July 21, 2011. Venice and Murano Italy. Today we decided to boat out to Murano, an island about 35 minutes from Venice. Murano glass is world renown, and glassmakers have been making glass in Murano since 1291 C.E. We took the "water bus" from the train station area to Murano and sat in the very rear of the boat. The view was spectacular as we left the inside of the city onto the more open water. On the way, we passed a variety of smaller islands, including "Isola de San Michele" or in English, San Michelle. It was originally a prison island, but since 1807 it became a cemetery for the people of Venice and surrounding areas.
Once in Murano I was interested in finding Vetri Artistici, the "furnaco" and show room I had visited during my trip in 2008. I remembered it was near the lighthouse, so we made our way in that direction. Again I was lucky and found the furnace and the show room in just a few minutes. Once there, I met Raffaele -- the same gentleman who had helped me on my previous visit. I reminded him of our meeting and mentioned that he had, at that time, taken me to the special showroom upstairs as well as a private viewing room for the furnace. Raffaele didn't remember me specifically, but my description of the venue let him know I was a repeat visitor. We were able to visit the upstairs showroom and the furnace. It was quite thrill.
After leaving the factory, we caught a bit of lunch and continued our exploration of Murano. One item I wanted to buy was a figure of a rabbi in Murano glass. I had seen these in the Ghetto, so I hoped I could find them in Murano and meet the artist if possible. I always enjoy pieces of art from the artist him/herself. As we passed a shop, Linda jumped and pointed out the rabbi figures! We went into the store, found the artist whose name is Simon. We had a chance to talk about his art for awhile, take a picture or two and buy one of his pieces. It is a rabbi holding a Torah with a Star of David inscribed in the front. It's quite beautiful and I think a unique piece.
After returning to Venice we waited in another long line at the train station and bought our tickets for a day-trip to Verano tomorrow as well as our transit to Innsbruck Austria on Saturday. Linda bought some jewelry in The Ghetto, we did a bit of shopping at the Coop and caught another wonderful Chinese dinner at our favorite restaurant.
By now it was 11:30 p.m., so it was time to get some sleep. One interesting note is that the dinner hour in Italy is fairly late, and many people are just starting their evening meal at 10 p.m. and later.
More to come!!