Enjoy a half-day excursion to the Venetian Lagoon and visit the most popular islands famous for their handcraft tradition: Murano for the glass factory, Burano for the laces, Torcello for the first cathedral in Venice.
Sailing along the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo, San Lazzaro degli Armeni and Sant’Elena Gardens the boat will first arrive at Murano.
Divided into nine islets crossed by a wide canal, Murano is the island of glass blowing. A long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when the glass artisans moved here their kilns from the old city center due to the fear of fires dangers. Murano history and wealth is entirely related to the glass: during the 15th and 16th centuries, it was the main glass center in Europe.
A stop to a glass factory is included to watch an expert master glass blowers creating an object.
Some of its palaces and churches are proof of Murano's magnificent splendor such as SS. Maria e Donato Church, one of the best examples of Veneto-Byzantine style. The Basilica also has a curious fact: the apse is facing the Canal. In the interior, the mosaics in the paving with ornamental motifs date from the period of the construction of the basilica (1140).
In front of Murano you can catch a glimpse of an island surrounded by brick walls and cypresses, San Michele, Venice’s cemetery since the 19th century where famous people such as Stravinsky and Diaghilev are buried. Its beautiful 15th-century church by Mauro Codussi can also be seen at a distance. This was the first church to be cladded with white marble from Istria.
The second stop will be at Torcello: center of the first Venetian civilization founded between the 5th and 6th centuries that became a flourishing island largely inhabited with palaces and churches. Nowadays the island preserves archeological proof of its glorious past such as the wonderful Byzantine Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of Santa Fosca with a beautiful portico and striking Byzantine interior.
Once left Torcello, the third and last stop will be on Burano island, one of the prettiest islands in the lagoon: it is a miniature Venice where all the houses are painted in bright colors. Burano is famous for its lace work, an art carried out since the 16th century when it was the most refined and famous in Europe.