Venice / Points of interest

Glass Museum of Murano

Glass Museum of Murano

Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano - Venice

In Venice, the museums to visit are not only found in the beautiful historic centre. Surrounded by the magic of the lagoon, the island of Murano – famous for its Glass Museum in Venice, Italy is home to one of the most fascinating collections of the Venetian Civic Museums Foundation.


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Glasswork at the Murano Glass Mueum, offers an extraordinary journey to discover a bond that spans the centuries.

Here, you find key information for your visit to the Glass Museum in Venice, Italy: the Museum Venice Pass cost, opening and closing times and the Venice Glass Mueum tickets cost for a tour. The Museo del Vetro in Venice, Italy can be visited by purchasing individual Museum Venice tickets or a convenient Venice Museum Pass card.

The Glass Museum in Venice - Murano is housed in the Vescovi Palace of Torcello which was purchased by the city after the suppression of the diocese of Torcello to house the museum-archive of the island. Since 1923, the Museum of Glass in Venice has been included in the orbit of the City Museums of Venice.

The unique Glass Blowing Museum in Venice shows the history and evolution through the centuries. The artefacts stored at the Museo del Vetro in Venice – Murano offer visitors a comprehensive and highly suggestive itinerary that traces the history of Murano glass from its origins to the 20th century. Roman remains - from the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. - murine, artefacts produced between the 15th and 20th century and masterpieces. The Glass Museum in Venice contains the largest collection in the world of Murano glass and a visit to the museum will allow you to understand the deep and inseparable bond that binds Murano with glass working.

  • Murano Glass Museum - Archaeological Collection

Starting from the origin of Murano glass in Venice, Italy, the first rooms of the museum house the original nucleus of the collection which consists of artefacts received by the Abbot Zanetti - founder of the Glass Museum - and the collections of the Correr Museum and the Archaeological Superintendence. The archaeological collection of the Venice Museum of Glass boasts Roman artefacts, objects with depictions of animals and plants, glass 'murrini' and examples of applications and decorations used in ancient times.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 15th century

At the Venetian Glass Museum there is not much evidence of the beginnings of Murano antique glass. However, from the 1400s blown glass becomes a means of artistic expression, marking the start of a kind of production that leaves room for creativity and new decorative techniques. In these halls of the museum you can witness the evolution from 'crystal clear' glass to the pure and transparent glass that, during the next century, leads to the development of new decorative techniques.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 16th century

Typical glass of the 16th century includes: 'lattimo', white opaque glass like porcelain, glass used in filigree or decorated with enamels, and ice glass with a typical cracked outer surface. The incisions made with a diamond tip or flint began to be used in creating decorative patterns of extreme lightness, while the pictorial representation prefers subjects drawn from paintings of famous artists. In the course of this century the forms of artefacts gradually became more complex, demonstrating a greater awareness in glass processing and the desire to escape the previous canons of simplicity and practicality. But the 1500s is also the century in which the precious Murano glass goes beyond national borders to spread throughout Europe.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 17th century

During the 1600s there were no particular innovations in manufacturing techniques or decoration of Murano Glass. It is the century of the so-called glass à la façon de Venise, often produced by Murano glassmakers who emigrated abroad, marking the plastic decorative motifs which appeared during the 1500s. Considered to be the century of the most prestigious Murano glass, the 17th century is also the beginning of the decline: in addition to the massive exodus of Murano glassmakers abroad, towards the end of the century the market began to prefer Bohemian glass.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 18th century

In the course of 1700s Murano Glass acquired new life thanks to Joseph Briati. In Murano the Glass Museum in Venice preserves many examples of his vast output, including chiocche (crystal chandeliers decorated with multiple arms), deseri or table triumphs - famous for their ornamental richness and variety of the subjects represented - and beautiful mirrors.

The revival started by Joseph Briati succeeded in revitalizing the entire glassmaker industry in Murano: the famous 'lattimo' glass was produced by the Miotti and Bertolini families, while Osvaldo Brussa and his son brought attention to the ancient technique of hand-blown glass decorated with hot enamels.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 19th century

In 1797, the fall of the Venetian Republic also had significant effects on the production of Murano Glass art which went through a period of technique and aesthetics decline. From the second half of the 19th century, blown glass by Antonio Salviati and reproduction of Roman mosaic glass by Vincenzo Moretti offered new ideas to the glassmaking industry.

Among the most interesting productions of the period one must include the imitations of the early Christian gold leaf glass; enamel glass, of which a fine example is the so-called 'Barovier' Cup, in the Venetian Glass Museum, Venice; artefacts 'mimicking' excavated pottery. Towards the end of the 19th century, Europe moves away from historical models presenting new styles and movements; in Murano evidences of this change seem to be expressed only by the Barovier Artists in the beautiful wine glasses inspired by Art Nouveau.

  • Glass Museum of Murano - Murano Glass in the 20th century

At the beginning of the 20th century, the traditional techniques of glass working began to be used for more modern creations – as demonstrated in the 'Peacock  murrina' and Vittorio Zecchin’s Plate.

After the First World War, many artists began working closely with the furnaces on the island to pursue personal projects. This trend continued even in the following decades, bringing Murano glassmaking back to the centre of the international glass industry. The best works are the daring combinations of glass and wrought iron designed by Umberto Bellotto, with the cooperation of the Barovier artists and fantastic glassy fabrics created by Carlo Scarpa for Venini .

After the Second World War, Murano develops an interest in the chromatic effects of the glass – as can be seen in the works of Ercole Barovier. Also noteworthy are the sculptures by Alfredo Barbini and the creations of watermarks by Archimede Seguso.

From the 1950s onwards, the collaborations between designers of international fame and Murano furnaces become more frequent, giving the island a leading role in the glass industry worldwide.

Murano Glass Museum in Venice Opening Hours

  • From 1.04 to 31.10
    10am – 6pm (last entrance at 5.30pm)
  • From 1.11 to 31.03
    10am – 5pm (last entrance at 4.30pm)
  • Closed: 25.12, 1.01, 1.05