Excursion to the Islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello
Excursion to the Venetian Lagoon for the visit of islands famous for the handcrafts: Murano for the glass factory, Burano for the laces, Torcello for the first cathedral in Venice.
Sailing along the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo, San Lazzaro degli Armeni and Sant’Elena Gardens the boat gets at Murano.
Divided into nine islets crossed by a wide canal, Murano is the island of glass blowing. A long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when the glass artisans moved here its kilns from the old city centre due to the fear of fires dangers. Murano history and wealth is entirely related to the glass: during XV and XVI centuries it was the main glass centre in Europe.
A stop to a glass factory is included to watch an expert master glass blowers creating an object.
Some of its palaces and churches are witness of its magnificent splendor such as SS. Maria e Donato Church, one of the best examples of Veneto-Byzantine style. The Basilica also has a curious fact: the apse is facing the Canal. In the interior, the mosaics in the paving with ornamental motifs date from the period of the construction of the basilica (1140).
In front of Murano you can catch a glimpse of an island surrounded by brick walls and cypresses, San Michele, Venice’s cemetery since XIX century where famous people such as Stravinsky and Diaghilev are buried. Its beautiful XV century church by Mauro Codussi may be seen at a distance. This was the first church to be cladded with white marble from Istria.
Second stop will be at Torcello: centre of the first Venetian civilization founded between V and VI centuries, the island became a flourishing island largely inhabited with palaces and churches. Nowadays the island preserves archeological proof of its glorious past such as the wonderful Byzantine Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of Santa Fosca with a delicious portico and striking Byzantine interior.
Once left Torcello, the third and last stop will be on Burano island, one of the prettiest islands in the lagoon: it is a miniature Venice where all the houses are painted in bright colors. Burano is famous for its lace work, an art carried out since the XVI century when it was the most refined and famous in Europe.