Murano: Art of the Table

Roger Sherman

Murano's destiny has been tied to glass since 1291, when all the glassmakers of Venice were moved to that island in the lagoon to safeguard the city from the threat of kiln-born fire. Venetian glass has a reputation that was probably justified a century or two ago, when baroque confections of the more-is-more school were in vogue (their offspring are those kitschy glass animals and over-the-top figurines that crowd every local tourist shop today).

What a heart-stopping thrill it is, then, to discover the artisan factory and showroom of Carlo and Giovanni Moretti and behold the kind of world-class design that could hand Murano back its good name. Moretti designs include crystal vases inspired by the paper cones used to feed pigeons in the Piazza San Marco, as well as flutes for Champagne Veuve Cliquot and fanciful collector's flutes.