Friday, 18 August 2017

Four Days in Venice: A Day Trip to Burano

There are lots of islands worth a visit from Venice and you'd be surprised at the size of them: Lido is 11km long, hosts the Venice film festival and, as you'd expect from the name, has a beach that runs the length of it; Murano is home to the famous glass of the same name; and Burano is renowned for its lace and colourful houses. As time was precious on our four day trip to Venice (read about it here), we decided to opt for one, Burano, and it didn't disappoint.

Our hotel was a few minutes walk from Piazza San Marco on the edge of the San Marco and Castello districts so we had the option of taking a vaporetto (small ferry) from San Marco which we were told could take up to 2 hours or take a 15 minute walk to the south eastern edge of Cannaregio and stop Fondamente Nuove, hop on the no.12 (which leaves every 20 minutes) and be there in around half an hour. Of course, we went for the latter and were really glad we had.

I'd read a great deal about Burano and it was my suggestion to go so I was nervous about taking my mum and sister on a trip that wasted a day of our four day visit to Venice. I needn't have worried: every house was painted a different colour and we spent hours wandering before and after lunch choosing our favourites and then finding new ones! Residents have to ask permission if they want to paint or change the colour of their home so no two sitting next to each other are the same and the story goes that the tradition started so that the fishermen of the island could spot the bright coloured houses through mist.

Many of the houses had their washing hanging on lines from the first floor windows and, even this, seemed carefully co-ordinated. I'd read the post Lisa from The Wandering Lens wrote on Burano and, in it, she mentioned following the smell of fresh laundry. Although we didn't get quite as lucky, there was one small street in particular that drew me to follow my nose and down an alleyway from it I spotted the most spectacular blue that I decided was my favourite (now for).

We stopped off for lunch at San Martino Sinistro which sits in a quiet piazza where the fish didn't disappoint and the owners encouraged us to stay as long as we liked before exploring the gorgeous lace, linen and cotton on offer in the shop opposite (I didn't get the name, but it was our favourite on the island); I couldn't resist a beautiful pale lemon dress for Holly but, honestly, I could have bought her entire next summer's wardrobe from one of the shops. In the same shop, I fell in love with an angelic white dress but wasn't sure it would fit by next summer so the owner offered to alter it for me there and then - she couldn't have been more helpful and she was clearly incredibly talented.

It was a shame to leave Burano but we had a reservation at a restaurant in Venice to get back for. While we waited for our vaporetto, we couldn't resist some more delicious Italian gelato while we deliberated which house we'd snap up if we had a chance!


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