When in Venice, make sure you leave yourself enough time to include a day trip to the intriguing island of Burano. Its kaleidoscope of coloured houses and its calm and tranquil interior is a stunning contrast to Venice. Only three thousand locals reside here. Discover side streets alive with elderly ladies chatting, teenagers gliding along in their boats and children playing while tourists roam around Burano.
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Travelling to Burano
One day trips from Venice to Burano are straightforward. You will need to catch the number 12 Vaporetta from Fondamenta Nove costing €7.50 for a one-way ticket and taking around 45 minutes.
Another option is to take the number 12 to Murano and join a glass factory tour. Afterwards, walk along the main street to the lighthouse and board the number 12 Vaporetto to Burano.
This is one of Venice’s best day trips, and if you want to tour the islands of Murano and Torcello while you are in the Venetian lagoon area, it will work out more economical to buy a €20 one day ticket.
Colourful Fishermen Houses
Burano’s houses were originally painted in bright colours so that families could mark out where their home ended and their neighbours began. The rule was that no dwelling could be painted the same colour as the one next to it and permission had to be given by the local council.
Their vibrant paintwork also helped guide the fishermen back from a day out at sea. The buildings in Burano are simple in contrast to the architecture found in central Venice. Just a square building containing two or three floors.
Lace-Making in Burano
Burano is known for the craft of lace-making. There are seven different stitches in total, and each craftswoman would specialise in one stitch. The lace would pass from woman to woman until it was completed. It was a difficult task, and most lace is now machine-made; however, outside some shops, the ladies still use the traditional methods to show how it used to be done.
Burano Town Square
Piazza Galuppi is the main square and lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, an excellent place to stop for a thirst-quenching spritz. This Venetian aperitif, made with white wine, Aperol and sparkling water is an excellent accompaniment to your seafood lunch. Burano is a working fisherman’s island so you can expect the freshest catch each day.
Burano is a working neighbourhood and has not just been fabricated for tourists. Lose the crowds, discover a labyrinth of tiny streets and find a quieter side to this quaint town.
Take the time to visit the 16th-century church of San Martino with its leaning bell tower. The best location to admire it from is the Terranova marble bridge. Go inside, light a remembrance candle and take a few moments to be alone with your thoughts.
The Island of Mazzorbo
Before you head back to the Vaporetto stop, cross the wooden bridge that connects Burano to Mazzorbo, and you will find the Venissa walled vineyard circled by medieval monastery walls and complete with a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Within the grounds stands the 14th-century campanile (bell tower) alongside the 11th century Church of San Michele Arcangelo. Out of ten original churches, this is the only one left on Mazzorbo island. An exhibition in the grounds of the wine estate was an unusual find in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon!
The Island of Torcello
Before returning to Venice, take a 5-minute ferry from Burano to the neighbouring island of Torcello. You can then catch the half-hourly ACTV ferry back to Venice once you have explored Torcello.
This unassuming island isn’t colourful like Burano, but it has the impressive 7th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta at its centre complete with its interesting Venetian-Byzantine mosaics. A climb to the top of the Basilica’s bell tower will give you far-reaching views across Burano and out to the lagoon.
Maybe you may like to visit one of Torcello’s restaurants before your return trip to Venice. There are several quaint and traditional places to choose from on the island.
Restaurants on Torcello
Accommadation on Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello
If you fancy an overnight stay on Torcello then check out availability and rates for accommodation.
If you fancy an overnight stay on Burano then check out availability and rates for accommodation.