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Burano Island—Things to Do in Venice

Burano is one of the northern Venetian lagoon islands, located near Murano and Torecello Islands. By boat, it is 45 minutes away from Venice. Noted as the most picturesque island of the three, Burano is a sight to behold and should not be missed when planning a trip to Venice!

While tourists actively snap photos of Venice, here they will be inclined to do nothing but take pictures of the glorious island with its many multi-coloured homes, well-kept gardens and courtyards. Some suggest that the charming Island of Burano portrays ancient Venice. So if you’re looking for things to do in Venice, be sure to include Burano Island.

Burano residents must seek their local council’s approval before painting their homes. Traditional beliefs hold that the homes’ colors were vibrantly painted in order for local fisherman to find their way back to their residences in dense fog. No matter, bring plenty of film since Burano Island is beyond picturesque!

Walking amid the canals and the lively rowed homes, sightseers are dared to pull themselves away from the adorable Burano homes to explore the Burano Museum and School of Lacemaking (Museo del Merletto). Burano is known worldwide for its exquisite lace, and the Burano Museum delves into the history of the island’s lace making. Besides overall gorgeous lace displays, the museum features elegant fans and fingerless gloves.

During the 16th Century under Cyprus rule, the skill of lace making was mastered by female residents of Burano. Leonardo di Vinci was said to have purchased fine lace in Lefkara, Greece which was so admired that it caught on in Burano by those who wished to establish a name for themselves and for their community through skillfully crafting fine lace. Certainly the Cyprus government had ample influence on the island’s lace production as well.

For tourists in Italy who wish to purchase authentic Burano lace, it is recommended to carefully research lace dealers and to seek advice from the locals. The complexities of this erstwhile craft are time consuming; hence it can prove formidable to find traditional lace makers on the island since the art of lace making has become widely commercialized. Not to worry, though, since there are some shops on the island that offer demonstrations of the now-rare lace-making craft.

When embarking on a trip to Venice and traveling to Burano Island, the Church of San Martino is also a must-see with its tilted campanile. Although not as famous as the St. Mark’s leaning campanile, both bell towers have shifted over time due to the marshy ground throughout Venice and its neighbouring islands. Inside the Church of San Martino, tourists will notice the crucifixion depicted by long-ago Venetian artist Tiepolo.

Of local, if not far-reaching significance, is Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785) who was born in Burano. A genius pianist and composer, Galuppi is renowned as “The father of comic opera.” His statue is located on the island’s Piazza (Square). Less known is Galuppi’s composition of Italian religious music.

The Burano town square is littered with lace shops and restaurants. Tourists cram the widest street in Burano during the popular daytime travel hours, especially at lunch time. For a more intimate glimpse of Burano, consider touring during the off hours such as early morning and late evening. Just be certain to carefully check departure times so as not to be stranded since there are no hotels located on the island.

Near the water bus (vaporetto) stop there is a splendid garden and benches that beckon tired feet. It is wise to purchase the vaporetto day passes for saving money should tourists be seeking multiple transports via the vaporetto for Venice travel.


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