Burano was one of the first settlements in the lagoon and has continued to prosper as a fishing community over the years. Burano is densely populated and its waterways are harmoniously lined with colourful houses. The island has changed dramatically in recent decades from a village of fishermen and lacemakers to a bustling tourist destination.
The heart of the island is Piazza Baldassare Galuppi with the street of the same name, named after the Burano composer. The street is lined with linen and lace stalls, open-air trattorias serving fresh fish and the famous Bussolai Buranei.
Burano is known worldwide for its lace. The Burano lace school was established and promoted by Dogaressa Morosini in the late 1500s. With the pressure of competition from French lace, Burano and its lace art declined. The art of embroidery was revived in 1872 with the establishment of the Scuola dei Merletti. The technique that has made Burano lace famous is known as "air stitch". In this technique only needle and thread are used by hand, without any support. The art of Burano lace has since undergone many evolutions and modifications. Today Burano lace is characterised by the complex dynamics of the designs, which require a lot of time and dedication. This is why the prices of this lace are very high and difficult to find, partly because there are few lace makers. If you are lucky, you will be able to see lace makers at work in the Burano lace schools. If you want to learn more about the history of lace and admire some fine lace, we recommend a visit to the Lace Museum.
But Burano is not just about lace, we recommend a visit to the church of San Martino. This unfinished church, with its striking leaning bell tower and paintings inside, is the symbol of Burano. The bell tower is visible from far away.
If you visit Burano you must take at least one photo of Bepi Sua' house, where its walls were repainted every day by the eccentric Mr Bepi.
If you have several days available to visit the lagoon, we recommend you stay at least one night in a colourful house in this island. Experiencing Burano not as a tourist but as a resident will be a unique surprise.