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Historical Notes  |  Glass Making  |  Virtual Trip  |  Information



Bead made of avventurina






Bead made of murrina







Oval bead


   Murano Glass Museum - The only institution of its type in Italy, the Glass Museum now occupies Palazzo Giustinian, one of the largest palaces in the Lagoon.   The museum was started by the Abbot Vicenzo Zanetti  for the purpose of assembling on the island anything that would testify to the fame and beauty of this traditional craft.   Now it has been enriched by the Correr Civic Museum collections of which it is a detached section, since the island was reunited with Venice under the same municipal to zoom   The museum is rich in the number and rarity of its specimens (approx. 4000 pieces) and constitutes an invaluable collection of products of the craft from the most ancient up to modern times.   The prize exhibit of the collection is the Barovier wedding cup (1470-80), with enamel work decoration by Angelo Barovier.    There are also exhibits by modern artists such as  Lino Tagliapetra, and Archimedo Seguso.
The glass museum is located at Fondamenta Giustinian n.8,  just around the corner from the “Museo” vaporetto stop.   Look for the signs indicating, “Museo Vetrario”.   Hours are from 10 am to 4pm (10am to 3pm winter) and is closed on Wednesday.  For further information, call 041-739-586.  There is also a big selection of colorful  books, posters, and cards, featuring glass and famous glass masters in the museum’s gift shop.

   St. Pietro Martyr Church - (parish church of the island), founded in honor of St. John the Evangelist in 1348 by Marco Michiel together with the now suppressed Domenican Monastery.   It was practically rebuilt after the 1474 fire, re-consecrated, and reopened in the name of St. Peter Martyr in 1511.   In 1808, it was closed again, stripped of all its artistic possessions then reopened in 1813.  Through the merit of Canon Tosi, it was redecorated with works of art of high quality from the other suppressed or destroyed churches in Murano.   The gothic style, with which it was initially constructed, lost its charm and through the passing years and the new church and monastery began to express renaissance and Baroque styles.
INTERIOR:   The Madonna del Doge Agostino Barbarigo  (signed, dated 1488).    This painting, which hangs on the right aisle, was commissioned in the 15th century from Giovanni Bellini (who was then the official state painter of Venice).   The subject – the Doge Agostino Barbarigo presented to the Virgin of St. Mark’s and St. Augustine – and the presence of the coat of arms of the Barbarigo family indicate that this canvas originated in the Doge’s private palace.
In the left aisle there is St. Agatha in prison visited by St. Peter and an Angel, by Paolo Veronese.
Hanging from both aisles are several typical Venetian chandeliers, which naturally beautify and adorn such a church on the island of glass.

   Basilica of Santa Maria and Donato -   This is one of the most important Veneto-byzantine buildings of the 12th century only slightly later than St. Mark’s, and contemporary with that group of churches which built on the lagoons after the year 1000, making it not only the most attractive building on the island, but one of oldest in the whole lagoon.It was founded, apparently, in the 7th century at the time of the first influx of refugees from the mainland, dedicated first to Santa Maria, as is proved by a record of 999.   It was only after 1125 that the title of San Donato was added when the body of the Saint was brought from Cephalonia.   In 1140 (the date inscribed in mosaic on the floor) the Church was to zoom
INTERIOR: Its pavement alone is well worth the journey from Venice.  Both in its design and in its technique, it is similar to the pavement of St. Mark’s.  As to the mosaics, note in the apse a large blue figure of  The Virgin at Prayer which stands out against a gold background.
EXTERIOR: The external work of the Apse is quite unusual; it is on a hexagonal plan with sham arcades with niches and double columns and with a gallery of arches running round above.   This is a valuable example, in spite of much alteration, for the rarity of its type, its architectural beauty and the wealth of its decorative elements beginning in the 12th century.

Hours for visiting the church: 8am – 12pm. and 4pm. – 7pm.  Open at hours of mass:  Sun. 7:30am, 9:30, 11, and 6pm.  Weekdays 8:30am; Fri. And Sat. 6pm (6:30pm in the summer).  


   Da Mula Palace - This beautiful palace, which its facade can be seen on Murano’s Grand Canal, is in gothic style which goes back to the 12th century but changed in 1500.  House of Venetian patricians, the family Da Mula lived in the palace until 1712 which later on became residence of the new glass aristocracy.   The facade preserves tiles and remains of veneto-byzantine decorations that goes back to the 12th or 13th century.  The last floor is discordant with the rest of the building and perhaps was kept for servants. Added to the facade in 1400 are four ornamental rose-windows, sculptured into shapes which represent a peacock while pecking bunches of grapes, hawks and a palm tree.  A few years ago, the palace was  bought by the Venice Commune and is now the Civic Center of Murano.  However, the palace occasionally hosts glass exhibits.

   Soranzo Palace -   Fond. San Giovanni Battista dei Battuti.  Standingclick to zoom are the remains of a beautiful Renaissance building from the beginning of the 16th century belonging originally to this family.  Around 1650, the Soranzo family sold the palace to the Toso family, ancestors of Luigi Cattelan, and to this very day, passing through many generations, the palace still belongs to the Toso family.     In fact, the palace now plays host to a very successful glass factory, Due D, which specializes in classical Venetian chandeliers.   The glass factory is owned by Luigi’s mother, Luigina Toso.