Murano glass is a famous product from the island of Murano in Venice, Italy. It is made from molten silica that is shaped to the desired design before it becomes solid again. The more sodium oxide present in the glass, the slower is the time for it to solidify. Artisans take advantage of this to add more complex designs to the product. Other chemicals are used such as sodium which determines the opacity of the glass, arsenic to avoid bubbles, and coloring compounds (copper for example, is needed to form the aquamarine color). The Murano glass makers employ different techniques and you can even watch them work in open shops. But the surest way to see them at work is to join a Murano Island tour. Some hotels offer free tours or arrange tours for a minimal fee.
|Murano glass accessories|
|One of the many stores selling Murano glass items|
Venetian masks are among the common products associated with Venice. They come in different colors and sizes, some even made the smallest possible with every detail of craftsmanship still apparent.
Masks are not just masks in Venice. Many years back, a small but rich city, Venice enjoyed a very high standard of living. During those years of unequaled economic gain, people concealed their identities with masks. Noblemen could be mistaken as servants and vice versa. They dealt with anyone with much confidence and without fear. The people, however, took advantage of this which led to all sorts of immorality. Daily wearing of masks was then prohibited and limited only to a few months each year. Gradually, the mask-wearing period is shortened to an annual festivity, now known as Carnevale di Venezia or Carnival of Venice.
|Classy Venetian masks|
|Masks of different colors and sizes|