I took my group to Murano today. Murano is an island in the Venice lagoon and is most famous for finely hand-made glass. The island is far away from the tourist crowds of Piazza San Marco and is a welcome change, although it is still quite touristy. Upon arrival we visited a glass factory and watched a demonstration. Of course a “heavy sell” followed but no one in my group took the bait. Soon we were out of the shop and into the sidewalks taking it all in. The sidewalks ran along each side of a canal with little alleyways (calle) jutting into the depths of the island. Soon I could see the ladies wanted shop and the guys were obliged to hang around with them. I was not tied down by a shopper so I decided to explore other parts of the island I did not know. I had a great little lunch along one of the canals but for the life of me I cannot remember what I had. I know you’re not surprised. You probably think I had more vino than food, but actually in this case it was not so. We have just had so many good dining experience this one blended with all the others. However, I do have a pretty decent sketch of the canal scene in my journal that I made during the time I sat at the café.
About the time I was finishing up my lunch I noticed a number of my tour group walking by in search of the boat dock. We talked for a few minutes and decided to go to the island of Burano and see what was there. We agreed to meet by 3:30 at the boat. Well, by the time I paid my bill I was pressed to get to the boat on time. So I took off at a fast walk in the direction of the vaporetto dock. En-route I saw a bead shop (perle, in Italian I was to learn) that drew my attention. Now I’m not too interested in beads, but my wife is and I had been giving marching orders to find some Murano glass beads and bring them home. Well not really marching orders, but it would be a nice thing for me to do, ya know. So I entered the shop and this old lady had drawers and drawers full of Murano glass beads for sale. Not really being an expert of Murano glass bead, I started picking up some I liked and collecting them in my hands. When the lady saw the quantity I was collecting she jumped off her chair and offered me a basket for the beads. Actually this was a smart marketing concept…my hands were about full, but the basket would hold a lot more! In the end I walked out with lots of beads for my wife which I think she will like. The lady at the shop made out too because I don’t think she will need to sell anymore beads for the week! I got to the boat dock a short while later and found I’d been left by the boat and my tour group. No problems…another one arrives in twenty minutes. Ciao,David