Last night something special happened in Murano to begin its social transformation with the opening of a meeting place for artisans, artists and tourists. The notes of a jazz band vibrated in the air and following the source you came to a joyous party in a ‘mysterious place’.
Through a portal in Byzantine style white marble we entered a large space that evoked so many different emotions. On the one hand the history and the other a riot of artisanal creations: from the best Murano style glass presented in all its forms of expression to fine handcrafted leather bags (La Belle), from paintings to silver jewelry (Massimo Pizzato), to an ‘artist of essences’ who prepares customized perfumes (Arnò perfumes) blending the prefumes of the forest, flowers and fruit.
At the center of the large room, the master Silvano Signoretto, realized a sculpture in glass under the dreamy gaze of many onlookers who wondered what the final result would be from this forms shaping, working and flowing of fresh glass. The master worked with quick, precise movements and with a withering glance with which he communicated with his assistant.
The occasion of the celebration was the opening of the former Church of Santa Chiara as a gallery and master’s workshop. The atmosphere attested to the joy of the Venetians and their legendary parties. The sight of the white grand piano, that arrived the day before blocking the Murano channel for a couple of hours,
tells us that music will flutter in the air as you gaze on the artworks and their creation.
But what is the former church of Santa Chiara?
It is an exhibition of Italian artisanal products, especially Murano glass, where you can watch demonstrations by the real masters and glass craftsmen, enjoying a drink or evening aperitif in the garden accompanied by the background music. It is a place to enjoy the island of pleasure and appreciate the best of Italian creativity.
It is a revolution of traditional Murano lifestyle wherein the glassmakers begin to work early and tourism ends with the afternoon ferry back to Venice. Only a few visitors remain on the island so it does not offer a wide range of evening entertainment. The challenge is great: to transform Murano into a place of visitors’ dreams of having a ‘good time’, going beyond the morning stroll around the glass studio.
The story that led to this party began five years ago when a family Belluardo of Italian-Canadian origins returned to live in Venice and decided to open their own business. They found a former half-destroyed church in Murano that Napoleon had desecrated and that had been used in various ways before being abandoned, with the roof fallen.
The father Giovanni fell in love. And of course, whenever you when you lose your head to someone or something you do not notice the difficulties and hardships that you will face. Just think of the imposing wooden roof trusses to be rebuilt following all the rules of renovation of a historic building and without being able to use a crane.
But love is strong and yesterday Giovanni gave the former Santa Chiara Church in ‘marriage’ to the city of Murano with a memorable party. Today the task changes as an association is born that will have the task of organizing events and to forge partnerships to bring to life not only to the former church of Santa Chiara, but to the very idea of Murano.
From yesterday Murano creates a social life and attracts new spirits, new dreams and excitement for tourists.