03 Jun2010

Venini, Murano

by Marketman


The first time Mrs. MM and I were in Venice, we stayed at a super luxurious hotel with a fabulous view of the grand canal. It was a honeymoon trip that followed several months after we got married. We went to the famous rooftop terrace restaurant of the hotel for our breakfast, and as we sat at the table, and admired the abundance of crisp linen, sterling cutlery, crystal glasses, I noticed a card on the table that said “Breakfast Buffet $50 (equivalent then)” and that was some 17+ years ago, so the equivalent today would be roughly $150 or so! Needless to say, I nearly choked. But since we already had our tea and the fabulous buffet and view was probably worth experiencing at least once, we decided to continue with breakfast and simply make the most out of it! So Mrs. MM and I had several glasses of champagne with orange juice, I devoured the spectacular strawberries and cream, lots of salmon, and basically ate what we thought might do justice to the “fees”… I know it sounds a little pathetic, but we were younger then, and well, cheaper too. :)


When the bill came, I simply signed our room number and chalked this up to a lesson learned. For the next three days, we ate OUT for breakfast, having little pastries, etc. for just a few dollars a day. I was feeling so smug about having saved hundreds of dollars so far that on our final day in Venice, we returned to a rather modern looking Murano glass shop named Venini, and after some deliberation, we both settled on a wonderful light green flower vase, pronounced “vaaace” for the ma-arte, and paid all of our “breakfast savings” to buy it. I hand carried this vase home and we have used it hundreds of times since. We have also seen it for sale in many parts of the world, and as the years progressed, its price has shot skyward. It is still one of our MOST FAVORITE vases, and a lot of it has to do with the circumstances under which it was acquired. Read on.


When we finally checked out of The Danieli, the gentleman behind the desk reviewed our bill before asking me to sign and said “But you did not have breakfast with us for three out of four days, was there something wrong with our buffet or food?” I made up some dumb excuse about sleeping late because JUST at that moment, the hair on the back of neck stood up, the beads of sweat on my scalp formed in milliseconds, and I REALIZED that the bloody breakfasts WERE INCLUDED in our HOTEL ROOM RATE. There is only one word that would apply… TANGA, MARKETMAN!!! The little sign on the tables was meant to discourage “rubber neckers” and tourists who tried to experience the hotel by just buying breakfast on the roof terrace. PROBINSYANO. INNOCENTES. TANGA. Hahaha. I know better now to ask if breakfast is indeed included in the room tariff. :)


So on this recent trip, I sort of vowed to visit Venini again. The house of Venini is only about 90 years old, young for Murano glassmakers. But in recent years, it has really made a name for itself with wonderful modern designs and spectacular colors. We went to Murano for a brief day trip and spent some time in the Venini showroom, among others. We looked at vases (our favorite one is now out of production, and considered a vintage/classic), bowls, glasses and whimsical hourglasses. We were shocked by some of the prices, but happy to see our breakfast vase was now worth some 3x what we paid for it… Finally, after lunch, we returned and purchased a few small glass bowls, and I again had to hand carry these home, and will treasure them just like we do the vase. But it isn’t so much about the specific item or brand really, it’s more about the story behind it. :)



  1. Nicole says:

    hahahahaha…what a funny story!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 9:38 am


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  3. Rebecca says:

    What a thoughtful thing that they cared enough to ask you about breakfast! :)

    Jun 3, 2010 | 9:59 am

  4. Rose5 says:


    Jun 3, 2010 | 10:11 am

  5. Footloose says:

    Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit – Perhaps someday we will look back upon these things with joy …and the day has come to have a hearty laugh with you. Thanks for relating.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 10:21 am

  6. Ley says:

    Hahahaha.. I had a similar experience!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 10:28 am

  7. odie says:

    You have such wonderful and funny memories, it’s such a joy reading your travels. Most of all I learned a lot from you. THANK YOU!!!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 11:15 am

  8. Quillene says:

    I love Murano vaaace (thanks, MM! heee) creations. I always took a peek at the G/F of makati shang a few years back because a shop sold pieces there but lowly office worker that I am, can’t afford even a paper weight…. ‘sigh!*

    Thank you for the amusing anecdote, MM! Cheers!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 11:19 am

  9. Jake Speed says:

    I hope you can feature the Murano vases that you bought next time. :) And regarding your boo-boo, it’s quite funny since most of us have experienced an embarrassing mistake in one way or another. :)

    Jun 3, 2010 | 11:34 am

  10. millet says:

    hahaha..you’re so funny, MM. i guess every Pinoy tourist has a similar story to tell.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:06 pm

  11. thelma says:

    what a funny experience! thanks for sharing it with us.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:23 pm

  12. thelma says:

    by the way, mm, how about sharing our funny
    travel experiences, too?

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:24 pm

  13. Lemons and Anchovies (Jean) says:

    Oh my gosh, this made me laugh! I don’t blame you, though. The quality of hotel breakfasts in Europe varies so much–the price for some included in your room rate and for others, not. At least you got a beautiful vase out of your “savings”! :-)

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:32 pm

  14. Hazel says:

    Marketman it’s sort of like that Audrey Hepburn movie.. Two for the Road! :) :) :)

    Jun 3, 2010 | 12:45 pm

  15. Joey in Dubai says:

    This post made my day! A hearty laugh…..

    Jun 3, 2010 | 1:43 pm

  16. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Nice story……did you ask for a discount since you didn’t take breakfast? hehehe

    Jun 3, 2010 | 2:16 pm

  17. rhea says:

    hahaha, naka kadlaw man ko ba… good one MM.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 2:37 pm

  18. gaye says:

    hahaha! that had me laughing out loud MM!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 3:21 pm

  19. Teresa says:

    So funny MM! When doing bookings I always ask first for the room rates that include breakfast then proceed in asking what is the room rate without breakfast. I always like it when breakfast is all in but does not cause a dent in the pocket.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 3:40 pm

  20. bearhug0127 says:

    This one made me burst out laughing out loud!! Thanks for sharing MM. We all have our “moments”.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 3:48 pm

  21. junb says:

    HAHAHA !!!!! That’s really funny but hey it happen to me too and I’m sure to most of us here ;)

    Jun 3, 2010 | 5:57 pm

  22. chloe says:

    MM, you’re funny!

    Jun 3, 2010 | 10:06 pm

  23. frenchadobo says:

    hay naku, kung ako yan, hihimatayin ako bigla !

    Jun 3, 2010 | 11:44 pm

  24. marilen says:

    Travel tales – funny gid, MM. I know it has happened to some (all?) of us and we live to laugh another day. Case in point: on a first trip to Zermatt, I was so impressed with the extreme cleanliness of the rooms, I spent all of 2 evenings, on hands and knees, cleaning the bathroom of stray hair, water spots, etc.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 2:02 am

  25. MrsS says:

    What a funny story! Thanks for sharing.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 3:22 am

  26. kim says:

    hahaha reminds me of “us” … whenever we go shopping, we’d blame each other for getting cheaper, buti pa nung single kako, i was able to buy this and that, now almost everything we buy are on sale/generic hahaha and often times, we end up spending more by trying to save, lesson learned from ka-engengan !

    Jun 4, 2010 | 3:32 am

  27. atbnorge says:

    Lovely anecdote, MM…I remember that cranberry red glass bowl that my mother-in-law gave me as a wedding present. I thought it was safe to put in the dishwasher—you’re not the only one who’s tanga, hahaha

    Jun 4, 2010 | 6:37 am

  28. kate says:

    i loved reading this post :) thanks for sharing.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 6:47 am

  29. Betchay says:

    Ha!ha!ha! very funny….I remember,when I was a little girl on a 1st time trip abroad and we had a bidet in the hotel bathroom and we didnt know what it was for….my mom washed our clothes in it! :)

    Jun 4, 2010 | 7:47 am

  30. quiapo says:

    It is good to see you are confident enough to be able to laugh at yourself ad share that laughter.
    I wonder if you didn’t believe you saved all that money whether you would have still bought that classic vase.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 9:13 am

  31. Marketman says:

    quiapo, probably not. It was definitely a “luxury” item and non-essential at that point in time. :) betchay, that’s too funny too.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 9:29 am

  32. Bubut says:

    that’s what i ask everytime i booked in the hotel… is free breakfast included at the rate? if not, then i choose another hotel. breakfast is very important to me or else i’ll get a whole day of migrane.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:33 am

  33. Risa says:

    Hi MM, Can you post a picture of the vase? I’m interested to see it :)

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:34 am

  34. Marketman says:

    Risa, it’s in the link in the main post, very plain but great lines, nice color. :)

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:39 am

  35. Risa says:

    Oh, it’s lovely!

    I was 18 when I first went to India, first time in a hotel, alone, waiting for a flight in Kolkata going back to Manila. I ordered coffee in the room and when I got the bill, I asked the server if it was in dollars or rupees. He nodded and shook his head at the same time (that’s a whole other story) and I ended up paying $20 for a carafe of coffee. Eng eng galore.

    The following day (maybe word got around) I had my dinner served by two servers and a captain waiter. Good thing I already knew to pull out rupees.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:52 am

  36. quiapo says:

    The vase is simple and elegant. The skills require decades of training, and about a thousand years of glass making history. Now their dominance is threatened by China’s craftsmen who are rapidly acquiring the Murano skills, with matching products, though some of the more complex techniques are still beyond China’s reach.

    Jun 4, 2010 | 5:07 pm

  37. GJO says:

    Vaace that’s how they say it here in UK too, the first time I’ve heard it, I could not for the life of me understand what my husband is saying ( LOL)

    Cheers, Gezel

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:27 pm

  38. lyna says:

    Hi! am back… this is a nice welcome story for me

    Jun 5, 2010 | 11:06 am

  39. Pam says:

    Hahaha! So funny! At least, the amount you didn’t get via breakfast has been (more than) compensated with the increased value of the Murano vase. : )

    Jun 5, 2010 | 12:53 pm

  40. kitchen says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! and basically ate what we thought might do justice to the “fees”… Funny Too! :-) made my day MM thanks.

    Jun 6, 2010 | 3:08 pm

  41. nori says:

    Did you stay at The Danieli this time? So far this hotel is still the most expensive among the hotels in Venice!

    Oct 13, 2010 | 12:13 am

  42. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Thanks for sharing you life experiences ..for me, it is a Lesson learned … Rightfully so when staying on very expensive hotel, careful not to racked a lot of bills.Love your sense of humor ..looking back is so endearing.. albeit Funny!!I have quite a few collection of Murano Jewelry..but here in Tacoma Washington we are very proud of Dave Chihuly,his pieces are pricey too.but very collectible.

    May 22, 2011 | 12:06 pm

  43. Ron B says:

    Hi! i just post this article in my facebook wall and on Venini page https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Venini/198475426829887

    i hope you dont’ mind.

    thanks :)

    Mar 1, 2012 | 5:59 pm


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