The first glimpse of Burano from our ferry was a candy-colored cluster of buildings rising from the emerald calm waters. As we cruised closer the houses awash in a vivid splash of colors became evident. Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon north of Venice in Italy. Burano along with island of Murano famous for glass making and Torcello the oldest lagoon island are amongst the lagoon islands much frequented by the tourists looking for a day excursion from the city of Venice.
Burano is famed as one of the most colorful cities in the world. Our recent visit to the colorful fairytale village of Popeye in Malta had left us spellbound and we were all agog to behold yet another postcard perfect prismatic village this time in Italy.
After spending some wonderful time in Murano we were all set to explore the hues and colors of Burano. Our visit started ashore with a statue ‘Waiting for Peace’ sculpted by Burano artist Remigio Barbaro that sat amidst the lush green lawn.
On the left, the colorful facades of the houses started unfurling dramatically behind a brilliantly painted restaurant. As we walked further into the island the colors of rainbow burst from every nook of the island. The colors of the walls, windows, and the doors made for an eye-popping spectrum of colors.
The colorful windows and balconies bedecked with gorgeous spring blooms are sure to uplift your spirits and cheer up the mood.
The colorful houses
Fishing has been a major activity on the island since early times. It is believed that these fishermen had their homes painted in bright colors to make it easy for them to spot their house from the sea. The coloring also aided in demarking the properties. Even to this day, the residents of Burano need every color approved by the government before proceeding to paint their house.
Burano lace-making art
Burano is also popular for its traditional needle lace-making art. The island has been thriving since the 16th century when women on the island began weaving fine and intricate designs with lace. Different kind of stitches in the lace work is done by different women who specialized in the particular step of design which works even to this day. And for the same reason, each handmade lace piece takes weeks to months for completion. Lucky ones might spot some elderly women on the sidewalks weaving the original Burano laces and might spare some time to offer a demo.
The village has a very calm and cheery atmosphere. We sauntered around taking pictures of the chock-a-block of houses threaded by the canals and the fishing boats moored in the canals.
To Get to Burano
Burano can be reached from Venice by hopping onto a Vaporetto line 12 that runs from Venice’s San Zaccaria stop near St. Mark’s with stops at Fondamente Nuove, Murano, and Burano. Few of them also make a stop at Torcello one of the oldest lagoon islands, not very far from Burano. Venice to Burano takes around 45 minutes by boat and Murano to Burano takes another 45 minutes. So visiting these lagoon islands can make for an amazing day trip from Venice.
Galuppi Square is the main square of Burano dominated by a monument in the memory of Baldassare Galuppi a notable Italian composer of his time also sculpted by Remigio Barbaro.
The most important landmark of Burano is the 16th century Church of San Martino with a leaning campanile also located in Galuppi Square. The campanile dominates the Burano skyline and is visible from almost anywhere in Burano.
There is also a small lace museum called Museo del Merletto where one can walk through the history and astounding art of lace making in Burano.
We could not resist ourselves from buying some lovely lacey souvenirs. The baby lace umbrellas turned out to be Chhavi’s favorite as she carried it all around the streets of Burano.
There are numerous lace boutiques along the streets of Burano where one can buy some lovely souvenirs though it is highly recommended to buy from an authentic shop. One can also find Venetian masks in an array of colors and wonderful glass works from the island of Murano.
Around the main square and most of the streets of Burano have some decent restaurants and pizzerias where you can stop by to have lunch. We already had our lunch in Murano and hence savored on some couple of yummy ice creams scoops.
The weather suddenly turned cloudy and breezy and even started to drizzle. We had to run for cover when the rains started to pour out heavily.
Soon the rain stopped and in no time a bright sun peeped out of a clear sunny sky. The rain had washed the walls and brightened its hues like a palette of colors. The spectacular band of colors of the Burano houses makes for a fabulous photo-op where one can keep snapping pictures all day.
When in Burano one can also take a detour and visit the serene island of Mazzorbo linked to Burano by a bridge. Mazzorbo has vineyards and orchard farms which has hardly much visitors are great to ramble around. Or can also visit the nearby island of Torcello which is almost abandoned and has some ruins of ancient buildings and an old church.
A visit to Burano has crossed-out another item from our bucket list. Is Burano yet on your bucket list?
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