Burano is a small island located in the Venetian lagoon in Italy. In fact, Burano is a series of several different islands that are all linked with bridges. The island is located just 7 Km from Venice and can be reached here in boats or ferries that take somewhere around 40 minutes. There is a bridge that connects Burano to Mozzarbo. The island is mainly famous for its lace work and there are several shops here where beautiful lace cloths can be bought. In 16th century the island grew in popularity when the women of the island started making lace with needles and it was soon very sought after by people through the country. The population of the island is today close to 4000 people.
Getting to Burano
The easiest way to get to Burano is from Venice. Instead of taxi and bus service, Venice has quite a lot of motorboats which are known as Vaporetti. These vaporetti take around 40 minutes to reach the island. The LN line Vaporetti is available in Venice from Tre Porti, Punta Sabbioni and Fondamente Nuove. There is no other way to get to the island. Tourists coming in from other countries can take a flight to Venice and get to the island on these motorboats.
Moving Around the Island
Burano is a fairly small island and there is only one way to move around it, on foot. There aren't many places or attractions on the island to explore, but the colorful village alone, which is very small and can be easily explored on foot, is worth the visit. The streets are narrow and in the main street (Calle Galuppi) you can find all the shops. Walking around the island is quite pleasant and enjoyable since the houses here are very charming and colorful.
Attractions on Burano
Burano is mainly famous for two things: its lace and its colorful houses. These houses are quite small and brightly painted and are extremely popular among the European artists. There are some famous artists who own houses here on the island including Philippe Starke. The color with which the houses have to be painted is decided through a well set up system. When anyone on the island wants to color their house they need to send a request to the municipality who would consider the set of approved colors for that part of the island and then approve or disapprove a color. Because of this practice the island has different areas with different sets of charming pastel colors which have made it so distinct from the other islands.
Church of San Martino
The church of San Martino is the only important church of the island. It's not very large nor very grand. The most noteworthy aspect of the church is its bell tower.
Museum and School of Lace Making
The museum and school of lace making was set up on the island to preserve its ancient tradition of lace making. The museum is quite small but provides some useful information on how and when the lace making tradition started on the island and explains a lot of other aspects related to it. The school of lace making teaches the women of the island the art of making lace which is a bit time consuming and requires a lot of intricate work, the reason why lace is very expensive.
Calle Galuppi is the main street on the island. The street is quite charming since it is lined with shops that are painted with beautiful pastel colors like all the houses on the island. The street has quite a lot of shops, all of which sell lace. There are also a few food shops that serve traditional pastries and snacks. The street is a good place to just walk around and observe the locals. Most locals spend a lot of their time on this street and it is like a center point of the island and often a place where people meet, chat and exchange news. Visitors who are interested in purchasing lace would find it in the shops located on this street.
Stay and Accommodation
Burano has no hotels or any accommodation facilities. The island is very small and has remained quite well protected from tourism. Apart from day excursions and day trips there are no visitors who stay here overnight. Since it is quite close to Venice most tourists generally stay at Venice and visit the island in the day time. Also, there aren't many places to visit on the island except for a handful. Most of these places can be easily visited in a few hours so most people do not prefer to stay here overnight.
Eating on Burano
Burano does not really have restaurants, small or big. The island has a few food shops, bakeries and small shops selling coffees, breakfast items and a few light dishes. These food shops are mainly located on the main street of the island, Calle Galuppi. The main food items to try here in Burano are their local biscuits and traditional pastries which are available in almost all food shops here. The biscuits called Essi are especially very popular with the locals. These biscuits are made in the 'S' shape and are yellow in color. These biscuits are quite light and delicious and can be found in all the bakeries here.
Shopping in Burano
The best thing to purchase here in Burano is lace. Lace is available everywhere on the island, in all shops located here. However, visitors need to be quite careful while selecting the lace since quite a lot of places sells cheap foreign lace on the island now. Also, these days lace is not made in the same traditional manner because it is very time consuming. The lace that is made today on the island is not as intricate as it used to be once. The original lace which is traditionally made is quite expensive.