30 November, 2017 / By Nejma Bk / 105 views

Burano, the Rainbow Island

Burano is an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges situated 5 minutes away from Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon.

The archipelago was first a Roman settlement. When the Huns invaded Veneti, the inhabitants of Altinum, near Treviso, found refuge in the islands of the Venetian lagoon. They gave their new homes the names of the six gates of their former city.

There are several explanations for the origin of the name of Burano.

For some, the name "Burano" comes from "Porta Boreana", the northern door of Altinum. For others, it was founded by the Buriana family. Finally, some think that the first settlers of Burano came from the small island of Buranello.

Today, Burano is known for its lace work and its brightly coloured homes.

It is not before the 16th century that Burano started to rise in importance., Women on the island began making lace with needles. The inspiration came from Venetian-ruled Cyprus. Once a booming tradition, traditional lacemaking is now very rare because the time needed implies high costs that not all tourists are ready to pay.

So if you want real traditional lace from Burano, ask for a certificate and preferably buy it at the museum.

As many people in Burano work in the Murano glass industry, you can find glass objects there.

There is also a production of venetian masks.

Again, for both masks and glass, ask for a certificate.

There are very strict rules to follow regarding the colours of the houses.

Before painting the house, a request must be sent to the local authorities and the chosen colour must be within the range authorised in the lot where the house is.

Burano's houses are mainly squared-shaped. They are divided into two or three floors with the kitchen, the dinig area and the bathroom downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs.

The different colours of the houses are in fact a way to delimit properties, although according to an ancient legend, fishermen painted their houses in vivid colours so they could see them from far when they were away for fishing.

The delimitation of properties by different colours makes sense but some houses share different colours on the roof or the doors so there might be another lost story about it.

The best way to discover Burano is to wander around, take the small streets but remember that it is not Disneyland and that people live there.

Hereafter are a few things to see and do in Burano.

  • Piazza Galuppi;
  • Lace museum;
  • Town Hall;
  • Church of St. Martin Bishop;
  • Chapel of Santa Barbara;
  • Remigio Barbaro's statue dedicated to the musician Baldassare Galuppi;
  • Remigio Barbaro's statue "Waiting for Peace";
  • Leaning tower;
  • Small glass factory New Arte Fuga;
  • Three Bridges 
  • Giudecca Via
  • Via San Mauro
  • Via San Martino Sinistro);
  • Old fish market (Pescaria Vecia);
  • Bepi's House;
  • House of Remigio Barbaro;
  • Eat a Bussolà (cookie);
  • Sunset over the lagoon;
  • Get lost;
  • Go to Torcello;
  • Go to Mazzorbo;

And enjoy!

My advice: Do not plan a day trip to Murano, Burano, Torcello. I did one afternoon Murano - San Michele and a afternoon Burano - Torcello and I regret not to have spent a full day for each trip.


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Torcello the wild island
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