Venice is known worldwide for its amazing landscapes, priceless art, and breathtaking beauty. This city has a secular heritage characterized by invasions and refugees, economic trade, gothic architecture palaces, and a milestone in civilization and democracy.
The island of Venice was initially built on mud and sand: an incredible example of the inventive genius of the first population occupying the city. The system of wooden poles buried in the mud was revealed to be successful despite several instability problems. If you carefully think about it, this system is incredible even nowadays: a city built on water where economic activities are flourishing.
Venice’s economy was based on fish and precious materials trades in the early days. However, another important sector started to develop around 1000 AD: glass-making production.
The first documented proof of the existence of this activity was in 982 AD by Dominicus Phiolarius, a Venetian Glass Master who specialized in the production of glass bottles. Instead, some other researchers suggest that glass production started on Torcello island, even before the Serenissima Republic was created. This shows the importance of the glass sector in the Venice lagoon, and for how many years it had been, and still is, one of the core businesses of the island.
In the beginning, glass production focused on bottles and mirrors. Later, when the activity started to develop further, it was necessary to peculiarly control that the techniques were protected from other countries. For this reason, all furnaces were moved from the city center to Murano Island in 1291. The relocation of glass-productive activities indirectly implied the creation of the first industrial factory in the world, 500 years before the Industrial Revolution would take place.
While creations in Murano are considered luxury products today, for many centuries Murano had kept the monopoly of the glass-making sector in Europe.
But how did this art start in Venice? The first inhabitants of the island were former citizens of the Holy Roman Empire, trying to find refuge from barbarian invasions. Since Roman society produced glass objects for domestic, religious, and decorative use, the population brought this tradition with them. Later, the migrants coming from the East brought knowledge of glass art and the productive glass processes of their regions. Combining the information of these two populations, they created a global center concerning the glass-making sector in Venice and Murano. This sector further developed in both glass production through the mixture of salts to be heated in furnaces, and the production of magnificent singular pieces of art.
You can see many of them in YourMurano, where the products of the main 20 furnaces on the island are sold. In particular, if you like nature and animals, you will find a vast section about Animal Sculptures. These handcrafted glass figures are the result of the centenary tradition of blown glass techniques, which has been transmitted for generations. Whether you want to bring a lively and colorful atmosphere to your home, or to make a gift to an animal lover, these sculptures will certainly be perfect.