Tag Archives: Murano

Our Trip to Italy~Part 8

24 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


 The train trip back to Mogliano Veneto that afternoon was uneventful, and gave us a chance to read up on all the Renaissance art and history surrounding much of we had seen that day.  A very kind older Italian man insisted on sharing his cookies with the “American Tourists” when he discovered we had just been to visit his beloved Florence.



During an early breakfast the next morning, Erika was trying to help Marcia with some of her Italian, and we heard Erika say, “Marcia, please don’t tell anyone I am your Italian teacher.” We all laughed, because we had just learned from Erika the translation for poached eggs is, “Eggs with a shirt,” and the translation for raisins is, “After they are grapes.”   It’s funny how some words differ from one language to the next.  Marcia and Erika went to work, while DiVoran and I stayed around the apartment, enjoying a day of rest and planning our next day’s visit to Venice.


After work, Marcia took us to one of her favorite restaurants, the Ai Portici Ristorante there in Mogliano Veneto, for another wonderful Italian meal.  Marcia had told us the trip to Venice would probably be a long day, because we planned to include visits to the islands of Murano, where much of the famous hand blown Italian glass is made, and colorful Burano, which is famous for its beautiful handmade lace.


The next morning Marcia dropped us off in Venice on her way to work.  We strolled along the Grand Canal for a while, window-shopping, then decided to revisit the Saint Mark’s Basilica and take in its opulent gilded Byzantine and Gothic design with its spectacular mosaics.  A Museum, which is a part of the Basilica, located between the historic area on the Basilica’s vestibule and the former Doge’s Sala dei Banchetti (Banquet Hall), contains many Persian carpets, liturgical vestments, illuminated manuscripts with some of the texts of St. Mark liturgies.  There are also tapestries in wool, depicting episodes from the Passion of Christ, with others in silk and silver illustrating some of the many stories of St. Mark.



And there, wouldn’t you know, as we entered upon the piazza, was a couple having their wedding pictures taken in front of St. Mark’s Basilica.  Amazingly, DiVoran and I seem to visit churches, wherever we go, just as a wedding is over and we get to see the new couple emerge for pictures.  It has happened in Mexico, England, Scotland, Orlando Florida, Rome and now Venice, Italy, and it’s always a beautiful sight and a thrill for us!


During our brief tour around Venice, we came across a group of street vendors at small kiosks selling just about anything you could imagine.  DiVoran bought me a fedora to keep my head warm, and we bought a couple of festive hats for Billy & Renie.  Luckily, we were able to find our way through the maze of small canals, and narrow streets, to the lunch ristorante Marcia had recommended, down a narrow walkway, had some really great pizza, hot lemon tea and a rest.


After lunch, we took a waterbus to the island of Murano to check out the hand blown glass.  It was amazing to enter these beautiful showrooms of fine glasswork, and then walk through a door into a small shop where people of all ages were creating these fabulous works of art before our very eyes.  Just to get a feel for the cost of some of these items, we asked about the price of one of the smaller items ($400 US) and later during our tour, a larger item ($1500 US).  I could not even imagine what some of the large chandeliers would have cost.  We were told a  person could even request special order items, and if the item was small enough, you could watch them create the item while you waited.



Then it was on by water bus to the island of Burano to see about the famous handmade lace creations we had heard so much about.  The first thing that gets your attention as you approach Burano is the brightly painted houses.  They stand out and are reflected on the calm water of the adjacent canals.  Even their personal boats, tied up in the canal, are painted bright colors, and many match the color of the houses their owners live in.


Inside, the women sit with bolsters on their laps, creating some of the most beautiful and delicate lace work we had ever seen.   DiVoran bought a beautiful “thread-drawn” tablecloth and napkin set, which we still have and enjoy to this day.  What a great way to remember some of the fabulous times we had exploring the places and visiting with some of the people of Italy.




—–To Be Continued—–

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