Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Venezia, day 3 – Murano, Burano and Torcello

We had pre-booked an excursion for Thursday afternoon to visit the three Northern islands. Actually finding our boat was a little difficult because (despite the fact I’d asked at home in the travel agent’s exactly where we were meant to go) it wasn’t obvious that it was being run by a particular company. We had to ask at several places before we found the one our trip was through (and the place where we had to exchange our voucher for a ticket and the time of the trip were both different!). The man at the rival company's stand was really helpful and utterly lovely – and we made it to the trip with a few minutes to spare.

First stop was a glass factory at Murano.
Here we had a demonstration at the furnace.
Firstly we saw a vase being blown.
Then we saw a horse being made – it was amazing how he just pulled out the glass and it came into shape.

The guide dropped a piece of paper into the finished vase and it burst into flame - apparently it takes 24 hours to cool down (made at 7,000 degrees). Then we took a look round the warehouse – Madam spotted a dog she wanted, son found a fish, and DH wanted a dolphin. (We both spied some wine glasses we really liked, but proper Murano glasses are £60 each minimum, and the likelihood of said glasses getting broken - given that the last set I bought, only four out of six made it through being washed before use - made us decide it wasn’t practical.)

Next was Torcello, which was very quiet and green. There’s an amazing bridge there, the Ponte di Diablo. We also saw the outside of the 7th-century church of Santa Maria, but there wasn't enough time for us to go inside and see the mosaics, which was a bit disappointing. (Next time, we’ll do our own trip rather than pre-book an excursion.)

Next was Burano, which we loved - very pretty. I’m letting the pics speak for themselves.
This church actually had a leaning tower, but I couldn’t get the right angle to show this.

We were naughty and ducked out of the lace factory - we wanted to go to the pasticciera, because Burano is famed for its s-shaped lemony/buttery biscuits. And rightly so, as they're scrummy. They make gelati in the same flavour, studded with little bits of biscuit, which is also gorgeous - Gusto al Burano, I think it's called - though Madam voted for the cioccolato bianco. We also bought another bead for our bracelets each; oddly, they had a nicer selection than Murano! Then it was back to Venezia in time for a stroll before dinner.


Jan Jones said...

I've been to both Murano and Burano and preferred Burano too. The lace museum is wonderful. It's really easy to just hop on the boat to get to them and take your time about deciding when to come back.

Lacey Devlin said...

I love watching glass blowing :D I'll have to track down that factory.

Shirley Wells said...

Like Lacey, I love watching the glass blowers. That horse is amazing.