Take to the water to explore the islands of the Venetian lagoon
duration 4 hours
Venice is a city of many faces, and we’ll get to see them all on this exciting day-long itinerary. Our day offers a complete change of pace as we embark on a thrilling private boat ride out to three beautiful and unspoiled islands immersed in the Venetian lagoon where artisan crafts and ancient traditions are the order of the day – Murano, Burano and Torcello.
The islands conserve another side of Venice’s past and present where time seems to stand still and centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship live on today. Visiting the islands in the company of one of our expert local guides and with the comfort of a private water taxi at your disposal is the perfect way to experience the marvels of the Venetian lagoon! Join us on this special journey to the islands, and get the full story behind the mysteries of the floating city.
We’ll begin our journey on beautiful Murano, actually a series of 7 islands linked by bridges perched in the heart of the Venetian lagoon. In the 13thcentury the glassmakers of Venice were moved en-masse to this remote spot to guard against devastating fires caused by their furnaces belching out smoke into the densely populated city, and 800 years later Murano glass is still one of the world’s most famous artisan products.
During our stop on the island we’ll learn all about the special glass-blowing technique brought to Venice from the Orient by returning traders and perfected over the centuries in the island’s charming glass museum, before seeing the works of the modern-day artisans keeping the traditions alive in their nearby ateliers today. If you wish, we'll also be able to arrange a glass-blowing demonstration where you'll get to see the incredible technique that magically turns molten sand into crystal up close. Murano is also home to the oldest church in the Venetian lagoon, which we can visit on request - lavish Santa Maria e San Donato, whose 12th-century mosaic floor is a masterpiece of Byzantine art.
Back on the water, we’ll chart a northward course towards the seductive island of Burano at the northern end of the lagoon. The incredibly picturesque brightly painted houses that line Burano’s narrow cobbled streets and waterways are a photographer’s dream, and the settlement even boasts its own leaning tower in the campanile of San Martino. According to popular folklore, the tradition of Burano’s brightly coloured houses can be traced back to the island’s fishermen seeking a foolproof way to find their ways home through the dense fogs of the Venetian winter. Burano is known throughout Italy for its tradition of lace-making, the island’s main industry as far back as the Renaissance, when Leonardo da Vinci dropped by to purchase some for an altarpiece destined for Milan cathedral. Not much has changed since Leonardo’s day – these intricate masterpieces are still made entirely by hand, craft elevated to the realm of high art.
The final stop on our journey into the heart of the Venetian lagoon is also a journey back in time. The semi-deserted island of Torcello is the birthplace of Venetian civilization, where according to legend refugees fleeing Attila the Hun’s Barbarian hordes on the mainland arrived in the 7th century, and was for centuries much more powerful than its younger neighbour across the lagoon.
The stagnant air of the lagoon and the increasing difficulty of navigating its waterways led to its slow and inevitable decline over the centuries, and these days it’s a sleepy place with just 13 full-time residents. But its extraordinary Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, complete with spectacular Byzantine mosaics including a truly terrifying Last Judgement, is a vivid reminder of the island’s former glory. An air of mystery hangs over this forgotten place, and on your visit you’ll also learn about the legends surrounding eerie historical sights like the Devil’s Bridge and Attila’s Chair.
if you would like to extend your time on the water and experience the rich culinary traditions of the lagoon with a gourmet lunch, contact us to ask us about our exclusive VIP Luxury Islands Excursion.
5.0 (1 reviews)
Beatrice Cantilena was our guide in Venice and the surrounding islands. The tour she arranged for Murano , Burano and Torcello was outstanding. Beatrice had arranged demonstrations of glass making in Murano as well as lace work in Burano. Amazing! Beatrice is so knowledgeable and tells you all these amazing things. She has such a warm and comfortable personality that we found to be so charming. (These traits were apparent in every guide we experienced with Through Eternity.) Beatrice also made sure that every water taxi or transport was where needed and when we needed it. We highly recommend Beatrice and especially Through Eternity tours. You will never regret choosing Through Eternity. Sincerely, Alan Gordon