Murano is usually described as an island in the Venetian Lagoon, although like Venice itself, it is actually an archipelago of islands linked by bridges. It lies about a mile north of Venice and is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking.
Murano was settled by the Romans, then from the sixth century by people from Altino and Oderzo.
At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through the production of salt. It was also a centre for trade, through the port it controlled on Sant'Erasmo.
In 1291, all the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to Murano due to the risk of fires. In the following century, exports began, and the island became famous, initially for glass beads and mirrors.
Aventurine glass was invented on the island, and for a while Murano was the main producer of glass in Europe. The island later became known for chandeliers. Although decline set in during the eighteenth century, glassmaking is still the island's main industry.
(image: Vogue Living; text: wikipedia)