Venice: A tiny glimpse of Murano and Burano Islands
January 1, 1970
by Ana Barbara Gonzalez
I, as many other people thought that the only attraction in the Venetian lagoon was Venice the majestic city with its maze of canals and doing things like taking a trip in the iconic gondolas, visiting the breathtaking Saint Marks Basilica, standing or eating in piazza San Marco. But in fact, it isn’t.
I’ve met people that have told me that if I was planning on visiting Italy I had to visit Venice, that it is one of the best cities I could ever visit, but I’m still not so sure I would agree on that after my stay there. I can’t say I didn’t like it because every place has its own charm but I really thought I would like it more.
My trip to Venice was in the summer, and for those who have been in Venice in this time of year will agree with me that even if it’s a beautiful and extravagant city it’s impossible and even annoying to enjoy and get around with thousands of tourists walking everywhere, the tiny streets and bridges, all restaurants full, the super hot weather, a four-hour line to get inside the basilica and the feeling that one more person and you will collapse.
So after sightseeing short time I started feeling claustrophobic in the huge crowds, and I was really angry because of the hot weather so I decided to make a trip to Murano and Burano and that is what this article is about.
For those who didn’t know, Venice it’s is a kind of archipelago divided by 118 little islets and connected by more than 400 bridges but it also has some islands a couple of miles away that hundreds of years ago were important towns and had special functions, some were commentaries or even lunatic asylums.
Nowadays, Venice receives millions of tourist every year but yet these unique islands are nearly tourist-free and a very enjoyable experience and not to mention a good escape if you’re tired of the mass of people.
I had the opportunity to visit Murano and Burano, two of the Venice Islands, and I can say that It was completely worth it and only
took me around 4 hours to see both islands.
The best way to get to Murano and Burano is a Vaporetto, that is the most convenient way and the cheapest. I took mine from piazza San Marco.
Because of the location, I would recommend visiting Murano first and then, Burano but if you have more time it’s also a great idea to add to your itinerary going to Torcello also. I’ve heard very good comments about this island and that it’s beautiful, unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to go.
If you decide to go to the islands you’ll have to buy a ticket for either 90 minutes or a whole day. Considering that it takes around 20 minutes to get to Murano and 40 minutes to get to Burano from Venice I recommend buying a whole day ticket so you can dedicate time to enjoy and see the whole islands with no time pressure.
The prices of the Vaporetto are a little high but if you take your student Id the price is lower. For a whole day-pass, you will have to pay around 20 euros.
Murano is known for its glass making, the island used to be the manufacturing center of glass in all Europe in the XV and XVI century.
This island is possibly the most visited island of the lagoon aside from Venice.
There are a lot of restaurants and local shops where you can buy glass jewelry, cups, souvenirs and more. There is also a glass museum and factory where you can learn more about this material and how it’s made.
I liked this island, the type of architecture is similar to the one in Venice and there is also a
nice church to visit.
One thing that I could notice is that when I was in a souvenir shop I saw that sometimes the prices were extremely different between the same type of souvenir like bracelets or necklaces and then I noticed that some had warning stickers about the fake glass souvenirs so be careful because many locals are selling souvenirs made o
f fake glass. Not only in Murano but also in souvenir shops in Venice. So keep that in mind if you are thinking of buying souvenirs.
You can perfectly walk around the whole islands in a couple of hours or less each, but I think its a better idea to stop and just enjoy the views and the architecture.
Burano was definitely my favorite, it is a magical, rainbow color, fun island, the opposite of Venice and it’s medieval style.
It has not so many tourists because it’s a working island and many families live and work there.
As soon as you get down of the Vaporetto and start walking into Burano you’ll won’t stop looking all around you to appreciate all its brightly colored fishermen’s cottages. It is an island perfect for you if you want to take a break from the crowded tourists in Venice and it is also the paradise for photo lovers, you will want to stop in every window and house to capture the colorful picture.
I would also recommend eating in the island because it is not as expensive as Venice and you can eat very fresh and delicious seafood. Or maybe buy an ice cream for the local shop and discover the traditional flavors.
This island is also characterized by its lace making, you can stop at a lace studio and watch certificated Burano lace makers working, and also visit some shops.
The reason of all the colored fishermen’s cottages is due to the fact that many years ago when the men were out fishing and working they would come home and sometimes go into the wrong house because they were all identical so they decided to paint each house of a different color. I really enjoyed my short, two hours stay here, it’s definitely worth it if you have a free afternoon in your trip to Venice.