Here is the second installment in my Venice series, focused on the islands of Murano and Burano: two idyllic islands just off from the main island of Venice.
Murano and Burano are islands located within the Venetian lagoon, separate from the main isle of Venice. Accessible via vaporetti (water taxis, or water buses), the islands are pretty steeped in their own history and hold their own against their main mother isle, Venice.
We decided to dedicate the first full day of our visit to the islands of Murano and Burano. Our hotel offered us a free boat ride & visit to a glass factory on Murano (Murano is super famous for its glass – people pay small fortunes for it!) where we watched people blow glass into vases of all shapes and sizes. Looking around the gift shop, it was clear to see just why people pay so much for glass: even the most basic pieces had such intricate designs and clearly required skill and effort. My favorite was a little glass pig, but there was just no way he would have made it home in my suitcase in one piece..!
We wandered the isle for probably a couple of hours, exploring all the nooks and crannies, as it were. We found the cutest little jetty at the end of a windy little street that looked out onto clear blue water – the kind of stuff you dream about, or read about in stories. We strategically made our way around the island to the vaporetto stop that would take us over to Burano, about a 40 minute trip – and quite honestly, vaporetti lose their appeal when they’re packed to the brim and you’re attempting to stand on a rocking boat..!
However, when Burano came into view, I decided it was worth it. Row after row of brightly colored houses, I felt as if I was in an Italian Balamory (it’ll probably only be the Brits that get that..!). Rumor has it that the houses were painted these colors to help fishermen remember which house was theirs when returning home from a long trip away. Burano, like Murano, is famous for its craft: but this time, lace of the most intricate designs. Unfortunately I didn’t buy any lace either. But I did buy my mum a Burano tea towel to brighten up the kitchen..it’s the thought that counts, right?
We ate food at a cute little restaurant, drank Fanta (the harcore stuff) and found meringues for desert, before heading to a teeny little artwork shop we had passed on our way into the cobbled streets of the island. There I picked up a painting copy of some of the houses we had seen on the boat trip to Burano. It’s now hanging above my bedside shelves here in America!
Murano & Burano are good places to go to take in the scenic views this part of Northern Italy has to offer and if you enjoy walking and exploring. It was a little difficult to plan out what to do, but once you’re there, it is truly worth it.
Next in the series: Piazza San Marco – keep an eye out for it!