Kayaking to Murano and St. Michele, with Pub Visit
- Murano: Visit the island where glass-making was transformed into an art – where some of the most dazzling techniques were developed or refined, and where stunning works are still created daily.
- St. Michele Cemetery: See the island cemetery famous for its tall cypress trees andone of the earliest Renaissance churches in Venice. Among the famous people buried here are Ezra Pound and Igor Stravinsky.
- Rialto Bridge: Steep steps and arches highlight this famous 16th-century bridge over the Grand Canal. Stone reliefs decorate the base at each end, with St. Mark and St. Theodore on one side and a depiction of the Annunciation on the other.
- Osteria stop: Enjoy a visit to a local tavern, where you'll sample cicchetti (Venice's version of tapas) and toast your adventure over a glass of local wine.
About this Venice tour
In 1291, most of the buildings in Venice were made of wood. Fearing the devastation that a large fire would bring, the Doge ordered all glass foundries to be moved to the island of Murano. It was the birth of the Island of Glass.
By the late 13th century, fine-quality glass was Venice's major industry. Thanks to trade with Byzantine and Muslim merchants in the eastern Mediterranean, Venetians had recovered ancient Roman glass making techniques that had been lost to Europe. Now, with all glass makers in the same place, it would also be easier to protect industry secrets.
Venetian glassblowers created or perfected technologies like crystalline glass, enameled glass, multi-colored glass, milk glass, gilded glass, and imitation gemstones. Their virtual monopoly lasted for centuries.
With Murano glass dominating demand in Europe, glass makers became rock stars. They had special social status and privileges, such as being allowed to wear swords, like the nobility, and enjoyed immunity from prosecution. By the end of the 14th century, their daughters could marry into blue-blood families. But there was a trade-off.
Glass makers weren't allowed to leave the republic. Anyone who set up shop outside the lagoon was in danger of being killed, or having his hands cut off.
By the 18th century, competition from Bohemia and France had hit Murano hard. And falling into the Habsburg Empire (partial to Bohemian glass) in 1814 all but killed the industry in Venice. But in 1854, the Toso brothers, whose company made household glass items and window panes, decided to do something radical: Bring back traditional Murano glass. And the Island of Glass did not shatter.
Got a bone to pick with you
The Island of St. Michele is not a big island. Even though graves are squeezed in very tightly, and an enlargement is under way, there's not enough room for everyone. So these days, dead Venetians don't buy the farm, they just lease it. After a few years, their bones are dug up and moved either to a mausoleum or an ossuary, to make room for the newly deceased.
Please make your way to Corte Morosina Cannaregio 5823/25, by the Kayak rental location.
Make sure your phone and camera are either in a dry bag or a waterproof case.
Dress for the weather - you may need a jacket or sweater depending on the season. A portable rain poncho is also recommended.
You must be able to paddle for approximately 8 miles in total, in water conditions that may vary. This tour is not suitable for travelers with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for children ages 6 years or older as they may find 2 hours of rowing difficult. The Under 18 must go with an accompanying adult
Special Medical Restriction
Travelers must be in good health, disclose their physical fitness and advise any conditions that can affect their participation. Due to extensive amount of exertion required, we do not recommend this tour to travelers with heart or breathing problems.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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