On our second day in Venice, we decided to try and skip as many tourists as we could (though we were some of the biggest ourselves!) and head out into the Venetian Lagoon to explore a couple of the most popular islands. We skipped Murano, the most famous island known for its glass making, shops, and factories, dating back to 1291. We figured, we’d see enough glass throughout Venice and could spend more time where I really wanted: Burano. Known for its pastel painted fishermen’s houses and lace making, it was truly picturesque. And then we wanted to stop on the oldest island of the lagoon, Torcello, which was established in the 5th or 6th centuries. Talk about history. I have way too many pictures to share of this day, of course.
We started the morning off with a planned quick stop at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a minor basilica completed in 1396. It is one of 3 most famous churches in Venice. However, once we got there, we opted not to pay the $10/each to see it. Not that it wasn’t beautiful and most likely magnificent on the inside, but we were sort of churched out at that point and were trying to be more selective of our sights.
However, it was meant to be because we ran into people we knew. Half way around the globe! Here was my coworker and his pretty lady which we had to snap a pic or nobody would have believed us!
These were taken from the Rialto Bridge and the surrounding area.
I could never get enough of this place.
We headed for the Rialto Market, which in my opinion, is the saddest market in all of Europe. Well, saddest that we had seen. This place has nothing on Germany as far as markets are concerned! And then we stopped by the seafood market, which was not open on this day and instead was just an empty covered area.
See? No reason to go to Murano — all the glass we needed to see is all over Venice!
We then hopped on a vaporetto to Burano where we saw some of the more industrial buildings away from the main island and other little islands overrun by green. Can you imagine living here?
Ahh, our introduction to Burano. And still more glass to purchase here. We did buy an ornament and a miniature carafe set for my mom’s dollhouse.
And then the picture perfectness began. So, I won’t pretend that I’m some expert on Burano, but we did learn that the houses were painted brightly so that when the fishermen came home, they knew right where their house was. And most all of the shutters are green, I believe that is a requirement, but I can’t find anywhere online confirming what I heard.
I cannot get over the colors, the care that is taken with their front doors, which were sometimes no more than a sheet, their windows and accompanying flowers, and of course I will never get over seeing people’s laundry just blowing about. What a wonderful sight Burano was and filled me with such great awe and respect for this little island and the people who took such pride in their homes. Again, like in Venice, there were no cars, as the entire island can be walked in an hour — which we did. While there, we tried to decide what color house we would own if we lived here. I was partial to blue or yellow and Dan, green.
That’s a bird cage hanging out of that window!
Free water, much like many other places we visited in Europe, but Italy especially.
As you can see from the above pictures, coming to Burano was really the right choice. We walked freely without other tourists or people running into us and could talk, imagine, and goof around without caring that others would see us. The center of the island where all the shopping is, was busy (below) but that was it and it still was nothing compared to Venice. It was a nice little break from the crowds of people.
The Burano lace. I read that most of the lace for sale on the island is not handmade and is instead made in factories on Venice. If you do find handmade lace, it is distinguishable by how expensive it is. We didn’t buy any because I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I would do with it. Handmade or factory made, it was still beautiful.
We stopped and had lunch at this little deli where they had maybe 4 tables outside and that was it. You can’t even go inside because it is just a kitchen. We had wine, warm cokes, and delicious pizza (much better than the hotdog pizza the day before!).
This picture below of the purple houses and the laundry is one of my favorites that we took the entire trip. It just drew me in and I felt like I belonged there. On second thought, purple was definitely my top choice.
Burano really was like a scene from a movie. Pure magic and one of the highlights of not only Venice, but Italy. There were many moments throughout our trip that we had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were really there and Burano was a big one.
From Burano, we visited Torcello, but that’s a post for another day. I must continue to nurse myself back to health for now as I try to kick my 4th sickness in 3 months.
This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!