No trip to Venice would be complete without a journey to the island of Murano and the heart of Venetian glassmaking.

While glass was certainly known in Italy before it was developed to a fine art in Venice (the Romans used glass in their bathhouses, for example), it was Venice’s position as a trade partner to the Orient (Syria, Egypt and Palestine, all with significant glass-making histories) that brought the industry to Venice.

Some say that the island of Murano was chosen to prevent fires from breaking out in the more populated areas, but others believe that secluding glass-making to Murano was a way to regulate the trade and protect the secrets of the designs and processes.

Murano is a relatively short vaporetto ride — we arrived in just a few minutes and then dispersed to walk around the quaint little town, lined with shop after shop of glass vessels, lighting fixtures, jewelry, and brik-a-brak. No surprise to any of you reading this blog, but purchases were made!