On our third day in Venice, we headed out to the islands of Murano and Burano. We did a tour, which we thought would be a great idea but it turned out to not be so great, we only had about 50 mins on each island and this was no way near enough.
On the island of Murano we watched an exhibition of how they create their beautiful glass. In the image above you can see the gentleman has just created this lovely blue vase. It was very interesting and they are incredibly clever, because this was a relatively simple looking glass product compared with some of what we seen in the shops. Sadly after lining up to get into the glass blowing exhibition and watching the vase be made we had only about 20 mins left before we had to catch our ferry to the next island so we really didn't get a chance to do any shopping.
The island of Burano is famous for two things Needle lace Making and their very colourful houses.
The Needle lace making had me very interested before I even set foot on the island, I know this would be a shock to you all...... LOL me being interested in something creative.....
I wandered the museum looking at all the beautiful beautiful lace. Then to my great good fortune this adorable lady pictured above wandered in and sat down and started her lace making . . .
Oh my gosh it was amazing, it's hard to see what she's done , but what she had done had taken her over 150 hours, once I watched and understood how she was creating the lace I was stunned and totally in awe of the work these women produce. They explained at the museum that to make a table cloth it would take 7 women several hundred hours. Of course to buy real handmade Burano lace is very expensive, but in my opinion very worth every euro. Many years ago Burano actually had a lace making school, but sadly the youngest person whom makes lace in Burano is 50 years old, so this lace may not be created in the future.
Just some of the very colourful houses of Burano, unfortunately after my visit to the museum. Gadget and I had very little time to wander and take pictures. It is rumoured that the Burano men, whom are predominately fishermen, painted their houses bright colours so when they returned home on a foggy morning they could find their house.
We also visited another little island called Torcello, it was a very cute island, no longer residential. It had a wonderful ancient church and a few restaurants / cafes set up for tourists.
We returned to Venice and unfortunately for our bank accounts we did a little bit more shopping, but
hey I got a great handbag.....lol
In the evening I did an after hours tour of the Basilica of Saint Mark. Gadget was also was booked to do the tour, but he felt unwell so didn't go, boy did he miss out. Our tour guide explained so many things about Saint Marks square that we hadn't been told before, about the cafes, the buildings and even the square itself, that actually used to have a canal going straight through the middle of it.
Anyway our tour guide took us into the church and sat us down on the chairs ( they don't have pews) and we looked around and very slowly they lit the church, it was like the sun rising inside. Remember how I told you in the last post that I couldn't take photos . . . . . Well after hours we could and thank goodness I could because now I have photos to remember this forever. The tour let out a collective gasp as the church came to life.
All that gold you can see is thousands , maybe millions of tiny pieces of mosaic tiles with gold leaf encased in the glass.
How stunning is this . . .
This is the tomb which holds the remains of Saint Mark the evangelist, it used to be under the church in the crypt, however unfortunately the crypt often became flooded during the winter and they had to move the crypt higher and higher, it is now part of the high alter of the church. What I hadn't told you before is this church used to belong to the Ducale ( prime minister of Venice) , the everyday people of Venice only entered this church on feast days, so only a few times a year.
And look at these floors , oh my gosh. . . . . A patch workers dream . . . These pieces of marble were often no more that a few centimetres big and were the left overs form other work, the marble came from all over the world . . . . . . .
Just amazing and there were so many many different designs throughout the church and all the shapes are considered to have religious meanings.
If you are heading to Venice and you get the opportunity to do the after hours "Walks of Italy" tour of
this church, I would highly recommend it, it was spectacular.
Venice was amazing, I think initially it felt a little surreal, but once you understand the history of this city and how the Venetians created the beautiful unusual city they live in you can't help but adore it. I think you could wander the narrow winding streets of this city for months and never discover all its multitude of charms.