Homo Faber

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Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation

Guided Tour: The last Venetian furnace operating with fire in Venice

Orsoni Venezia 1888, renowned for handcrafting Venetian smalti and gold mosaic, offers a guided tour of the only Venetian furnace still allowed to operate with fire within the city. Visitors will have the chance to witness different phases of the manufacturing process, depending on the Furnace’s daily schedule: colour sampling, hand blowing the “sbruffo” glass used to manufacture gold mosaic, crafting and hand cutting the gold and Venetian smalti plates into tesserae. Participants will also get a demonstration of artistic mosaic making and a tour of Orsoni’s iconic Colour Library, a display of more than 3,500 colours.

Family friendly Venetian heritage Hidden treasure In action

Orsoni Venezia 1888

Mosaic making

A neverending rainbow of glass tilesOrsoni is the last historic furnace in Venice that uses the same artisanal Byzantine techniques since 1888 to produce Venetian smalti and gold leaf mosaics in infinite tonalities forging glass with colour. The history of the Furnace began with Angelo Orsoni's passion for an ancient art that has handed down mysterious alchemical secrets for four generations. In 1889 Angelo set out for the Paris Universal Exposition where he displayed his legendary multicolor panel as a sample of Orsoni's Colour Library, the magical place where over 3,500 Venetian smalti tonalities are stored like precious books. Inspired by its beauty, years later Antoni Gaudí chose Orsoni's smalti to decorate the Sagrada Familia. Since then, Orsoni’s tesserae have been shining on the world’s most famous monuments and landmarks including Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica, the Mecca Royal Clock Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, London’s Westminster Cathedral to the golden domes and Buddhas in the Far East. Today Orsoni's unique heritage is preserved and enhanced worldwide by TREND Group, also through prestigious collaborations with contemporary architects, designers and luxury fashion brands.

Audio guide

Audio guide

A free audio guide, available to stream from 10 April to 1 May, will enhance your experience of Homo Faber in Citta. Discover more about Venice, its crafts workshops and its heritage as a city of craftsmanship, to complement your personal tour.


Where you'll be

Address Cannaregio 1045-1045/A
30121, Venice

+39 041 2440 002 Send an email Website
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Guided Tour: The last Venetian furnace operating with fire in Venice Book

Things to know

  •   Guest requirements

    Please stay informed about the latest Covid safety requirements in Venice and comply with any requests from the venues you visit, to ensure the safety of yourself and the participating artisans.

  •   When to arrive

    Make sure you arrive on time at each venue (although no more than ten minutes early), to make the most of your experience and the artisan’s time. Please call the venue ahead of time if you are likely to be late.

  •   Cancellation policy

    Please let us know if you wish to cancel your booking so that we may offer the opportunity to another visitor. Cancel or rebook directly on your account or via your confirmation or reminder email. If cancelling on the day of your event, kindly inform the venue by telephone.