Discovering the Authentic Venice: Arts and Crafts

Venetian excellence... During a private guided tour of the authentic Venice it is a real pleasure to walk slowly in the less touristic places, in those areas where the guests can get totally lost and then get in touch with everyday life in our city. Wandering around the districts of Castello and Cannaregio, Santa Croce and Dorsoduro is a way to discover the most intimate and hidden corners of Venice.
However, this is not enough if you desire to understand the real nature of the city, so rich with unique traditions and arts and crafts. Our artisans, in fact, so skillful and with a long tradition behind, still create original objects, and the effort and sacrifice that they put in their job can be explained only thanks to their incommensurable love for the city.
When we visit this kind of Venice during our customized tours, our experience acquires a totally different flavor.

The impiraresse

What about visiting a workshop of impiraresse? Who are they? These are the very few artisans in town today that create unique jewels, real works of art, made out of glass beads.
They create some of the most original and refined objects that you can find in Venice. Not only bracelets, necklaces, rings, but also flowers, decorations for shoes, and bags… Getting to know these outstanding women allows us to enter a unique part of the Venetian History.

Bead jewel

The Gondola

How do they build a gondola? We suggest you to visit a squero (a typical Venetian boat yard) to find it out, looking at the masters that work there. And who carves the forcola (the unique oar lock of the gondolas)? It’s the artisan that we call remer (literally “oar maker”, who in fact creates also oars). These are incomparable artisans that produce such a unique boat like the gondola. They normally hand down from father to son (… or daughter!) ancient techniques as to keep this century old tradition alive… consider that we find the word gondola for the first time in a document that dates back to 1094! And after having visited these workshops, what about having a gondola ride?

A Boat Yard (Squero)

The Mosaic

The tradition of mosaic making is incredibly ancient in Venice… just think of the decoration of St. Mark’s Basilica… We then invite you to visit with us a workshop where they still create tesserae for mosaics. And what about the golden tiles? What are they made out of? They consist of thin layers of pure gold in between two little pieces of transparent glass. The thin 24 carat gold leaf is obtained by hitting a piece of gold with a little hammer by very skillful artisans that we call battiloro (literally, “hit the gold”).
Would you like to try and create a mosaic yourselves? You can find out that after all you are real artists!

Glass tiles for mosaics


Let us now write a little about the Venetian textiles… we would like to take you to an old workshop where they produce textiles using 18th century looms. Every single piece of cloth is produced by hand. The quality of this production is exactly the same as the one of the 1700’s; the techniques are fascinating, as it is seeing the looms operated by unique artisans, who can tell us about the history of textiles in Venice.

Venetian textile


If you think that tours on arts and crafts can be boring for the youngest, you are definitely mistaken!
During our tour for kids in Venice we can visit a mask workshop, and both children and adults can have the possibility of decorating their own mask and then take it back home with them!
And do you like puppets? In Venice the puppet theater was really appreciated in the past, in particular in the 1700’s, but even today expert hands create original puppets in town.


Arts and Crafts on the Islands of the Northern Lagoon 

If you desire to leave Venice for some hours and take a boat tour of the islands of the Northern Lagoon, we suggest you to book a private tour of Murano and Burano, to see our glass masters blowing glass and our ladies creating refined laces: we call them artisans, but these are actually artists, which dedicate their entire lives to their passion.


Lace making 

Have we succeeded in stimulating your curiosity? Are you interested in other arts and crafts that we have not mentioned in our post? Let us know, and we will create a customized tour only for you!
We now assume that you should be hungry by now… stay tuned, in our next post we will write about chocolate, coffee, appetizers, wine and much more!
Bye bye!

You might be also interested in our following guided tours and blogposts

Murano, Burano and Torcello islands. (section: Classical tours)

Unusual tours. (section: Itineraries

Arts and crafts in Venice.  (section: Specific tours

Experience tourism in Venice: the carnival grand ball. (section: Experience and inclusive tourism)

Burano lace stories and legends of the Venetian lagoon  (section: Blog)

A customized tour of artisan Venice: Luca and Michele's typography. (section: Blog)

Our guided and private tours of Venice. (section: Blog)