This archipelago one mile north of Venice is known worldwide for one thing: glass. There is barely a single upscale hotel in all of Italy, let alone Venice, that doesn’t make a point of talking up the Murano glass chandeliers they possess, and with good reason. Murano had a monopoly on glass-making for centuries, and it was the most elite of professions in Venice, making Murano the most famous of Venice’s archipelagos. The glass has been produced since the 10th century, but it wasn’t until 1291 that it gained its inflated status. It was in that year that all of the glass-making factories in Venice were moved to Murano due to the fear of potential fires.
Whilst the majority of the best glass factories today are closed to visitors, you can still visit a couple of them, as well as the Glass Museum in Palazzo Giustinian near the centre of Murano. There are also a total of four churches, although only two are open for visitors. The more impressive of the two is the Basilica del Santa Maria e San Donato. Legend has it that it houses the bones of a slain dragon. We’re skeptical, but you never truly know.
Visit the archipelago by taking vaporetto number 12, 13 or 52 from Fondamente Nuove, or the number 52 from Piazzale Roma.