A collage of brightly coloured houses frame the picturesque canals in Burano—an enchanting island, celebrated for its delicate lacework.
While you may be reluctant to leave the glamour and charisma of Venice itself, the island of Burano offers its own enticements in a more secluded setting. Situated about eight kilometres north of Venice, you can catch a scenic 40-minute vaporetto (water bus) ride across the lagoon, and be greeted by a wealth of breath-taking sites.
The first landmark that is bound to catch the eye of any approaching visitor is the iconic leaning bell tower of San Martino’s Church. However the island is perhaps most famous for its houses, which stand proud along the water’s edge in a palette of vibrant colours.
According to legend, these small, square houses, with their pretty flower boxes and traditional shuttered windows, were originally painted in bright colours to enable fishermen to see them whilst out fishing. However it’s not just the picture-perfect houses that make Burano such a must-see—the island is also famed for the ancient craft of lace making. Even today you can watch the intricacies involved as talented artisans preserve a tradition dating back to the 15th century.
The best place to buy the wonderful lacework for which the island is so famed is along the main street, the Via Baldassare Galuppi. If you want to find out more about this intricate art, head to the south of the island, where you will discover the Lace Museum. With stunning collections from the Burano Lace School of the 19th century, as well as videos providing an insight into this skilled art, you are guaranteed to feel inspired.
Stop for lunch to sample some freshly caught fish and make sure you give in to temptation and sample some of Burano’s famous sweet dishes, such as Bussolà and the Burano esse.
Like Venice, Burano is made up of islands (four to be precise) which are conveniently linked by footbridges. In fact, it would take you just a few hours to explore these small islands on foot. Burano itself is home to around 3500 residents and as you wander past lace makers and fishermen, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a bygone era. And when you’re ready to head back to Venice, there will be no long delays for the vaporetto, as they depart every half hour.