It was well after noon when I finally arrived on Murano. The island itself seemed like a provincial Venice that had been completely invaded by glass sellers. And what glass! The good, the bad, and the oh so very ugly.
To my eye, the good was the jewelry, all of which I liked. But none of which I could justify buying. The bad.... I'll go with the clowns. Clown figures. In bright, multi-colored glass. Just no. The ugly? The embracing couples with multi-colored interior stripes. Good gravy.
A few shops had examples of the more traditional wine and apertif glasses that garnered Venice its respected and wide-spread reputation. They aren't my cup of tea (and at 250 Euros a glass not in my budget), but I can see why they are famous. A number of places have modern pieces that are really attractive (and expensive). Bit a whole lotta places are working on clown collections and giant rearing horses with blue stripes inside.
What does one do with a giant crystalline three dimensional rendering of what looks to be the Ferrari logo? I suspect one needs to have to a particular kind of life, with a house decked out in a particular motif, for this item to work.
Sure, I picked up a few things in Murano, and I really did like some of the things I saw there (even if I couldn't afford them)m but ut was a hell of a long wait for the boat to get out there. And there wasn't really much there that I hadn't already seen in Venice itself. If I'd known, I'd have skipped the trip out there. Worse still, because of my late start I didn't get to Burano until after three, which left me with less than an hour to take the island in before the light waned beyond the point of photographic possibility. And it was Burano that ended up being the real highlight-- the beautiful, brightly painted houses especially-- certainly a more worthy (if no more comfortable) trip than Murano.
As I was making my way around the island I was met by a number of children dressed up as ghosts and witches who were making their way door to door. Apparently, Halloween has arrived on Burano.
The ride back was long long long and uneventful. It was followed by a servicable, but not stellar, dinner. And then a visit to the 'hood wine bar, which I quite like. It gives me some time to write out the day's events and to check out the neighborhood comings and goings. Bar life in Venice seems quite differenent from the US, or even France. Many people come in for a single drink, which they throw back quickly, and then head out, as though it were obligatory rather than optional. The bartender/owner seems to know all the regulars, and many of the irregulars. He kisses the ladies and shoots the shit with the gentlemen. No one wants to sit inside, so I have it nearly to myself each night. I'm sure it is something I'll miss when I get back to DC. The cheap drinks don't hurt either.