An exemplary day out in Venice. There is nothing touristic on offer here, we are being lead by three Venetians, enabling you to understand the life beyond the mass tourism of Venice. Andrea, born on Murano, is an accomplished artist in various forms and a contemporary glass expert. Cristina, his partner, is also an artist (they work extensively together) and will assist the group with her english and knowledge of Venice and Murano. Finally we have Nicoletta, owner of one Venice's most successful wine bars, who is going to give you an expertly guided wine tasting of the wines from Veneto.

On this page we give you an idea of the day as it will unfold. We outline the time line of the activities, the inclusions and finally we give you some more background on Murano and other information you may find useful for Venice.

Table of contents

Venice Contemporary Murano Glass Tour & Veneto Wine Tasting

Contemporary Murano Glass Tour

Andrea Penzo and Cristina Fiore will be your expert native guides, a couple and both artists in their own right. Active in contemporary art in many mediums none more so than the fascinating world of artistic glass production. With their association (Cantiere Corpo Luogo), they have launched an approach and knowledge of Murano glass process in aspects more related to art and contemporary culture, through direct and real experiences that remain outside of the logic of tourism.

Today, we will be picking you up directly with a private boat at the launch of your hotel, the wonderful JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa on Isola delle Rose.

After a beautiful 25-minute journey through the laguna to arrive at Murano, Andrea and Cristina will be meeting you at the pier and will be presenting the main features of the island and its extraordinary history and points of interest.

We will focus on an in depth visit of one of Murano’s extremely high-quality furnaces, the Berengo Studio. This is not open to the public, allowing you a fascinating immersion into the Murano glass magic. There is no place for tourist trinkets or production of everyday objects here: this is where real works of art are produced.

Famous for the brilliance of its colors and the skill of its masters, Murano glass is surrounded by a magical aura of mystery, mastering traditional techniques with world famous contemporary artists such as Tony Cragg, Jan Fabre or Erwin Wurm, all artists who produced works at Berengo Studio. In the glass furnace of Fabio Fornasier, in addition to its now famous chandelier “Lu”, you can admire the unquestionable originality experiments with glass bottles and bubbles, all born from the union between traditional and contemporary retelling technique.

This private visit will be conducted by Andrea and Cristina and without doubt giving the group an unforgettable experience.

They will be shown, among others, some of the pieces made in collaboration with Penzo + Fiore and some fascinating experiments that combine glass art and wine.

Lunch at Alla Vecchia Pescheria

After a superb immersion into this world of glass, we are taking you for fish and seafood lunch at a one of Murano’s top trattorias, Alla Vecchia Pescheria, Murano’s top fish and pasta restaurant. Simple and uncomplicated design with all the attention on the food. A superb three-course seafood based lunch with paired the white wines of Gambellara and Soave. Coffee and waters included.

Post lunch, we head back by private water taxi to Venice’s Dorsoduro district.

Expert Guided Veneto Wine Tasting

Walking for 10 minutes through the suggestive streets of where few tourists venture, we end up at Nicoletta’s wine bar, Estro. Nicoletta is going to guide you through five wines, that Tim and Nicoletta have decided will give you a 360 understanding of the wines from Veneto. It is important to remember that Veneto is the most productive of all of Italy’s wine regions and Italy is the world’s number one producer of wine, with 20% of the global market. Two whites and three reds will be tasted accompanied with typical Venetian snacks and water.

Following the tasting, Nicoletta and the group will head to centrally located launch point for the Marriot’s water transfer to take you back to the Marriott Venice on the Isola delle Rose.

We cannot think of a better way to spend the day in Venice: history, art, science, great food and wine.

Tour Outline – Venice and Murano – Outstanding Glass Experience with Expert Guided Wine Tasting

Tour Outline of Contemporary Murano Glass and Wine Tasting

10 AM Private Taxi arrives at your destination or Hotel of Choice.
A journey through the lagoons of Venice to reach Murano and explanation of major sites and history will be made by Andrea and Cristina, your guides.

10.30 AM Arrival on Murano
Walking through the gorgeous color streets of Murano (including a stop for coffee).

11.00 AM Arrival at Berengo Studio
Private tour and explanation of Murano’s history, techniques, materials and viewing of gallery of art with major pieces of importance.

12.45 PM Departure for Lunch with Wines at Alla Vecchia Pescheria
Website of Alla Vecchia Pescheria
Tripadvisor Comments for Alla Vecchia Pescheria Murano

2.45 PM Departure by Private Taxi to the Dorsoduro District of Venice
With Andrea and Cristina, your guides.

3.10 PM Arrival to the Dorsoduro District of Venice
Where our expert wine guide and sommelier, Nicoletta, will be waiting for you.
Website Estro Venezia
Tripadvisor Comments Estro Venice

3.20 PM Arrival at Estro Wine Bar
Expert guided tasting of five wines from Veneto.

4.45 PM Departure from Estro Wine Bar
Nicoletta will walk you back to your hotel/destination of choice.

End of Services

Inclusions – Murano and Wine Tasting Venice

  • Private Water Taxi from JW Marriott to Murano
  • Bilingual Local Guides (Cristina Fiore & Nicoletta Saggio)
  • Glass Experience with Contemporary Glass Artist, Andrea Penzo
  • Visit at the Furnace of Berengo Studio
  • Gourmet Seafood Lunch (3 Courses with 2 Wines, Water and Coffee)
  • Private Water Taxi from Murano to Venice
  • Guided Expert Tasting of 5 Wines at Estro Wine Bar with Water and Typical Snacks

Murano, The Glass Island – An engaging history

Murano is a small group of islands lying on the edge of the Adriatic Sea in the lagoon of Venice, about 2 and half miles north of the city of Venice.

Murano become a world leader in the production of decorative glass between 1855 and 1955. One of the most interesting things about this is 500 years previously Murano was also the world leader in glass production. What caused the half a millennium hiatus? Glassmaking existed in the lagoon of Venice from as early as the 8th century. The artisans of Venice began gathered their skills due to the Republic of Venice’s extensive trade with the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, but the major jump took place with the conquest of Constantinople in 1204  that  gave the Ventiatians the closely guarded secrets of the glass producers from this previously dominant empire. In 1291, Venice banned glass furnaces from the central islands of Venice moving them to Murano. Why? Was it risk of fire or was it the risk of treachery by foreign spies? Perhaps a combination of both. Glassblowers became virtual prisoners on Murano.

Muranos decline
If we slide forward to the 1600s, changing trade routes undermined Venice’s strategic trading advantage and rival glass making in France and Moravia challenged Venetian glass. As Venice declined in political and commercial importance, so did its glass industry on Murano. In 1814, transfer of Venice from France to the Habsburg Empire was the final straw for Murano as the Habsburgs had their own excellent glass centre in Bohemia. As a result, the number of active glass furnaces on Murano plunged from 24 in 1800 to 13 just 20 years later.

The Phoenix rises once again
In the middle of the 19th century, two new furnaces built by Fratelli Toso and Antonio Salviati started Murano’s rebirth. Lorenzo Radi was also instrumental in resurrecting sophisticated glassmaking techniques dating back to the 1400s such as chalcedony glass (decorative type of glass made from a mix of colored metals, green and purple). When in 1866 Venice became part of the Kingdom of Italy, glass producers of Murano began to flourish again and other names joined Toso and Antonio Salviati such as Barovier and Ferro. Many of new works were hugely ambitious masterpieces. The first Venice Biennale was staged in 1895, bringing to Venice avant garde and innovative art from throughout Europe and challenging Murano glassmakers to innovate. Artists of Venice and Murano assembled in informal groups to exchange and espouse new artistic ideas. Cà Pesaro, Vittorio Zecchin, Napoleone Martinuzzi, Hans Stoltenberg-Lerche and Teodoro Wolf-Ferrari were all part of this movement of glass artists, not glass artisans producing utilitarian items. Finally in the early 1920s, Giacomo Cappellin and Paolo Venini found their new glassworks. Unequivocally, these immensely cultured and well travelled businessmen had their pulse on the world art and design zeitgeist and nurtured all the major head glassblowers and artists, giving all of Murano the artistic confidence and tools that you will see flowering today.

Venice & Murano – Glass Making & Wine Experience – Testimonial

Nearly three years ago, I stumbled upon Robertson Wine Tours on the Internet, and Tim Robertson planned the most amazing honeymoon for us in South America. When my husband asked me to join him on business trip to Venice and told me we would be entertaining two of his clients and their wives, I immediately thought of Robertson Wine Tours. When we contacted to Tim, we were disappointed to hear that many of the local wineries were not possibilities because of a local wine festival. However, the alternative Tim planned for us was amazing, and he did not disappoint. He arranged for 2 local glass artists to take us on a tour of Murano, and they showed us not only a wonderful glass blowing demonstration, but also the most incredible glass museum that was not yet open to the public. They also took us to a really amazing glass bead shop where I picked up a beautiful and unique necklace at a great price.

My husband and I have traveled extensively, and we both can say that this museum was one of the most incredible spaces we have seen. A very old building with incredible glass displays. Following our tour of the museum, the wine tasting began. We had a wonderful local seafood lunch with delicious wine pairings. After lunch we ventured back to Venice, and we enjoyed a tasting at a local bar. Overall, the day was spectacular, and my husband’s clients were happy and impressed. If you are looking for a unique experience in Venice and Murano paired with wonderful wine, then this is the tour for you.

Sarah and Jake, Philadelphia USA, March 2016

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