We liked Venice, but we loved the island of Burano! The exceptionally colorful houses flourish in the sunlight and reflect in the water of the Venetian Lagoon. Like a smiling rainbow. Contrasting colors merge and become one happy universe.
The colors are a feast to the eye. Unfortunately the decay of some houses is clearly visible. They suffer from water and sun but most of them stood the test of time; they wear their color with pride! Burano is a photographer’s paradise….
These beautiful, laid-back canals with their illustrious color palette was exactly the thing we were looking for. No dark and gloomy canals like in Venice, but blue skies, sunlight and an overall happy feeling. It’s indeed the cheeriest island I have ever been to!
How to get to Burano?
Take the vaporetto boat line 12 from Venice to Burano. Get off one or two stops earlier at the adjacent island of Mazzorbo. Walk towards Burano crossing a bridge between the two islands. It makes the entry to Burano more special.
Most tourists arriving by vaporetto will follow each other into the Viale Marcello, right towards the center of the island (where all the shops and restaurants are). Don’t. Just don’t follow the crowd. When you leave the boat turn left (Fondamenta dei Squeri) and just let yourself be overwhelmed by all the colors. We spent so much time in this small area that we had to run to see the more popular parts too…
Although the island is relatively small, there are still these non-touristy parts where fishing boats come in at the end of the day and people are repairing their fishing gear. Here you get the real working-island feel, not the touristic one.
But life in Burano isn’t that easy as people told us. The island is isolated but it also suffers a lot from acqua alta (flooding). You can clearly see the decay of houses where still a lot of restoration work is needed. But as many young Burano generations move to the mainland, it has to be seen if people can catch up with the speed of deterioration that is threating not only Burano but Venice itself as well (but more about that later on this blog).
Why are all the houses in Burano painted like that, you might ask? Well, in the old days, residents used to paint their houses in these bright colors to designate where certain family quarters ended and others (neighbor’s) began. Also, it made their homes more visible from the sea when the fishermen returned after their hard work. What better way than coming home to lively colors after spending hours on a flat, grey sea….
Burano or Murano?
So when you travel to Venice, you have to (read: must) visit Burano. It’s better than Venice itself in certain ways, I am not kidding you…. And if you ask me: Burano or Murano? No doubt: Burano! Have you been to Burano?