The origins of Venetian glassmaking.
The Glass Museum
The only institution of its type in Italy, the Glass Museum now occupies Palazzo Giustinian, one of the largest palaces of the Lagoon and the former seat of the bishopric.
The Museum is composed of three separated sections: the first houses the archeological collection and displays precious examples of Egyptian and Dalmatian glass; the second contains pieces manufactured between the 18th and 19th centuries, and the third (which is in another building nearby) offers examples of contemporary and industrial glass products.
All three are well worth a visit, but the most interesting rooms are unquestionably those in the second section because they give a clear idea of how tastes and techniques have evolved within the glass industry, how the various instruments on display were used, and how the different phases of glass manufacture, succeeded one another throughout the years.
Today, the ceiling of the large central room (or portego) on the first floor overlooking the Grand Canal in Murano testifies the original splendor of the palace with an 18th-century fresco by Francesco Zugno (1709 – 1789) depicting the allegory of the Triumph of San Lorenzo Giustinian, the first patriarch of Venice (1381 – 1455), ancestor of the family which radically altered the building in the 17th century. Francesco Zanchi (1734 – 1772) also collaborated with Zugno by completing his work with architectural details. The frieze with the coat of arms of Murano families is modern. Of the three large chandeliers, the central one with 60 branches deserves particular attention. It was made by Giovanni Fuga and Lorenzo Santi and presented at the first Murano Glass Exposition in 1864 where it was awarded a gold medal.