Do Youthful Adventurers and Glass Really Mix?
The first time I make my way to Murano, the Youthful Adventurer, around 13 at the time, marvels at our vaporetto ride across the Venetian Lagoon and then fidgets as we visit glass shops on the island. I fear a massive shattering, shards of exquisite Murano glass exploding through the air. I purchase a necklace, some gifts for family, and we get back on that vaporetto too soon for my taste.
The second time I make my way to Murano, I am in the company of the Brawny Sherpa, who, like the Youthful Adventurer before him, does not share my fondness for glass objects in pretty colors. He does, however, like the vaporetto ride across the lagoon and the meandering walk we take as we find our way to the Murano Glass Museum. We are in no particular rush and are comfortable taking the long way. Rather than transferring to another vaporetto that will get us there more quickly, we opt for the scenic route.
That’s the one that should be taken with the younger set. Entrance children with the boat ride from Piazza San Marco, then do some window shopping while walking the narrow streets and bridges toward the Murano Glass Museum. Many pieces in the museum are well-protected, but many are surprisingly accessible—meaning that children should only be brought here if they will be able to comport themselves appropriately near so many fragile works. It’s not for everyone. My own Youthful Adventurer would not have appreciated it even in his early teens.
Afterward, stop in at Chiesa di San Pietro Martire and admire the chandeliers, which are at a safe distance from high-energy adventurers of any size or temperament.
As for shops . . . children can be delighted with the glass figurines; shopkeepers, perhaps, are not so much delighted with the children of prospective customers. It’s understandable, especially when some parents are, to put it politely, exceedingly permissive. Don’t let your kids destroy art works. Teach them how to behave appropriately in a glass store and, if they cannot, remove them from the premises. It’s not hard. The Youthful Adventurer and I did not linger, as much as I personally wanted to, because his attention span and his energy were not good matches for shops full of fragile glass.
Should you skip Murano if you’ve brought the children along? Not necessarily. The young at heart will enjoy the vaporetto ride, the spooky-looking San Michele Cemetery Island, and a walk around Murano. As a parent, you will need to judge what your children can handle. Intervene if it becomes clear that your children cannot be sufficiently cautious when near fragile glass objects. When the youthful set tires out a bit, stop at an outdoor café for refreshments before jumping on a vaporetto and heading back to the big island.
Murano Glass Museum, Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8, 30141, Murano
Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, Campiello Michieli 3, 30141, Murano
Planning a visit to Venice? You might like these posts:
- Back at the Palazzo
- Meeting Hemingway at Harry’s Bar
- Venetian Calm and Venetian Crowds
- Venice: What I Learned from My Gondola Ride