Hidden Treasures in Murano and Magical Italian Vineyards

Hey guys. Starting to feel half-way human. No fever today! So, a good day for gathering some photos together. This is the second of three posts about Italy. It features a trip to Murano which we all know is famous for hand-blown glass and then two fabulous Italian vineyards and more!

Murano is a short water taxi away from Venice.

First we were taken to a place where we had a fun glass blowing demonstration and then were ushered into the showroom. After I took this shot, was told only one or two. Okay. Here’s one.

green glass chandelier murano italy

It’s all lovely for sure but bloody expensive! I realize that people knock this stuff off for a lot less and that the real thing is very labor intensive, but it’s still in the stratosphere.


murano italy vacation green glass bowl

I was mesmerized by this green bowl. Maybe you can see the price tag is 2,200 Euros. That’s $2,500. And then you have to get it home in one piece!

But then…  the glamorous Chiara Zanella  took us to a very special place. Now, this is funny. I thought I was being all clever by taking a photo of the name of the place.



Errrmmm… no. Not the name. All that means is that this is the real deal. Then, I figured that some of my travel mates would have it on their instagram. Nope. not a one. But then… after a few tries, did you know that your phone will tell you where you were with a little map that you can zoom in on? Just right-click your image and hit info.


idea murano


idea murano vintage murano glass

Please, let me introduce you to Idea Murano

Looking for a replacement part for your Murano Chandelier or need a repair? This is the place.

And it was empty except for us.

idea murano vintage murano chandelier white glass

They have wonderful antique and vintage pieces too!

idea murano vintage murano glass chandlier

I can’t believe I’m the only one who took pics here, but maybe they’re still in their cameras.

That evening, we were treated to a fabulous tour and dinner at the only vineyard in Venice which is on the island of Mazzorbo just north of Murano. Hang on. I made a map for you.

marriott venice murano mazzorbo venissa

At the bottom of the map is where we stayed on a very tiny private island.

Mazzorbo is near the island of Burano where all the buildings are different colors.

Colourful houses in Burano.via Huff Post

Please check out the article for more of the same. These people sure love color! I’m sure that someone knows the history of that.

But, we were on the far more tame island of Mazzorbo at the Venissa Vineyards.

venissa italian vineyards

They served us many delicious wines at dinner, but the Prosecco here was outrageously good. Light and crisp, lovely flavor and LOTS of bubbles. Me like!

venissa vineyard tower italian vineyards
And that my friends brings us to the end of our Venice Portion of the trip. Yes, it was waaaay too brief. Why not more photos from Venice itself? One reason was that I had to have a nap after Day one. I did not sleep at all on the plane and only had four hours the first night, so I opted to go to my room for the evening. Trying to take good care of myself and got sick anyway! Just goes to show it makes no difference.

house of old things venetian mirror gold frame

Tuesday on our way to Verona we stopped at this cool antique place called the House of Old Things. And proof that I was really there!


That evening was one of the hi-lights of the trip. Even this non-wine drinker was highly impressed. We were the guests of Andrea Sartori who owns Sartori vineyards. This wine was really delicious! We had this one that they make from raisins. Well, they still have some juice in them but it makes for a very flavorful wine that has an after-taste of currants or something. Even my unsophisticated palette picked that up.

It’s difficult for me to listen to every word, especially when there’s so much to SEE but the home has been in Andrea’s family for a while. It is massive.

house sartori vineyards

This is only about 2/3 of it!

sartori vineyard chapel house

And it comes with its own chapel. Apparently every family member who got married there, eventually divorced. That one sunk in. :]

Andreas who was the most charming host imaginable (and funny) shared many a tale with us in perfect English. Very proudly, he showed us the extensive grounds.

sartori vineyard bamboo forest garden

past statues, planters and this wonderful bamboo forest

bridge sartori vineyard

past this charming footbridge

sunset over sartori italian vineyards

and over to the edge of the vineyard where yes, the sun was setting and hitting the vines as if to show off for us. I’m sure it’s all perfectly timed. :] Please notice that in front of each row is a rose-bush. The reason for that is if there’s some disease that kills the rose, they farmer will know that the grapes will be next! Did you know that?


I took this one above from the Sartori website. There’s more there if you’re interested.

sartori vineyard wine stash

Next we went down to the “wine cellar” (if that’s the word) which felt like it went on for days and days…Room after room. Massive barrels! I believe they said that they produce some 80,000 bottles of wine a year.

sartori vineyard oak stash

One more swipe from my friend Linda Holt. (below) Please visit her instagram  because her photos are not to be believed! I’d like to steal them all. Don’t know how I missed this one. And believe it or not, this is without a filter.

linda holt instagram sartori italian vineyards

I think I was so mesmerized, I forgot to snap a pic.

After the tour we sat down for a delicious dinner and had a very memorable eggplant parmesan that was so light and delectable, it practically melted in my mouth.

Well, that’s enough for now. I’ve saved some of the best for last.



15 Responses

  1. Laurel, it’s amazing. The photos, the stories, everything.

    I love Murano. This shape is too intimidating for me though..or maybe just too out of my reach lol. But I signed for updates on Murano everywhere I could think of: EBay, Chairish..I look at them every day.
    I don’t know why but I got really impressed with this roses and grapevines info..I’m trying to think, was there a poem, called “Roses and grapes”?..Going to Google now

    So happy you’re a bit better!(knock knock on wood)

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Thanks. Getting better slowly, but slept a lot yesterday after going to a trade show which I was not in shape for. But I really wanted to go!

  2. Loved reading this and reliving such a wonderful trip and life changing experience. I’m ready to go back….what do you say? Thank you too once again for the Instagram shout out!

    1. Yes! Let’s go! Hope you’re feeling better. Yesterday, I went to ICFF with design hounds and at about 5:00 started to feel exceedingly woozy. It was my first day out and it was a bit too much. Today is better but I slept 13 hours.

  3. A lovely, informative travel/design diary. BUT what caught my eye was your hotel. We stayed at the JWMarriott last year and it really enhanced our stay. The private island, the gorgeous rooms, the water taxi ride each morning and evening in and out of Venice. One night after a magical meal, the restaurant owners arranged for a private taxi to take us home. Handsome driver, beautiful May night, we stood on the rear bench with our heads through the hatch and let the wind batter our hair and faces – but it all felt a bit James Bondish and very exciting. I hope you loved that hotel too. Actually, there was a problem with the HVAC system and they had to keep UPGRADING us to bigger and bigger suites to make sure the room was air conditioned properly!

    1. Hi Ruth Ann,

      Yes, some of those water taxi drivers are devastatingly cute! And they tear through the water like there’s no tomorrow. There’s one shot in my mind that I wish I had taken while we were zooming past.

      The hotel is lovely and comfortable but I wasn’t there very much! The best part was breakfast. They were exceedingly accommodating as well. I was having trouble getting my adapter thingy to work. (wasn’t pushing it in far enough, apparently). They sent up an engineer who got everything working and showed me where the cell phone dock was located.

  4. Laurel- Thanks for the spectacular pictures and commentary. I love Italy also and your visit renewed those feelings! The Murano was fantastic! Too bad it’s so expensive. Can’t wait for next installment. Cynthia

    1. Hi Cynthia,
      The prices at the second place with the vintage pieces were far better and I liked it better too! What really got me were the Venetian mirrors. Did not like them at all. I really do like some patina on them and these were soooooo squeaky clean and thousands of dollars! I know that the knock offs are made in India, but frankly, I like those better.

  5. I was wondering if you ever did find out how to get your purchases home; for instance that mirror you were standing in front of? That would have had to come home with me. And no, I did not know that about the roses and grapevines. Interesting.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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