Venice Glass Week 2021

Murano Early Morning

Venice Glass Week of 2021 was exciting but exhausting. There were so many exhibits, workshops that it would take a month to enjoy them all. There were exhibits not only in Venice, Murano and Giudecca but also in Mestre, the town before the bridge. In all, between open studios, gallery exhibits and events there were 132 listed.

The week also collided with the Venice Film Festival and the inauguration of the Rialto Bridge after its restoration which was paid for by Renzo Rosso (the head of Diesel and OTB – Only The Brave Foundation) .Rosso invited Andrea Boccelli to sing. The city was bursting with energy and the first cruise ship of the year also arrived.

The historic REGATA STORICA was held on 5 September. It commemorates the welcome of Caterina Cornaro in 1489, the wife of the King of Cyprus, who renounced her throne in favour of Venice.

My favorite event of the Venice Glass Week, and every year, is the Boca del Fuoco, a 5K run, in my case walk, around Murano beginning and ending at the beautiful San Donato Church. The 5K winds through the darken streets of Murano and through working glass furnaces. We were 550 people this year, everyone in masks of course, just not the fun ones of Carnevale. The kids were a favorite of the glass blowers who loved explaining how to blow glass to the kids.

View from the Bridge (named for Toffolo an actor born in Murano)

Our starting line was just outside the church on the fondamenta. We all received shirts with our route (you just needed someone to read as it was on the back). First over the bridge and to the EffetreMurano, the furnace that make the canes everyone uses to make beads, the cotise (the chunks that some furnaces use) and of course the millefiori.

Candles lit the way for us and the running team had enlisted the help of the youngsters with lighted torches to direct the traffic. The run is a benefit for the Venice Runners, a local group.

There was music in every furnace, but for those of you who blow glass, you know this. The maestro (who ever is in charge) gets to choose the music, but it is always blaring. It has to be loud for you to hear over the noise of the furnace. You can see on the marvering table a tiny horse that was made for the kids. Nothing serious tonight, just fun.

In the photo below, we are at the EffetreMoretti (now known as Effetre Murano) and the guys are demonstrating how to make zanfirico a cane we use in our beads with a twisted design inside the transparent canes. Bead makers sometimes pull their own canes, but here it is industrial, pulled 15-20 feet long.

Pulling Zanfirico Canes

It is pretty clear that furnaces are not glamorous, they are hot and dangerous.

Tagliapietra Furnace near Il Faro

Take a look below at the beautiful vases. The glass blower is making a fazzoletto, a handkerchief vase, named because it looks like someone holding a handkerchief.

Making a fazzoletto vase

After we ran/walked the 5K, we returned to the garden behind the San Donato church where these dedicated group had prepared food for 550 people. We ate pasta and fried fish and vegetables.
The end to another great Venice Glass Week, even if I didn’t win the raffle.

Our brave Chiefs – Thank you! and See you next year!

  2 comments for “Venice Glass Week 2021

  1. Janet K
    September 19, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you so much for this entry!! Especially since we are shut down and isolated-so nice to imagine walking with you and the pictures were so great.

    • September 19, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Janet, It was nice to be back in Murano and working there. Hoping the travel situation improves soon.

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