Any international magazines include Burano among the top 10 most colorful cities in the world
The colorful houses, the fishermen, the lace, the desserts and the fish dishes. The island of Burano leaves enchanted, it is a small pearl in the middle of the lagoon
The inhabitants of Altino to escape the barbarian invasions, took refuge in the various islands of the lagoon, giving these the names of the six gates of the city: Murano, Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello, Ammiana and Costanziaco, derived precisely from the names of the doors of Altino.
Since the time of the Republic of Venice, Burano with its modest population of about 8,000 people, was an island of poor people who lived mainly from fishing and agriculture. Thanks to the skill of the lace makers began to grow, to enrich themselves and expand the local crafts also in foreign countries.
Burano is very famous for its needle lace. However, there is also a production of Venetian masks and many inhabitants of the island work in nearby Murano, producing precious glass objects.
How to get to Burano
From Santa Lucia Railway Station
ACTV's lines (Venetian public transport company) that bring to "Fondamente Nove":
Lines 1 e N (Nocturne): get off at Ca' D'oro stop and proceed to Fondamente Nove (5 minutes) at the boarding for the 12 line, which connects Venice to Burano
Lines 4.2 e 5.2: get off at Fondamente Nove stop and go to the 12 line's boarding beyond Donà Bridge. This line connects Venice to Burano in about 40 minutes.
Line 3 (Murano Direct): get off at "Murano Faro" stop and take the waterbus to Burano at the 12 Boarding.
What to do in Burano
Capture the colour of Burano
If you’ve heard of Burano, or at the very least entered it into Google images, the one thing you’ll have taken away is the vibrancy of its buildings. Tangerine, teal, fuchsia, and lime houses line the canal and cobbled streets, but it’s not just for aesthetic reasons – the fishermen who first inhabited them picked bold colours to help them find their way back after a long day on the water in the thick fog that often descends upon the Lagoon, and some matched their boat colours to their house so if something happened to them the colour would indicate which door to knock on.
Learn to make lace
After fishing, lacemaking is Burano’s biggest money maker. The tradition dates back to the 1500s and was almost exclusively done at Scuola Merletti, or the Lace School, which is now a museum dedicated to the craft. What makes Burano lace different to other types of lace is the intricacy of the pattern and the delicate, gossamer-fine threads used. Only a handful of women do it in the traditional way these days, so the lace shops in the square are filled with replicas and even lace made in China, so check the label carefully. If it seems too cheap, it probably isn’t the real deal – Venetian lace is a luxury item that few can afford a lot of. Go to Dalla Lidia Merletti d'Arte for authentic Burano lace. Want to learn the art of Burano lace making? Martina Vidal Venezia is a Home Linen Atelier created by Martina and her brother Sergio as a concept store and teaching workshop, where you can sign up for an eight-hour introductory course. Price on request.
Prop up the leaning campanile of San Martino
Leaning Tower of Pisa? Been there, done that. Stand in the main square that surrounds the Church of San Martino in Burano and you can seemingly hold up the slanted ‘campanile’ without having to fight with hundreds of other visitors trying to get the same shot. Once you’ve got your picture, head inside and marvel at the architecture and Rococo art. Look out for the famous trio of St. Rocco, St. Sebastian and St. Antonio Abate by Jacopo Palma il Giovane and be sure to get close enough to the main altar to appreciate the ornate columns of French red marble and ancient oriental marble that encase it.
Eat fresh seafood – for half the price of Venice
Almost all of the fish in Rialto market in Venice is caught by the fisherman of Burano, so a visit to Burano itself means you can enjoy the much-lauded seafood straight from the source and without the premium the tourist hotspot demands. If you only have time for one restaurant during your trip, make it Al Gatto Nero. It’s a favourite of food bloggers – and chefs like Jamie Oliver – and has been serving a menu of fresh fish and pasta that changes daily since the 1960s. Pappardelle with langoustines and smoked ricotta is a must try, as is the John Dory and platter of razor clams, when they’re available. If you like your lunch with a side of art, book a table at Trattoria da Romano where you can enjoy traditional Venetian cuisine surrounded by more than 400 paintings from local and now-famous artists who paid for their meal with their work. It’s a favourite of Keith Richards and was once the haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin – look carefully at the menu for proof of their visits.
Satisfy your sweet tooth
After your fill of fish, find a pasticceria and hone in on the Bussolai Buranei or Venetian butter cookies. The delicious S-shaped biscuit is a local favourite steeped in history – they were originally made by fishermen’s wives for their husbands destined for long periods on the water because they would stay fresh all day – and they’re served in most cafés, alongside your espresso. At Panificio Pasticceria Palmisano Carmelina they’re flavoured with vanilla, lemon, or if you’re lucky, rum.