Murano, Burano and Torcello Island Voyage
- Murano: The seven islands of Murano are home to the world's most famous glass factories, where you'll visit one to watch the craft of glassmaking in action.
- Burano: An archipelago of four interconnected islands, the beautiful streets are lined by fishermen's houses of every hue.
- Torcello: Part Byzantine, part Italian, the nearly 1,400-year-old Basilica Santa Maria Assunta looms over the most tranquil island in the Venetian Lagoon.
About this Venice tour
Back when the Venetian Republic consisted of mostly wooden buildings, the foundries of Venice's glassmakers could, with just one stray spark, bring fire and destruction to the entire city. So the industry was ordered moved to Murano, where glassmakers became the islands' most prominent citizens and were given privileges that few others enjoyed. They were, after all, the most skilled and revered artisans in the known world, and until after World War II, were even forbidden from sharing their secrets under penalty of death. Today's Murano glassmakers still use centuries-old techniques to craft everything from chandeliers to contemporary art pieces to jewelry, something you'll see when you tour one of the island's factories.
Another island of artisans, Burano is renowned for its intricate lace, all handcrafted on the island. Even Leonardo da Vinci was a fan, purchasing a lace cloth for the altar of Milan's duomo. But it's the brightly colored houses lining cobbled streets that you'll first notice. The colors aren't random, either; each house is limited to certain colors by the government.
Artists of another sort have been drawn to yet another island in the Venetian Lagoon. Ernest Hemingway, for one, took brief refuge on Torcello, writing parts of Across the River and Into the Trees here. Even though it was once the largest and most influential settlement in the Venetian Lagoon, Torcello is now home to just a dozen or so full-time residents. It's the least crowded location in Venice, and that alone is worth a visit.
Plague of prostitutes
Veronica Franco was Venice's most prominent courtesan in the 16th century. Educated and intelligent, her rich and powerful patrons afforded her a life of sumptuous wealth. But when the plague (and other misfortunes) decimated Venice, it was blamed on the city's immorality, and Veronica, along with fellow prostitutes, was accused of witchcraft. She was acquitted, but died in poverty ten years later.
Please meet your representative at the "Giardinetti Pontoon", located in front of the Royal Gardens entrance in St. Mark's, Riva degli Schiavoni, 30100 Venezia.
English, Italian and Spanish: everyday at every time. French: everyday at 11:00 am. German: everyday at 2:00pm.
If you plan to visit any of the churches in the area after your tour, remember to wear pants and a shirt that cover knees and shoulders or bring a cover-up for visit to a religious site. Water transport may be by motor launch or vaporetto, public water bus. There may be uncovered seating on the boat. Take advantage of the shopping at the Glass Factory in Murano after the Glass Making Demonstration. A piece of Murano glass is an awesome souvenir of your trip.
A minimal amount of activity is involved. Travelers must be agile and be able be to get on and off the motor launch with minimal assistance, or with the aid of an accompanying companion. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Shopping
English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
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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