Only 45 minutes by boat from Venice is the picturesque and somewhat hidden gem Burano. It is an archipelago (just like Venice), consisting of four separate islands and is connected by bridges. What makes this place unique is that is absolutely cluttered with colorful houses. It could possibly be mistaken for a giant pile of confetti from afar. This must surely be one of the most colorful places in the world?
To get to Burano, I found the vaporetto (ACTV); a public boat transportation system, being very convenient. No 12 runs: Fondamente Nove (Venice), Murano, Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello and back, and will only set you back €7 per trip.
On the way to Burano, the ferry stops at Murano, an island where everything is about glassblowing. It is definitely worth a visit if you are interested that kind of artwork. When you get closer to Burano, you could also get off at the Mazzorbo stop and then walk to Burano. The walk itself is less than a kilometer along the waterfront and will take you through a small vineyard. But if you decide to get off at Burano and still want to avoid the crowds, just do a sharp left as you get off the boat and walk towards Fondamenta dei Squeri. Now allow yourself to get lost and take your time to discover all that might catch your attention. It is a small island, with a limited number of artisan shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants, so it is easy to cover most of what the island has to offer in a day.
Burano is mainly about their world famous and elegant lace work. – A tradition that is still practiced dedicatedly by the islands women. With only needle and thread, they embroider elaborative and decorative canvases, tablecloths, handkerchiefs and even impressive wedding gowns. The men have on the other hand traditionally been working as fishermen and that is how the story goes still today. By the end of each day, fishing boats come in with their catch, as the women patiently wait at home, if they are not seen casually strutting around the island, making errands and chit-chatting with neighbors.
Burano still has that local feel to it, but as Venice is becoming overcrowded, more tourists are starting to find their way out here. It is not entirely a bad thing, because Burano has long struggled with a decline of its younger population, as they are finding their way to the mainland in search for jobs and entertainment. With an increase in tourism, the island has gotten more diverse. But then there is the Acqua Alta… – Every winter the island suffers from severe flooding, which is taking its toll on the entire infrastructure. Who knows for how much longer these beautiful buildings can withstand the elements?
So you might wonder why the houses are painted the way the are? A simple answer is that the government of Burano once created a color-coded system for its residents so that they easily would to be able to separate one family’s quarter from another ones. Explanation number two is that the houses were painted brightly in order for the fishermen to find their way back home in thick fog and rough weather. I wouldn’t know what reason being more legit, but never the less, the result is simply eye-popping. The whole island is a photographers dream and I would strongly recommend anyone that happen to be in Venice to make it out there for the day. Or why not make Burano your primary destination and do day trips to Venice instead?