Murano and Burano

Murano and Burano islands worth a visit apart…

A visit to Venice is incomplete without a visit to the islands.

Murano

Venice was the epicenter for creative glassmaking for centuries.

Artisans lived and worked in the city until leaders decided the fire risk was too great and moved the glassmakers to Murano.

Over centuries, creative glassmaking became Murano’s legacy.

The island filled with furnaces pumping out heat and smoke, glassblowers worked in shops and studios molding and shaping swirls of colored glass into spectacular chandeliers, vases, figurines, beads and jewelry.

Burano

Burano is a fishing village known for its handcrafted lace and technicolor houses.

Centuries ago, an easily distracted Buranelli sailor was lured to the island by a beautiful mermaid.

She splashed her tail and created intricately patterned sea spray which she used as her wedding veil for her upcoming nuptials to her sailor.

The village girls were jealous of her veil and did their best to replicate the airy patterns with needle and thread, thus beginning Burano’s tradition of handcrafted lace.

Lace in every style and form floats in the breeze outside the shops along the canals, a nod to Italy’s interest in preserving and supporting its traditional crafts and artisans.

The colors are heavily regulated (you have to write for permission before painting) and their origins disputed.

Some say the houses were painted brightly so fisherman returning from sea could spot their houses through the fog.

A less romantic version say the houses were painted distinctively so fishermen could find their way home after a night on the town.

Visiting Murano and Burano

If you have limited time in Venice, stay in Venice.

The islands are lovely, but involve a full day’s commitment of time and effort and a very early start.

The vaporetto from the Fondamenta Nuove is 5 minutes to Isola di San Michele

10 minutes from San Michele to Murano and 30 minutes from Murano to Burano.

The return journey from Burano to Venice is approximately 50 minutes.

If you want to visit all three islands, allow a minimum of 9 hours, including transportation.

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