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Reasonable price for murano glass in Venice

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Dec 28th, 2004, 06:54 PM
  #1
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Reasonable price for murano glass in Venice

I've read in this forum that sometimes shopping for glass in Murano is actually more expensive than finding a great deal in Venice. What do you consider a great deal for a murano glass vase? I'll be going to venice next week and plan to stop by murano on my first day, if I see something lower than the suggested deal, then I will buy it first in Murano. I just want an idea what to expect to pay. thanks!
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Dec 28th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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IMHO that is an impossible question to answer. A murano vase, size, quality, style etc?

May I suggest kalunchi that you spend your first day checking out the glassware in Venice and go to Murano on your second day in Venice. This will give you a better idea whether you wish to make a purchase on Murano or in Venice.

Also, make sure the glassware is made in Murano when you shop in Venice and not some imitation made in China or somewhere.

Have fun shopping and have a beautiful trip.
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Dec 28th, 2004, 07:46 PM
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A vase can cost anywhere from 10 euro to 2000 euro, it will depend on if it is genuine Venetian glass (all Venetian glass factories are on Murano, other than a few artists' studios)), the size, the intricacy of the design, whether it is like 50 others or 5000 others. If you haven't bought much glass in the past, let me suggest that one place to browse before you go is on ebay. Ebay uses the terms Murano Glass and Venetian Glass loosely, unless there is an official sticker, sometimes the sellers will say "just like Venetian glass" or "appears to be Venetian glass" Still, you will learn a lot about designs terms, colors, and what you like and don't like.

Just one upscale catalog in the US that carries genuine Venetian glass is Gumps--browse through their on-line catalog.

Even on Murano, there are many glass shops that just sell souvenirs that may or may not be made there. On Murano, authentic Venetian glass is shown in factory showrooms After strolling the length of Glass Street (Fondamenta dei Vetrai) on Murano the first time, I ended up at a factory showroom, where I ordered some items to be made. Manufacture and shipping were to take almost three months. When they arrived I had to pay some additional Customs charges, but the items came precisely as ordered, and packed beautifully. I have now ordered from them several times on my visits. The company I use: Albarelli & Nielsen, ponte Vivarini 143, 30141 Murano, Venice.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 12:05 AM
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Venice is Murano, the prices are the same more or less. I thought you were going to compare purchasing something on Murano and finding it less here in the U.S. (which I have done numerous times!) I did not find good deals on Murano glass in Venice proper - what is sold in the gift/souvenir shops tends to be the more common pieces (ash trays, gondola-shaped pieces, dolphins, etc) - and their prices were actually a couple euros higher than the finds I bought on Murano.

I have a favorite little shop I go to when I am on Murano and the lady knows me. Plus, I buy a lot of items (12-15+) so she always gives me a discount. If you are planning on buying several pieces, you should definitely ask the shop-keeper for a discount. For example, on Murano I pay about 7 euros for the medium-sized blue glass dolphins and found them in Venice proper for 12-15 euros, prices varying. A tri-color glass sailboat (about 8" high) cost me 18,50 euros -- I found them in Venice to be 25+ euros -- and the glass shop engraved it for me too (no charge). Those are the little differences, I feel, that make shopping directly on Murano so much better.

Not to be outdone, I actually found some Murano pieces in Sorrento when I was there in September that even beat Murano's prices (on a few items). As you can see, I am a big afficionado of Murano glass and look for it wherever I am in Italia.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 03:41 AM
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A truly "great deal" on any Murano glass would be to find it cheaper there than you can get it at home, not in Venice "proper" if there is such a distinction.

But you also need to consider the following: the "hassle" factor of lugging it back home, the duty you may be required to pay (notice I did not say anything about your declaration valuation which is obviously your own decision), and the quality of the piece and its availability at home.

Sometimes visitors have a hard time believing that it is just as cheap, if not ultimately cheaper to buy some things at home and yes, you can still say it "came from Murano."
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Dec 29th, 2004, 05:55 AM
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Hi kalunchi,

What's your price range?

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Dec 29th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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rex
 
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I would search eBay exhaustively for a month or several. And even buy a few pieces. You can always "sell them forward" if you don't like them - - assuming that you are looking to make a "major" purchase, then one or two "practice buys" (under, or way under $100, for example) may make you feel much more confident at knowing what $500 or more will get you.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Dec 29th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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In our travels we have a simple rule: If you find something you really like and it is in your budget...buy it. This usually pertains to handcrafted items you will not find in the US anywhere. We have several things we probably overpaid for, but we would never sell them.

Murano glass on Murano is negotiable. Know what you want and have a price point that you have researched. We purchased one of the aquarium glass works in 1996 on Murano. It was expensive and you can find them in Gumps and in stores in the US. Problem is: The ones in the US look so primitive compared to what we bought. I do not think Americans are willing to pay for the real good ones, so the price point and quality stays lower for the market here. We have never seen one with the workmanship of this one...even in the Murano shop in Las Vegas.

Bottom line: Buyer beware, but also know what you are willing to spend, then buy it and forget what you paid.
If you run into Alvaro in Murano, tell him hi for me.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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this is a good point
We travel and we want to buy ourselves presents, which we don't necessarily do very often in our daily lives at home.
So there is added value to having bought the vase in Venice or the gloves in Rome or the scarf in Paris. How much added value, is up to you.

It may or may not be a bargain in actual price, but every time you look at it you'll remember where you were when you bought it. I usually regret the things I didn't buy more than the things I bought.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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Huitres... You mention there's a favorite shop you go to in Murano, do u know the name and/or address of it? thanks.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 10:44 PM
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elaine, good point and I sure agree.

The purchases I have made on trips have never been regretted. But to this day I from time to time think of something I almost bought and didn't. Oh sigh, a big regret!

My first time in Italy, the very first day, there was the most beautiful silk dress in a store in Milan. I did not buy it knowing I was going to be in Italy for 2 months. How stupid to buy the first dress I saw and fell in love with. Guess what? That was in the 70's and just over this Christmas my daughter and I were talking about clothes and I mentioned the very same dress (she remembers it).

As Frank Sinatra sang "regrets, a few".
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Dec 30th, 2004, 04:38 AM
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traveldawg and elaine, I could not agree more. I love the fact that my home tells a story, that my purchases remind me of moments in time, places I've been, people I've met...what price these memories? Priceless I'd say! I am proud that on all my travels I have supported the local economy where I have gone!
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Dec 30th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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my problem is that I support the local economy all too well, including when I'm at home!
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Dec 30th, 2004, 06:31 AM
  #14
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I just Googled "Murano Glass" and found several sites with photos and prices (among them http://www.muranonet.com/), which gave me an idea of types and price ranges. You may already know a great deal more about it than that, but seems a good place to start.
 
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Dec 30th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Hi kalunchi: I don't remember the name of the shop off the top of my head. My Italy file from that trip is packed away and I don't think I can get to it prior to your trip next week! I recall it being across a small lagoon from a church, near a walkover bridge, next to some other small shops up and down the street. I do recall she has a photo of her son (~11 years old) on the countertop by the register. If you are going in and out of shops, that might help you! I'm sorry I don't have more precise details off the top of my head.
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Dec 30th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Hi kalunchi: I don't remember the name of the shop off the top of my head. My Italy file from that trip is packed away and I don't think I can get to it prior to your trip next week! I recall it being across a small lagoon from a church, near a walkover bridge, next to some other small shops up and down the street. I do recall she has a photo of her son (~11 years old) on the countertop by the register. If you are going in and out of shops, that might help you! I'm sorry I don't have more precise details off the top of my head.

Ironically, I have found Ross Simons.com (in Cranston, Rhode Island) has had a surprisingly good collection of Murano glass pieces. I have bought quite a few pieces (small aquariums, round desk paper weights, etc) - along with a 20% discount - at very reasonable prices (cheaper than on Murano).
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