Known throughout the world for its a thousand years of glassmaking, it can almost be considered a photograph of a Venice in times past, when only part of its territory was occupied by houses and buildings. A large area of the island is, in fact, still green and in part still used for cultivating vegetable gardens.
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Some time ago it was known as Amurianum or Amuriana, whose shape is reminiscent of Venice with its 7 islands (originally 9), the main canal flowing through the middle and the canals connected by bridges.
The center of the Venetian glass industry, famous throughout the world and recently protected by the ‘Vetro Artistico® Murano’ mark of origin. It only became the site of this productive activity in ‘recent’ times, when furnaces were transported from the center of Venice to the island following an edict issued by the Maggior Consiglio in 1292, that aimed to reduce the risk of fire in the historic center. If we also consider the need to protect industrial secrets and economic strength, it is likely that another reason for removing the productive forces of the city was to place them as far from prying eyes as possible, even though there is still no documentation to support this theory today.
The island experienced its greatest prosperity in the 16th century while also growing in terms of population - many of the present palaces, villas, vegetable gardens, gardens, churches and monasteries also flourished around glass production.
The fierce desire of the inhabitants to maintain their independence is very interesting, (despite their close daily relationship of life and work with Venice) and it allowed them to enjoy a local administrative government, appealing and taking advantage of its ancient statues in use at Torcello. Such independence was first under a Gastaldo Ducale, and then passed under the rule of a Podestà (Mayor) with its aregno (council) major and minor.
It also enjoyed a Libro d’Oro (Golden Book) in which the original families were inscribed: such families enjoyed special privileges, such as the ability for a Venetian aristocrat to marry a daughter of a maestro glassmaker without losing any of his claims to his noble titles. Even birri (police officers of the time, who wore red jackets, and from which derives the modern italian word sbirro of the most derogatory sense) and police could not land on the island.
Murano was also permitted to mint its own oselle, the medal-money given as a gift to the chief citizens and which depicted the crest of the current Doge, the Podestà and the Camerlengo (Treasurer) of the island. After a gloomy period that began with the fall of the Republic (1797) and running until the mid-9th century, the island owes its rebirth to the glassmaking tradition when the efforts Antonio Salviati and some of his fellow citizens managed to give it new life.
Today, this historical-cultural-productive heritage is protected by the ‘Vetro Artistico® Murano’ trademark, owned by the Veneto Region, registered at the Ufficio per l'Armonizzazione del Mercato Interno of Alicante at no. 000481812, established and regulated by the Regional Law n. 70 of 1994. The Promovetro Consortium was given the task of protecting and promoting the use of the trademark, together with the Veneto Region. Thanks to trademark, the glass objects produced on the island of Murano are protected according to artistic and productive criteria which, although innovative, respect the Murano traditions such as, for example:
- Basic glass working;
- Engraved, decorated and polished glass;
- Lighting items;
- Pearls, beads and murrine;
- Glass lamps
Thanks to the influence of its glass reputation across the world, the island is one of the main tourist destinations after the historic center. However, not many people visit the places on the island that still maintain a sense of great tranquility.
The island, in the greener areas, is also equipped with a football field and a building dedicated to athletics. The churches are also priceless, authentic treasures of important works.