Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Byes and Murano and George Clooney

Venice, Italy
Saturday 9:00 PM
Mostly Cloudy
°F | °C
Precipitation: 60%
Humidity: 88%
Wind: 4 mph

Wake up to sprinkles and clouds. George CLOONEY is suppose to marry Amal in Venice in a few days and we wonder if the large sailboat with a crew of 8, next to our barge, is waiting for him.

"What else do we know? THR and Corriere della Sera say the three-day-long wedding festivities will culminate in a ceremony at Ca'Farsetti, a 14th-century palace on the Grand Canal. Guests are rumored to be staying at the Hotel Aman, Venice's new seven-star luxury hotel (where rooms are in the thousands per night). Just for kicks, you can tour the hotel here.
And the bride? She'll likely be wearing Oscar de la Renta. Although Amal was spottedexiting Alexander McQueen's studio recently, too. Decisions!"

Murano is known for glass-making.

We are on the boat returning from the island of Murano to the Ave Maria (barge) docked at Certosa to pick up our luggage. Then back on the boat to the bus station in Venice. Then to Agriturismo Ca' Danieli, our hotel near the airport. Easier said than done, especially when we drag our luggage from dock to boat to dock to bus station, up the stairs in the bus and finally off the bus and down the road to Agriturismo Ca' Danieli.

In Murano we walk along the canals looking at the wonderful shops, from kiche to art. We visit an ancient church Church of Santa Maria e San Donato and a service is in progress. We watch as they pass the peace, all men in business suits and very well dressed women! They must be executives who work on the island because no tourist wears a suit and tie. The tile floor dates from 1141.

We tour the Glass Museum.

We are now in the hotel on the mainland near the airport, next to Hertz and across the street from a large parking lot for people getting on a cruise ship or going to Venice by bus.

Quick nap. Walk to a nice restaurant about a mile away. Robin and Bjarne fly home tomorrow. So very very nice to travel with them.


Murano is composed of seven islands, linked by bridges, separated by eight channels.


Murano was initially settled by the Romans then, from the sixth century, by people from Altinum and Oderzo. At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through its production of salt. It was also a centre for trade through the port it controlled on Sant'Erasmo. From the eleventh century, it began to decline as islanders moved to Dorsoduro. It had a Grand Council, like that of Venice, but from the thirteenth century, Murano was ultimately governed by a podestà from Venice. Unlike the other islands in the Lagoon, Murano minted its own coins.
Early in the second millennium hermits of the Camaldolese Order occupied one of the islands, seeking a place of solitude for their way of life. There they founded the Monastery of St. Michael (). This monastery became a great center of learning and printing. The famous cartographer, Fra Mauro, whose maps were crucial to the European exploration of the world, was a monk of this community. The monastery was suppressed in 1810 by French forces under Napoleon, in the course of their conquest of the Italian peninsula, and the monks were expelled in 1814. The grounds then became Venice's major cemetery.
In 1291, all the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to Murano due to the risk of fires. In the following century, exports began, and the island became famous, initially for glass beads and mirrors. Aventurine glass was invented on the island, and for a while Murano was the main producer of glass in Europe. The island later became known for chandeliers. Although decline set in during the eighteenth century, glassmaking is still the island's main industry.
In the fifteenth century, the island became popular as a resort for Venetians, and palaces were built, but this later declined. The countryside of the island was known for its orchards and vegetable gardens until the nineteenth century, when more housing was built.
Attractions on the island include the    (known for its twelfth-century Byzantine mosaic pavement and said to house the bones of the dragon slain by Saint Donatus), the church of San Pietro Martire with the chapel of the Ballarin family built in 1506 and artworks by Giovanni Bellini, and the Palazzo da Mula. Glass-related attractions include the many glassworks, some Mediaeval and most open to the public, and the Murano Glass Museum, housed in the large Palazzo Giustinian.

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