If you've never been to Venice, put it on your list of things to do. The "must do" list.
I've been there a number of times now and it just doesn't lose its magic. Yes, there are hoards of tourists. Yes, there are trinket shops one after another, piled on top of each other selling all variety of useless clutter. Yes, it is outrageously overpriced. Yes, you get lost the minute you step off the boat. And yes, it's all completely and totally worth the price of admission. The city is magic - pure magic.
So I guess I'm saying that we had a magical few days.
The main purpose of the trip was to buy beads for Maberga Designs. "Work". It just makes me giggle in a guilty pleasure kind of way that "work" is wandering the alleyways of Venice and Murano, meeting artisans who create amazing, little, colorful glass pieces of art and I have to buy them. Crazy.
The train ride from Maberga to Venice is about 7 hours. Train travel is the best. I read. I slept. I knit a sock that was big enough for an elephant so I unraveled it and knit a fingerless mitt. I ate a ham sandwich at 5.30 in the morning. By noon we were getting on a traghetto (water bus) to the island of Murano.
Murano is one of the little islands off the main island of Venice. It's the home of the glass industry that Venice is famous for.
Murano is like a mini Venice with way less tourism. Everyone there is involved in the production or sales of glass art.
He is my main bead artist. We spent a lot of time with Alessandro. I had a lot of work to do with him.
Here's Alessandro at work.
I wonder if he giggles that he gets to play with these beautiful glass tubes
and fire, making little, colorful pieces of art.
Other postcards from the holiday, um, I mean business trip...
a birthday picnic on a Murano curb
gathering inspiration and sketches in a Murano church
And when the work was done, off to the big island.
San Marco Square...
15 euro glasses of wine and some dancing in the Square...
A little note -- you don't have to pay the price of a gondola ride to experience Venice. We rode the traghetto all the way around the Grand Canal after dinner...awesome and way less expensive. Venice at night is awesome.
It's pretty awesome in the morning, too.
And it's way more awesome without two lively dogs.
PS. All the photos are compliments of my bead buyer guide and in house photographer (aka: David). Aren't they great? I have more if anyone is interested.
PSS. If anyone wants to see the beads I got...stay tuned here, or on my website (www.mabergadesigns.com) or my etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/mabergadesigns). If you're in the southern Wisconsin area, you can find the finished Maberga Designs products at a great store in Lake Geneva called Abbellimento.