Murano's reputation as a centre for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and the destruction of the city's mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their furnaces to Murano in 1291. Murano's glassmakers held a monopoly on high-quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including optically clear glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicoloured glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano still employ these centuries-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass jewellery to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers.
Today, Murano is home to the Museo del Vetro or Murano Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian, which holds displays on the history of glassmaking as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through the present day.
Some of the companies that own historical glass factories in Murano are among the most important brands of glass in the world. These companies include Venini, Alessandro Mandruzzato Ferro Murano, Barovier & Toso, Simone Cenedese and Seguso. In order to protect the original Murano Glass art from foreign markets, the most famous Glass Factories of this island have a trademark that certifies glass made products on the island of Murano.