EUROPE
Row of colorful houses in Burano, Italy

Houses in Burano, Italy (Kimberly Kephart)

Burano is one of the most colorful Venetian Islands and dare I say, one of the best? It is no secret that Burano’s colorful houses, lace-making tradition and Bussola cookies are renowned features of the island. I have created a quick guide to Burano Italy along with a unique tour I took that you should look into!

Regularly, I scan through Airbnb Experiences to find tours that bring me closer to the locals so I can get to know a location through their eyes. I discovered a tour called “Secret Corners of Burano” which is led by Silvia. Silvia is a local to Burano and knows Burano like the back of her hand. It’s fair to say I was in for a treat! You can find the tour here.

THE HISTORY OF BURANO

I met Silvia, my guide in front of the Vaporetto stop that was close to the “Waiting for Peace” statue. I found out that this statue was a relative of Silvia’s. The statue itself plays an important role in Burano’s history as the sculptor Remigio Barbara was from Burano. Silvia let me know her relative posed for Remigio which was quite fascinating. The young woman behind the statue was considered to be ahead of her time when posing for the artist, exemplifying a progressive attitude towards artistic representation.

As we proceeded with the tour, Silvia filled me in on the back story of Burano. In the 6th Century, the Roman Empire was invaded by barbarians. Romans retreated to the Venetian islands and were able to populate the islands. Burano became a fisherman paradise and the colorful houses helped fishermen locate the island in thick fog.

In the 16th century, Burano’s significance surged as island women became renowned for lacemaking. The lacemakers of Burano propelled the popularity of the island. Lace goods were exported across Europe. Notably Influential figures like Leonardo De Vinci were drawn to the island, further cementing the reputation of the island.

Moreover, the vibrant hues adorning the exteriors of Burano’s homes added to its allure, creating a picturesque backdrop that entices visitors to the island!

Man and dog looking into a doorway in Burano, Italy

Man and dog in Burano, Italy (Kimberly Kephart)

Silvia will take you to the following places:

Church of San Martino Vescovo displays numerous precious pieces of art by Giambattista Tiepolo, Girolamo da Santacroce, and Giovanni Mansueti dating back to the end of the 16th century.

The Museum and School of Lacemaking hosts a vast exhibition showing the detailed history of Burano’s lacemaking – from the origins to the 21st century.

The House of Bepi is one of the most colorful houses on the island and a very popular B&B.

INTERESTING TIDBITS ABOUT THE HOUSES

The Houses of Burano are unique because a color will dictate where someone’s house begins and another one ends. It’s quite charming. You can paint your house any color you want but only after checking with the local government first! People tend to be going toward the bright color combinations these days. I learned that neighbors will try to outdo each other when it’s time to paint their houses.

Interested in buying a house? Well, it might be inexpensive to purchase. However, the cost to remodel can set you back a pretty penny. Silvia told me that the houses have pretty small rooms and they build up rather than out.

WHEN TO GO TO BURANO

Burano can get pretty crowded during shoulder season (autumn). I am told during winter and spring, Burano is perfect because it’s not humid. You’ll probably want to skip the weekends, as it can get very crowded. I went on a Tuesday afternoon and it was PERFECT. I felt like I was the only one walking around Burano. It was a nice break from being shoulder-to-shoulder with others in Venice.

HOW TO GET TO BURANO

Getting to Burano is pretty easy. Burano is located off the main island of Venice. Ferries go to the island pretty frequently, 25 times a day.

To get there you can hop on the Vaporetto line #12. This line departs from the Fondemente Nove (F.te Nove) and it is a 20-minute walk from St. Mark’s square. The journey takes around 45 minutes and costs €9.50. But if you head on over to the Venice City Pass website you can purchase day and week-long passes! If you are coming by train, take note of the ticket offices outside the station.

Blue house with three shirts hanging in front of it in Burano, Italy

Blue house in Burano, Italy (Kimberly Kephart)

IMPORTANT SMARTPHONE APPS TO DOWNLOAD

1.    GoogleMaps

2.   CheBateo?

3.   AVM Venezia Official App

4.  TrainItalia (an important one for travel all over Italy)

You can find these apps on both the Android App Store and the Apple Store!

I hope this guide to Burano, Italy helps you plan the trip of your dreams!

Check out Kimberly’s blog, Kimberly Kephart Travels for more of her adventures in Italy, Poland and Korea.

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