The first time I visited Venice as a wide-eyed teenager, I knew I was supposed to buy Murano glass, but I had no idea why.
All I knew was that I was whisked to the famous “glass island” on an overcrowded, stinky boat. I waited behind two dozen American and Japanese tourists to pay an exorbitant price for a little glass fish—what a bewildering experience!
Still, it was the artistic traditions of the world that lured me back and inspired me to study the great artists of the past. Living in Europe and Latin America, I realized that in many places, centuries-old craft traditions are still living traditions.
So began my quest to discover craftspeople passing on a special kind of knowledge to the next generation. Join me and discover some the world’s most enduring artistic traditions.
Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and contributes pieces about authentic travel to national magazines and newspapers. Laura has been featured on CNN Radio, Travel Today with Peter Greenberg, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, House & Garden Magazine, Traditional Home, the Denver Post, Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and other media. Recently her art history lessons have been produced and distributed by TED-Ed.
Laura has taught college-level art history at Trinity College in Rome, as well as at Northeastern University, Merrimack College, St. Joseph College, and the College of Coastal Georgia. Laura has lived in five countries across Europe and Latin America. Laura Morelli is the author of the Authentic Arts and Made in… guidebook series. The Gondola Maker, a historical coming-of-age story about the heir to a gondola boatyard in 16th-century Venice, is her first work of fiction.
When she was sixteen years old, Laura was set up on a blind date with a guy she finally married ten years later. Today they are busy raising four children.