MUVE – Glass Museum

A museum that tells the story of the exceptional glass production that spread through the local area and has been innovated over time thanks to skill and creativity. A place focusing on memory and work.

Empoli, MUVE – Glass Museum

The museum

The Museum is located in the historic center of the city within an imposing red-brick structure that was once the Salt Warehouse, a storage facility for salt that was transported to Empoli from the Volterra salt deposits and then distributed to Florence and the surrounding territory.
The collection, put together gradually thanks mainly to donations to the City from companies, ex-glassmakers and citizens, covers the history of glassmaking which was pivotal to the city from the 18th century through the 20th.
Typical objects in “Empoli green glass” were sold throughout Italy and beyond, from flasks to demijohns to tableware to artistic and décor objects.
It’s a story of simple powders transformed by the skilled hands of glassmakers into blown glass, or as we say in Tuscany, “bufferia”, from the Tuscan word “buffo”, meaning puff of breath…

Don't miss

Works by great masters, multimedia reconstructions with voices and stories from the territory and the communities it hosts, archaeological finds and historical arts and crafts: every museum in the area offers great little stories to discover.

Sciences & Technics

Vetreria Del Vivo, Flasks

Early 20th century

At the beginning of the 20th century, growth in the wine trade led glassmakers to develop the traditional production of blown green glass flasks. The color was natural, due to the high percentage of ferrous oxide in the sand used. To protect it, the “naked” flask was wrapped in dried salicchio, a type of marsh grass. The job of “dressing” the flasks was done either in glassmaking factories, or by specialized firms, or by women working at home, who were known as fiascaie.

Sciences & Technics

Vetreria Toso Bagnoli, The Cat

ca. 1960

A particularly characteristic object of Empoli glass production in the 1950s was the cat-shaped bottle, featuring distinctive erect ears, mouth, eyes and whiskers “drawn on” with thin glass filaments, and a curled tail forming a handle.

Imaginative animal-shaped objects for the table were produced by various Empoli glassmakers.

Sciences & Technics

Vetreria E. Taddei & C., Wine bottle and water bottle from the Dantesco tableware set

ca. 1930

Tableware set for 6 or 12, in 26 or 52 pieces, with flared glasses in 4 sizes for water, wine, vermouth and liquor, in green blown glass and, more expensive, other colors. The Italian-ness of the name and the traditional shapes reflected the mood of the period between the two wars. Praised by Gio Ponti in the magazine «Domus», they were very popular.

The land

Set between two rivers, the Arno to the north and the Elsa to the west, and thanks to its privileged position in the heart of Tuscany, Empoli has for centuries been an ideal crossroads for commerce and trade.

The Arno River to the north and the Elsa to the west are still today the natural boundaries of the municipal area, with its gentle landscape alternating plains and picturesque hills. The city boasts of ancient origins evidence by its centuries-old traditions and the rich artistic heritage conserved in its museums and churches.

The historic center, which took shape during the Middle Ages, revolves around the picturesque Piazza Farinata degli Uberti, overlooked by the city’s oldest buildings, Palazzo Ghibellino and Palazzo Pretorio, and the Collegiata di Sant’Andrea which, with its white-and-green-marble façade typical of Florentine Romanesque architecture, is the most tangible sign of the close relations between Empoli and nearby Florence.

  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Memories
  • Sciences & Technics


find your museum

Useful information


MUVE – Glass Museum
(Museo del vetro)

Via Cosimo Ridolfi, 70
50053 – Empoli (Firenze)
tel. +39 0571 767067

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday
10 am – 6 pm


Individual ticket

Regular: € 5.00
Reduced: € 3.00

Information on other ticket prices available HERE

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