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History of Murano Glass

The history of Murano glass is interesting in the fact that it is the longest lasting center for glass making in history. It is believed the origins of Murano Glass dates back to 9th century Rome, with significant Asian and Muslim influences, as Venice was a major trading port. Multihued perle (beads) were used in trading with Asian, African and Muslim neighbours.

Murano’s reputation as a centre for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and destruction to the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicoloured glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass.

Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these century-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass figurines to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers.