Basking in Burano: The Most Colorful Island in Italy

Burano, Italy

Located on the Venetian Lagoon in northern Italy, Burano is known for its beautiful lace work. Only a 40-minute vaporetto (water bus) ride from Venice, Burano is an island with narrow, labyrinthic streets, interwoven canals, and brightly colored homes. The color houses were originally used for fishermen to see their homes from the sea and to delimit property lines. Nowadays, the colors help make Burano a bright and lively place to visit.

What to Do

The charming square of Burano, Piazza Galuppi, is where you can find many of the shops and restaurants. The Church of St. Martin Bishop and the adjacent Chapel of Santa Barbara are located nearby and are great places to go and visit. If you want to go and see how sharp the angle of the Leaning Tower of Burano is, you are in for a treat. Photographers and romantic couples will love Pescarìa Vecia, a beautiful spot on the edge of the island where you can see the gorgeous sunsets over the lagoon of Venice. Museo del Merletto (Museum of Lacemaking) is the place to visit if you are interested in the history of the island and its famous craft. It is home to a gorgeous gown worn by Queen Margherita, known as the Jackie Kennedy of late 19th century Italy.

What/Where to Eat

A working fisherman’s island through and through, super-fresh seafood is in abundance on Burano with the cost a fraction of what it would be on Venice. Fish dishes such as risotto de go, a broth in which rice is cooked and creamed and mixed with the “go” fish, should definitely be on your list of things to try. One place to go get tasty fish is a favorite with both the locals and visitors: Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero. The fish is tasty and delicious and the pastas and desserts are made right there in the restaurant. The island is also home to restaurants who care about Venetian cuisine, serve real Italian pizza, and have a “pizzaiolo” (pizza maker).

What to Shop For

Dating all the way back to the 16th century, stitching lace has been a way of life for the islanders. As such, there are plenty of shops for visitors like yourself to choose from when you are looking for a little something for a loved one (or yourself for that matter). One that stands out from the rest in La Perla. Doubling as a factory and a store front, La Perla is on the main street of the island. Its products range from babies’ booties and Venetian masks to doilies and tablecloths and you can see women throughout the store, stitching and weaving away. If you are looking for something other than lace, there are plenty of jewelry, Murano glass, Venetian masks, and arts and antiques stores to shop at as well.

Where to Stay

When you travel to Burano, you can either stay on the tiny island or spend the night in Venice. There are a variety of accommodations in both places including inns, hotels, apartments, and bed and breakfasts. It’s up to you where you want to stay depending on your style, but rest assured, there is a relaxing place to laid your head in Burano, or Venice. Happy travels!

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