at once.
Today’s Historical Regatta of Venice reenacts the famous Venetian boating parade and rowing competition held in 1489 to honor the arrival of Caterina Cornaro, the queen of Cyprus and Venice native, who renounced her throne in favor of Venice. The spectacular ceremonial parade that precedes the races features gorgeous carved 16th century-style boats manned by Venetians dressed in period costume. At the head of the parade is famous Bucintoro, or Bucentaur, the traditional state galley of the doges of Venice and the symbol of the Venetian republic carrying the Doge and Dogaressa. Then come dozens of colorful traditional boats of different types oared by gondoliers in rich period dress carrying Caterina Cornaro, and the top figures from Venetian magistrate, in a detailed reconstruction of the glory and might of La Serenissima, which has for centuries been the most revered and powerful naval state in the Mediterranean.
Venice Historical Regatta - Rowing Boat
After the parade the main event starts featuring four races: one for young rowers, followed by women’s race, then one for heavy six-oared caorline or transportation boats, and then finally the most anticipated one for the two-oared gondolini, or slim gondolas. These competitions in Venetian-style rowing are very technically challenging and put to serious test the skills and strength of Venetian boaters. Venetians love these races and set up teams representing various neigborhoods or “sestieri”, establishments, and rowing clubs, while non-Venetians are barred from participating. Nonetheless, crowds of excited tourists flock to Venice for this annual event and flood the banks and floating platforms of the Grand Canal to watch and encourage the racers. After the races are over, the entire city on the water fills with boats and people celebrating with music, food and drink, and the feeling of joy permeates the air.
Venetian Historic Regatta is an amazing event and is much more than just a colorful spectacle; it’s a way to experience the unique spirit of Venice, its special relationship with water, its history and culture, and its dedication to commemorating and celebrating the glorious past. As Venice gets overflown with tourists, Venetians and lovers of Venice alike worry about the city losing its face and its soul amidst commercialization and globalization of the surrounding world. Events like Venice’s Historical Regatta keep the city’s traditions and spirit alive and help us all feel like Venetians, if only for a day.
by Kevin Grinberg
Very few objects are so recognizable the world over and have been the symbols and statements of wealth for so long as Venetian Glass Chandeliers. In the 17th century, when Venice was a mighty and rich maritime republic, Venetian nobility and merchants strived to outperform each other in demonstrating their power and wealth. Murano Glass industry flourished with talented glass masters rushing to create ever more elaborate articles of interior design to satisfy demand from their rich clientele. In addition to elegant mirrors, elaborate goblets, and gold-accented tableware, the glass masters created new designs of lighting fixtures. Replacing the unattractive and unwieldy wooden and wrought iron chandeliers of the past, the new chandeliers appeared airy, translucent, sparkly, and were richly decorated for a grand opulent look.
It was in those times that one of the mightiest Venetian families of the 17th century, Rezzonico, was building their magnificent residence, Ca’ Rezzonico, overlooking the Grand Canal. Designed by Giorgio Massari, a well-known Venetian architect, and decorated by the best artists and artisans in Venice, the palace featured beautiful façade, a grand staircase, and an unusual grandiose ballroom. The uniquely constructed soaring ceiling in the Ballroom was created by eliminating the second floor in part of the building. As a highlight of this grandeur, around 1730 Rezzonico family ordered a chandelier from Murano masters, which had to fit the regal atmosphere of the residence. Using all of their technical skills and knowledge, Murano Glass masters in the factory of Giuseppe Briati created a gorgeous two-tier masterpiece in rare polychrome glass featuring twenty candle-holders. This chandelier is the most amazing such chandelier still in existence today and it still hangs in its original room in Ca’ Rezzonico where tourists can now admire its beauty.
Moreover, this Rezzonico chandelier was so beautiful and famous that it gave rise to the entire style of Murano Glass chandeliers called Rezzonico, which is still produced in Murano Glass workshops. Rezzonico style, always in high demand for residences, hotels, restaurants, luxury boats and public spaces, is characterized by opulent detailing of stems and cups, elaborate floral elements, gorgeous colors, gold decoration, and grand multi-tier structure. Other classic Venetian chandeliers created by Murano masters today continue the famous Murano Glass chandelier tradition of the late 16th – early 17th century with translucent or colorful glass, lush decorative elements, and use of 24K gold and genuine silver leaf for gorgeous and unique look. Recently, more modern and trendy chandelier designs have also become popular, reflecting contemporary artistic trends and search for leaner forms, bolder colors, and more minimalistic styles.
Murano Glass masters have always stood apart from all their competitors around the world not only because of the superior quality of their glass creations, but also thanks to their unique ability to reinvent themselves and their craft while remaining true to the artistic heritage of Venice and traditions of their forefathers. While experimenting with new styles, decorative techniques, and artistic trends, Murano glassmakers carry on the classical traditions of craftsmanship and quality that made them world-famous since the ancient times. Today the descendants of the famous glass artisans of the centuries past continue to create gorgeous chandeliers and other pieces of art glass appreciated by even the most discerning modern-day customers.
by Kevin Grinberg
1. Glass was first made about 3,500 years ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia
2. By 1350 BC Egyptian glass masters used complex chemical processes to create opaque glass, colorless glass, and even mosaic (millefiori) glass, using canes with multiple layers of colored glass.
3. Ancient Romans revolutionized glass-making process with use of a blow-pipe in 1st century BC. This made glass-making a large industry and allowed ordinary citizens in Roman Empire to enjoy items made of glass.
4. Romans used glass beads for trade and jewelry, made elaborate glass mosaics for decorative purproses, introduced glass tableware, containers, and mirrors into large-scale use, and used clear glass for windowpanes
5. Venice became an important glass-manufacturing center in 8th century AD
6. In 1291 all Venetian glass production moved from Venice to Murano Island in the Venetian lagoon
7. In 15th century many of the old Roman glass-making techniques previously lost were re-invented by Murano glass masters, including famous Millefiori technique.
8. In 1480 Marietta Barovier of the namesake glass-making dynasty invented the most famous bead of all – the Rosetta (aka Chevron) bead, made using a cane and star-shaped mold in an early example of Venetian Millefiori technique. The bead was wildly popular as trade currency and was used to buy prized goods and priveleges.
9. Millefiori is an Italian word meaning ‘a thousand flowers’. It first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1849. This famous glass-making technique was previously called Murrine.
10. In ancient as well as modern Murano Glass colors are traditionally achieved by adding various minerals or mineral oxides into the glass mixture. Some of the most popular minerals used include Cobalt and Azurite for Blue, Red for Gold, Iron for Green and Yellow, Manganese for Pink and Violet.
by Kevin Grinberg
It is a new year and a new chance to win something beautiful from GlassOfVenice! Our Murano Glass giveaways proved wildly popular over the years. No wonder, it is a win-win: our customers and admirers love a good deal and we are happy to keep the passion live by gifting our artistic beautiful pieces. So we are announcing OUR NEXT MURANO GLASS GIVEAWAY which we are now running on Facebook.
If you are in the United States get a chance to win a beautiful 18mm Murano Glass Millefiori Pendant in gold-plated or silver frame (your choice) absolutely free by becoming our Fan on Facebook and taking part in our January Murano Glass Giveaway. The giveaway will be running for one week concluding on January 29th at 11:59 PM EST. If you are the lucky winner, you will see for yourself how wearing one gets you many compliments every day.
Giveaway Details: This giveaway is open to US Residents only with Facebook accounts. You must become our Fan on Facebook and complete the Mandatory Entry to be eligible. This giveaway started on January 22nd and will close on January 29th, at 11:59 pm EST Time. To enter click on Murano Glass Giveaway and follow directions on the page. The winner will be contacted by e-mail at the conclusion of the Giveaway. Good luck!
About Murano Millefiori
Millefiori (known in Italian as Murrine) is an ancient glass-making technique invented by the Romans around the 1st Century B.C., then lost, and subsequently rediscovered by the talented Venetian glass masters in the late 15th Century. Millefiori technique is a labor-intensive multi-stage process. The first step is the creation of the special thin glass rods with various multi-color star- or flower patterns inside. These rods are then cut into little mosaic-like pieces called Murrine, which are assembled by hand into various designs and are used to cover molten glass completely as it is being blown and shaped. The hot glass objects covered in small Murrine are then put into special furnaces where the Millefiori pieces fuse together under high temperatures to form intricate colorful quilt-like designs, which fascinate and dazzle.
As the holidays are approaching, we at GlassOfVenice.com bring you lots of new Murano Glass pieces to decorate your Christmas tree, put on your table or mantle, or give as memorable keepsake gifts for your relatives, friends, and other special people in your life. Murano Glass has been an exclusive and very desirable gift for centuries, with its rare combination of handcrafted quality, rich colors and gorgeous patterns, unique designs, and artistic heritage inseparable from Venice. At GlassOfVenice we work closely with the artisans to support and promote the tradition of artistic Murano Glass and help you choose the best exquisite gifts from our large selection of authentic Murano Glass Christmas ornaments, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, tableware and silverware, drinkware, vases, sculptures, and more. All our Murano Glass is imported directly from Venice, where it is created by talented glass masters using a variety of ancient glass-making techniques.
Use coupon code DECSALE15 during checkout and get 15% OFF every item in our virtual store until December 31, 2012!
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|Visting Murano is a part of our job. But it is also our passion. We have just returned from yet another trip and cannot wait to share our impressions with you. |
Murano is a small island only 2 miles away from Venice. Little water buses, or vaporettos as they are known in Venice, transport you to Murano from Venice in about 10 minutes, and when you get off, you feel like you just returned to the Venice of centuries past. Floating peacefully on the water, with colorful historic houses and palazzos lining its canals, Murano presents a much calmer, and more real alternative to the touristic hustle and bustle of nearby Venice. People go about their business, the canals are full with boats transporting goods, the children are walking home from school chatting and laughing, and history and beauty are surrounding all of this. Just by observing the everyday life on this historic island you feel like you are thrown into a different day and age, more carefree and more simple.
But Murano is much more than a curious tourist destination. For over 700 years Murano has been the place where the magic of glass is created from water, sand, and some minerals in the simple furnaces heated up to 1700 degrees Celsius or 3090 degrees Fahrenheit. But what makes this more than a chemical process is the talent and skill of the masters who breath life into the glass mixture and shape it to become the amazing pieces of art that are famous world-wide. The process of Murano glass-making has remained virtually unchanged since the middle ages. Today, walking around the island of Murano, we see the little factories everywhere, often employing only a few people, members of the same family. In a typical glass-making family, many of which have been doing this work for generations, the business roles are traditional as well: the father and sons work the glass, the mother and the sisters assist in the process, pack ready items for sale in Venice or shipping outside, and work with the clients.
Looking at the artisans work their magic moving gracefully between the furnace and the special bench used for shaping the glass, manipulating simple age-old instruments, talking quietly to each other, it seems that this process is invariable like the change of seasons – that it’ll always be here and cannot be stopped. However, this impression is far from reality. With the spread of globalization the artistry of Murano Glass is in danger. Between the inflow of cheap counterfeit glass from the East, the rising costs of raw materials, the economic woes in the West, and the difficult working conditions, including standing up all day in the heat of the furnaces, the young people even from the old glass-making families increasingly flock to the easier and more profitable jobs on “terra ferma”, as Venetians call the main land. Many factories and workshops have closed in recent years unable to compete with China and to find enough clients. And with each closing factory goes the mastery and the artistic touch of that particular glassmaker, which cannot be easily picked up by anyone else, and the Art of Murano Glass suffers from each loss.
This is part of the reason why, years ago, we established our company GlassOfVenice.com. Our mission is not only to bring the beautiful historic art of Murano Glass to people worldwide, but also to help this amazing art survive and flourish. By establishing close connections with the artisans and collaborating with them to continue creating new and traditional Murano Glass objects we help them reach those who appreciate and value high-quality handcrafted artistic products and the heritage of Murano Glass. In the end it is you, our customers, who help Murano Glass art survive and prosper, and we thank you for your loyalty and hope for your continued patronage.
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GlassOfVenice.com is happy to announce the next part of our series of Venetian travel advice for those who, like us, are in love with the mesmerizing floating city of Venice, Italy. We received lots of feedback and thankful letters in response to our initial publication and now present the next 5 top recommendations for Venice visitors. Please write to us and let us know that you like our travel advice to get even more GlassOfVenice travel publications in the future.
6. Make an outing to Teatro La Fenice
When you tell your friends that you are going to Venice you will often hear advice to visit San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, famous museums and wonderful restaurants. But there is more to Venice. Far from simply being an open-air museum and a culinary heaven, Venice is a living breathing city offering much more than its streets, canals and restaurants to the curious tourist. For centuries Venice has been famous around the world as an important cultural and artistic center, continuously innovating and discovering new creative frontiers, be it in painting, architecture, artisanal forms, or theater. The latter flourished in Venice thanks to the rich heritage of Roman religious festivals through advent of Venetian Carnival and unique theater forms, such as Commedia del Arte and Grand Opera, and became favorite pastime of Venetians and enlightened tourists alike in the last 300 plus years. Take an evening to witness the magic of Venetian theater at one of the most famous opera houses in the world- Teatro la Fenice (translated as Phoenix), which, like the mythical Phoenix Bird rose from the ashes of three fires, which ruthlessly burnt it to the ground in 220 years of its existence. As you will see when you step into this opulent gem of a theater and hear the opera divas on stage, La Fenice offers not just a fine operatic production but a unique Venetian experience and an enchanted evening that you will not soon forget.
7. Go to a Vivaldi concert (but not where musicians wear wigs)
Vivaldi is Venice’s favorite son. Very famous in Venice and beyond during his lifetime, the composer went through a long period of being largely forgotten until interest in his work reignited during the 20th century, and many of his works, which were considered lost, had since been rediscovered. Today Vivaldi is again immensely popular and his music can be heard in Venice’s churches and scuolas almost every evening. Hearing Vivaldi in Venice, the city which inspired him, is a unique experience, which you will definitely enjoy. Just don’t pick one of the concerts performed by musicians in costumes, as their skill is usually inferior to that of other orchestras based in Venice. One orchestra we recommend in particluar is Interpreti Veneziani, who usually play in San Vidal Church. Get more info about these musicians and their repertoire on their website
8. Venture off the beaten path
Venice is probably one of the most photographed and filmed cities in the world. Even if you have never been to Venice, chances are you have seen so many of its squares, churches, palaces and canals on various photos and in films that you feel like you’ve seen it all and there is nothing new to be discovered. However, this is very far from the truth. In reality, Venice has a well-known touristy part stretched between Piazza San Marco and the train station and a much less known residential part found in more remote areas of Dorsoduro and Arsenale, as well as La Giudecca. This is where you can see the living and breathing city, the Venetians going about their business, the kids playing soccer on piazzas, the curious little stores, the most authentic (and the least expensive) restaurants, the best artistic Murano Glass, Venetian masks, and other artisanal things, and of course this is where the most interesting experiences and encounters await.
9. Walk around Venice early in the morning or late at night
Arguably most people visiting Venice are day-trippers, trying to save on the cost of accommodations in this expensive city, or coming in on cruise ships with only a few hours to spare. This makes for huge mid-day Venetian crowds, especially on the popular routes between San Marco, Rialto, and the train station, and in the popular late Spring, Summer, and early Fall months. But if you are willing to splurge even for only one night in the historical center of Venice, there is still a way to have Venice all to yourself and see it the way it appeared to our predecessors centuries ago. Just get up very early, preferably before dawn, step outside, and watch Venice wake up. You’ll be amazed at the beauty of this mysterious city, when even the most popular sights such as Piazza San Marco will be eerily empty and quiet. Or, if you are not a morning person, stay up way past dinner time and walk the streets around midnight or later. Don’t worry, it is completely safe (Venice enjoys some of the lowest crime rates of any major city and the worst danger by far to any tourist is pickpockets, which love crowds). You’ll be rewarded with picture-perfect views of dimly-lit winding streets and shimmering canals at every corner and a very romantic feeling that you won’t soon forget.
And the last one very near and dear to us:
10. Be very careful when buying Murano Glass
We have already covered this topic at length in another post explaining how to identify authentic Murano Glass. But we feel our tips for travelers to Venice would be incomplete without yet another mention of the need to be careful when buying the ultimate reminder of Venice – Murano Glass. Regretfully, the effect of globalization and modern-day economic reality is such that for many Venetian stores it makes great economic sense to buy counterfeit glass from China instead of purchasing the real thing from the local glass artisans (though from the ethical standpoint such unscrupulous store owners are ruining not only the ancient art of Murano Glass but also the reputation of Venetian tourism industry). Not only are the Chinese fakes incredibly cheap, but to many unsuspecting tourists unfamiliar with Murano Glass and rushing to buy some souvenirs to take back home they look attractive at low price tags. Yet all glass is not created equal, and Murano Glass is not merely a name behind all glassware sold in Venice. Murano Glass starts with the exceptional quality minerals from the Venetian Lagoon, gets shaped by the laborious manual skill-intensive process honed by the centuries of glass-making tradition, and receives its worldwide recognition thanks to the artistic talent of the local glass masters, making it impossible to replicate the unique characteristics and beauty of authentic Murano-made glassware outside of Venice. Before buying any Murano Glass in Venice, please read our Murano Glass Guide carefully and feel free to e-mail us if you have any questions.
Remember to bookmark our travel tips and review them the next time you decide to visit Venice. We look forward to helping you make the most of our favorite destination and sharing more Venice travel tips with you in the future.
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