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+ Comments Sidestreet - 2006-02-02 09:00:00
UPDATE: I'm in class this week, but I should be able to get a new photo up tomorrow. And next week I'm off to India! One of the many canals on the island of Murano, famous for glass blowing. A long time ago they were the only people in Europe who knew how to make glass. So how did it all begin? Murano was a commercial port in the 7th century and then a prosperous trading center by the 10th century. In 1291, the Venetian Republic ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano because the glassworks represented a fire danger in Venice, whose buildings were mostly wooden at the time. If a craftsman got a hankering to set up shop beyond the Lagoon, he risked being assassinated or having his hands cut off by the secret police--although, in practice, most defectors weren't treated so harshly. -