The tiny Venetian island of Murano is famous for its glass. People come to the island in the Venetian lagoon from all over the world to tour the artisanal glass-blowing shops and to buy the precious creations.
Murano holds an annual event that begins on Saint Nicolas’ feast day (December 5) and ends a month later. It’s called Natale di Vetro (Glass Christmas). For this momentous occasion, master glass-blowers collaborate to create works of art that are displayed for locals and tourists to enjoy.
One highlight is the Tunnel of Light. Ten chandeliers line the portico of San Pietro and delight festival-goers with color, light, and beauty.
There is also a glass works regatta where each boat is sponsored by an artisan glass works house. The event is one of the most popular and is highly competitive.
“Kiln Foods” is another great event where master glass-blowers create and cook dishes in their respective kilns.
Image via Bollettino Ufficiale del Vento.
One of the most famous creations of this annual festival was conceived in 2006 by master glass-blower Simone Cenedese. He designed a Christmas tree made entirely of Murano glass. The structure stood at almost twenty-five feet tall and close to ten feet wide.
The tree was unveiled on December 8, 2006 on Murano island and displayed in 2007 in St Mark’s Square in Venice.
Weighing in at 3 tons, Cenedese’s creation is the largest glass tree in the world.
Natale di Vetro is a much-loved festival and most of the events are free and open to the public.