Burano is one of the world’s most colourful places with its rainbow-hued houses dotted along the Venetian lagoon. This tiny island is just a 40-minute ferry ride from Venice, making it an easy day trip. Burano had been on my bucket list for quite some time, so when I spent my birthday weekend in Venice last year, I made sure to leave space in my itinerary to visit.
Why is it so colourful?
The tradition of painting the houses dates back to the 16th century. It’s been said that the bright colours made it easier for the fishermen to find their way home during foggy conditions. Others say it started when residents wanted a way to mark where their property ended and where their neighbour’s house began.
What to See
As the island is quite small, the best thing to do is just wander the streets and take it all in, you’ll no doubt snap hundreds of photos along the way.
The main street, Via Galuppi, is lined with cafés, shops and restaurants (basically where all the tourists head to first). If you wander away to the side streets, you’ll find much fewer people and can enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the canals. Some of the best streets are Via San Mauro, Via San Martino Sinistro and Via Giudecca.
Shop for lace
Burano may be best known for its colourful houses but it’s also famed for its lace. The tradition of hand stitching lace has been handed down for generations, from mother to daughter. Certain pieces can take months to make, hence the high prices. If you find lace for cheap in the stores, it’s likely not the real thing. For authentic Burano lace, shop at Martina Vidal, Emilia Burano or La Perla.
You can also visit the Museo del Merletto – set in the former lace school of the island, showcasing rare 16th and 17th-century pieces.
Lunch at Trattoria Al Gatto Nero
Since Burano is a working fisherman’s island, you must have a seafood meal at the family-run, Trattoria Al Gatto Nero. Known for its handmade pasta, I love the cosy atmosphere and location right next to the lagoon.
Getting from Venice to Burano
The colourful island of Burano is a 40-minute vaporetto ride from Venice, making it a great half-day or day trip.
✨Take the Vaporetto (water bus) line 12 from either San Zaccaria (near St. Mark’s Square) or from Fondament Nove.
✨The ferry costs €7.50 per person each way.
✨Boats depart every 20 – 30 minutes throughout the day, less frequently in the evenings. Make sure to check the timetable when you’re there as it may change depending on the season.
✨If you feel like splurging, a private water taxi will set you back around €150+ each way.