Reed Our Italian Diary
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Breakfast with the Canadians, Chantel and Choloe and then we were off to Murano to witness the magic of glassmaking. Christian called us a no-fee water taxi (some kind of arrangement between the B&B and glass factory), so we sped out to the island of Murano in our own private boat. Whee Doggies!
Pulled right up to the Mazzega and Sons Factory and were led into one of the oven rooms. We learned about the long history of Mezzega and the tradition, art, and craft of glassmaking. Glassmaking traditionally passes from father to son. The Master Glassmaker that we observed was assisted by his son-in-law, an apprentice. Periods of apprenticeship usually run from 15-20 years before earning the title of Mater. The apprentice’s wife and his two-year old son came into the oven room during our demonstration, so we got to meet the 9th generation of glassmaker (the grandbaby) in this family. During our demonstration, we learned about the production of glass masterpieces from oven to showroom, including the shaping, molding, blowing, color-mixing, baking, cooling, cutting, grinding, and polishing processes.
We then took a tour of their showroom and saw the very beautiful artwork – practical pieces like glassware and vases ranging from $50 to $500,000 and beautiful artistic masterpieces such as chandeliers ranging from several thousand to several million dollars. We splurged and bought ourselves two beautiful blue vases and a few Christmas presents.
Off to the village of Murano. We were starving by then so we stopped for a delicious pasta lunch at a canal-side café. After lunch, we shopped… and shopped… and finally… shopped. The village contained hundreds of souvenir and fine glass shops, so we bought something for family, friends, co-workers, and all their dogs. Walking through Murano was so relaxing - what an ambience. Like Venice, it was comprised of a series of canals, and had its fair share of tourists. We also took a quick tour of the Murano Glass museum and saw glasswork dating back hundreds of years - very interesting.
By now, our backpacks were loaded down with packages, so we jumped on a Vaparetto and headed back to Venice. We took another stroll through St Mark’s Square and headed back to the B&B. It was dusk, that awkward time when restaurants haven’t opened for dinner, and we were starving, so we’re ashamed to admit it but we… stopped at McDonalds. Yes, we rounded a corner of typical Venitian alleyway and there were the golden arches. What the hell.
Stopped at a libreria (bookstore) with a small section of English books, to pick up another novel for Dora. She settled down for the night with her book and Mark headed to the Internet Café off of Campo San Stefano to hang out with the young people and check our email.
Back to the B&B and to bed after another exhausting day.
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