Glass Blowing Demonstration, Italy

europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier bead beads
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier bird birds figurine
europe italy venice venezia milano glass demonstrate showing glassblower horse vase kiln hot fire chandelier

Murano Glass

While in Venice, I attended a glass blowing demonstration. The city and especially neighboring island Murano are known for intricate glass work. We watched as the craftsman first blew a vase out of clear hot melted glass and then melted it down to reshape into a horse figurine. Glassblowing involves inflating a molten blob of glass via pockets of air and then working the glass into desired shapes. The skill and ease with which he made the items was astonishing! Still, his skill level was only labeled that of a tier 2. A “master” craftsman is one that can make chandeliers, which are large intricate pieces that involve multiples days worth of shaping.

After the demonstration, we browsed a glass shop which was stocked full with glass pieces in every color. Glass is clear in its original form, but can be colored if certain metallic oxide powders are introduced in its molten state.  Copper oxide produces green or bluish green, cobalt creates deep blue, and gold or copper produce red. Red glass objects were priced more expensive accordingly. I especially liked the animal figures, which which extremely lifelike!

 

Visiting Italy – Trip Planning Checklist

There’s so much to see and do in Italy that you can visit again and again and still discover new sights. I recommend concentrating on the big 4 cities (Rome, Venice, Milan & Florence) if it’s your first time and then coming back to explore either Northern Italy or Southern Italy in more depth.

Go | Flight prices from the US to Italy are highly seasonal. You can set a fare alert here to be notified of discounts. Every fall & winter, I’ve seen great deals to Milan. One word of caution: avoid Alitalia at all costs.

Travel Tips | A convenient way to explore Italy is via high speed train. You can search train schedules and book online here. Buy your tickets in advance to save on fares. Make sure to validate your ticket on the platform!

It also helps to speak a little Italian. Brush up on your Italian language skills with Rosetta Stone. You can take 10% off with promo code CJBT10.

Stay | Book hotels in advance to save, or check here for last minute deals. Many hotels in Italy are older so don’t be surprised if even 5 star accommodation feels slightly dated. Opt for a room with a view instead of breakfast, as Italians don’t eat breakfast in the same way Americans do and you’ll probably be disappointed with their offering.

Alternatively, groups or budget travelers can check out Airbnb

Protect | Lastly, be sure to visit Italy with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, your phone gets stolen, or a flight delay leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. A rail strike occurred during our trip, unexpectedly shutting down transportation for an entire day. Get a quote for your Italy trip here.

 

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[…] More About the Sights, Less About On-Board Entertainment – River cruising is a much more intimate experience, with unreserved seating at meal times so you get to mix and mingle with almost everyone on board by the end (if you want!). There’s perhaps less on-board entertainment (no nightclubs or casinos on board) but each evening people congregated in the lounge by the bar and Viking had an on-board pianist. A couple nights during the week, Viking hosted either singers, dancers or local activities. My favorite was the glass blowing demonstration by a glass master from Germany! He was quite an artist and had different glassblowing techniques than what I saw when I went to Venice. […]

[…] Miss: a day trip to the glass makers in Burano (or just a short glass demonstration) and a ride on a water […]

Venetian Chandelier LoverSeptember 10, 2018 - 11:45 am

Gorgeous pictures! They really capture the beauty of Murano glass making. Animals and vases are really beautiful, but to me, the chandeliers are true masterpieces!

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