1. Venice: Murano Glassblowing & Burano Lacemaking Tour by Boat
Escape the crowds of central Venice and catch a glimpse of what life in the city used to be like, as an island of artisans famous for their traditional craft skills, passed down from generation to generation. Your guide will keep you entertained on the short boat ride to the small island of Murano, famous for its glass making traditions. Historically, Murano glassblowers were the only Europeans that knew how to create a mirror, and their skills were so valued they were banned from leaving Venice on the threat of execution. Watch a craftsman in action and listen to a description of the process in English. Learn how silica sand becomes glass, and how the glass is given color. Afterwards, there will be time to browse the huge collection of glass art, and wander the island on your own. Back on the boat, cruise to the tiny island of Burano to see the brightly-painted houses huddled tightly together along streets and canals. Burano’s main claim to fame is its centuries-old lacemaking tradition. Stroll through the streets to a small building where women feverishly stitch lace, just as their mothers and grandmothers used to do. Your guide will explain the process of this dying art. Then, you can follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and pick out your own keepsake. Or, wander the winding streets, sampling delicious cookies at local bakeries. Unlike other tours, this excursion intentionally omits Torcello to provide you with more time on Murano and Burano, and with less time on the boat or trekking inland.