itinerary: Church of San Pietro Martire - Glass Museum - Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato - Scuola del vetro Abate Zanetti - Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli
Murano is famed worldwide for its glass industry, transferred to the island from Venice in the late 13th century because of the fire risk - most of Venice's buildings were wooden at the time.
If you want a closer glimpse of this fascinating art you can attend the glass-blowing demonstrations held in several of the island's fornaci, or glassworks.
The itinerary we propose covers three separate areas of the island connected by public transport.
[ 1 ]
Take the 3 or 4.2 boat (accessible to one wheelchair at a time) from Piazzale Roma (bus terminus) or Ferrovia (railway station) to Murano Colonna.
[ 2 ]
Go along the Fondamenta dei Vetrai as far as the Renaissance Church of San Pietro Martire which contains paintings by Paolo Veronese, Domenico and Jacopo Tintoretto as well as a Madonna with Angels and Saints by Giovanni Bellini. The churchis accessible from the side door.
Continuing along the quayside, you come to the Veneto-Byzantine Palazzo da Mula, built by a Venetian noble family as a summer residence and now housing Murano's Town Hall.
To reach the second area, take the 4.2 waterbus line at the Da Mula stop, right opposite the Palazzo, and get off at the Murano Museo stop.
[ 4 ]
From Riva Longa, take the Fondamenta Giustiniani to the Museo Vetraio, the Glass Museum founded by Abbot Vincenzo Zanetti in 1861 and boasting a fine display of glass objects from ancient times until today. The exhibition halls are accessible thanks to the elevator.
[ 5 ]
Continuing along the quayside, you come to the Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato which has an apse with a sumptuous mosaic on a gold ground and splendid mosaic pavements. The secondary entrance does not present an obstacles, and once you get in you'll find a ramp for reaching the 3 aisles.
Back in Campo San Donato, at the back of the basilica, go down Fondamenta San Lorenzo, then turn left into Calle delle Conterie where you can admire a splendid example of industrial archaeology: the Conterie complex where the eponymous coloured glass beads were produced. These famous Venetian seed beads were used in jewellery as well as serving as a medium of exchange with foreign peoples.
Once you've reached Campo San Bernardo, turn left, then right down Fondamenta Venier. At the end of the quayside is the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, currently closed to the public.
To reach the third area, go back along Fondamenta Venier to the Museo landing stage and take the No. 3 or No. 4.2 boat to Murano Faro.
[ 8 ]
Go down Viale Bressagio opposite the landing stage, then turn right into Calle Briati where you will find the Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti (formerly the School of Glass Design).
The building is completely accessible and, if you contact the school in advance, you can watch glass being worked.
Go down Viale Bressagio as far as Fondamenta Manin, then turn right into Campo San Stefano with the remains of the Church of Santo Stefano (only the oratory survives). You can also admire the medieval-style clock tower built at the end of the 1800s.
From the Murano Faro landing stage, you can take the No. 12 boat to the island of Burano.