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Burano, Italy: 14 of the Best Things to Do In Burano

Burano, Italy: 14 of the Best Things to Do In Burano

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The colorful island of Burano, Italy, should be on everyone’s list of places to visit. This small island is located at the northern end of the Venetian lagoon and is famous for its colorful houses and the Burano lace produced here.

The island, four small islands linked together by a series of canals and bridges, is easy to navigate and the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring.

It’s easy to visit Burano as a day trip from Venice, Italy, as getting from Venice to Burano is quick and easy.

While visiting Burano can be done in a day, I recommend spending a few nights here. This will allow you to soak in the true tranquility of Burano, Italy, and see it through the eyes of the locals.

No matter how long your visit to Venice Burano is, you will surely fall in love with this little slice of the Venice lagoon.

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    Is Burano, Italy, Worth Visiting?

    Burano, Italy-Colorful houses line a canal with boats in it

    You might be asking yourself, is Burano, Italy, worth visiting? I mean, you are more than likely giving up a day in the glorious city of Venice if you are choosing to venture out to visit Burano.

    I would say YES!

    All of the islands in the Venetian lagoon are well with a visit if you have time, but I especially feel that way about Burano.

    Not only will you get to see more of the lagoon, but you will also get to explore the slower-paced life in this area. While visiting Burano, you will notice that the canals are filled with fishing boats instead of gondolas and that the island seems to move at a different pace than Venice.

    How to Get From Venice to Burano

    Getting from Venice to Burano is easy, and you have several options.

    The most economical way (although not the fastest) is to take the number 12 Vaporetto from the Fondament Nove platform in Venice. The ride on the number 12 Vaporetto takes about 40 minutes and includes a stop at Murano.

    If you want a faster way to visit Burano, Italy, you should book a private or small group tour of Burano instead.

    There are several great tours to choose from, so check out Viator and Get Your Guide to find the best tour!

    What Is Burano Known For?

    Burano is most famous for the lace that is produced on the island. Authentic lace from Burano has been considered one of the best in the world for generations.

    Of course, thanks to Instagram, Burano is also famous for the colorful houses found throughout the island. More on both of these below.

    Which Is Better, Murano or Burano?

    It’s hard to say whether Murano or Burano is better as they are entirely different.

    Murano, much closer to Venice, is a larger island than Burano and is where you will find the large concentration of the Venetian glass industry.

    Burano originated as a fishing village and is still such today. Many of the inhabitants of Burano are said to be descendants of the first settlers of the Venetian Renaissance town.

    In my opinion, you should explore both islands (and the other islands) and determine which is better, Murano or Burano.

    Best Things To Do In Burano, Italy

    1. Photograph the Colorful Houses

    Legend has it that the houses of Burano were painted bright colors so the fishermen could see them while at sea and easily find their way back home. While I love this explanation for the colorful houses, it isn’t entirely true.

    According to a Burano local that we met, the houses are painted differently so the occupants can quickly determine a “boundary line” between their property and their neighbor’s property.

    These colorful houses could often hold a family of ten or more people. That means that families often use the outdoor area for extra space.

    This outdoor area often holds laundry or a table to eat at when the weather permits. The house colors remind everyone to stay in their allotted space.

    Regardless of the reason, they are beautiful! Take time while visiting Burano to roam around and photograph some of the houses adorned with their bright colors.

    These rainbow houses make an excellent backdrop for the perfect Instagram photo and are a photographer’s paradise! Just be respectful of the colored house’s occupants!

    2. See the Leaning Tower of Burano

    Did you think that the only leaning tower in Italy was in Pisa? Well, guess again, as Burano has a leaning bell tower also!

    You can find the leaning tower of Burano attached to the Chiesa di San Martino Destro, a 16th-century Roman Catholic Church.

    After part of the original San Martino Church was destroyed in a fire in 1750, the decision was made to rebuild the church and add to the existing small bell tower. The craftsmen cut off the top portion of the tower and extended it by 10 meters to the height you see today.

    Unfortunately, the former bell tower was not created to support that additional weight, and the tower began to lean. Engineers were brought in to save the tower from collapsing to create the learning tower you see today.

    3. Visit the Burano Lace Museum

    Lace production in Venice Burano can be traced back to the 16th century when the women of Burano were introduced to the craft by the Venetian-ruled island of Cypress.

    You girls on the island were taught needle lace-making as young as eight years old, and Burano lace became famous throughout Europe for its intricate and beautiful designs.

    The art of making lace was so revered, especially the Burano rose, that King Louis XIV of France is said to have brought Burano Venetian lacemakers to France to teach the craft to the French as well.

    While many young girls were taught the art by their mothers or grandmothers, others were sent to the lace school, Scuola di Merletti. The school traditionally taught lace-making originated in 1972 and remained open until 1970.

    After closing, the school became the Museo del Merletto (the Lace Museum). This museum is open to visitors and is an excellent addition to your itinerary, even if you are only making a day trip from Venice to Burano.

    During your time at the museum, you can learn more about the history of lace-making in Burano and the many artifacts related to the craft.

    The lace museum is located in the heart of the historic center near the main square and is easy to find.

    4. Wander the Burano Lace Stores

    After learning all about the history of Burano lace, be sure to wander the many lace shops on the island.

    Often you can see the local women sitting in front of the shops working on their crafts.

    One of my favorite shops is Dalla Lidia. Dalla Lidia is a two-story shop with an extensive display of lace that is all hand created.

    You can find dalla Lidia at Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 215, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy.

    5. Visit Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi

    The famous 18th-century composer Baldassarre Galuppi was from Burano, and you can visit a statue in his honor while on the island.

    Nicknamed Il Buranello, Galuppi composed several comic operas and a few religious pieces during his life.

    His work was renowned worldwide, and he held a prestigious position on the island of Venice as Maestro of Doge’s Chapel inside Saint Mark’s Basilica.

    In addition to his service on Venice island, he was the court composer for Catherine the Great of Russia.

    6. See Casa di Bepi

    Casa di Bepi is one of the best-known houses on Burano Island.

    The former resident, Giuseppe Toselli, worked at a cinema on the island. When the cinema closed, he started selling candies and acquired the nickname of Bepi Sua (Bepi Candy).

    His love for the cinema never wavered as Bepi Sua continued to broadcast films onto a white sheet in front of his house, thus creating his outdoor cinema.

    During his free time, he loved to paint and often experimented with geometric shapes and specific colors, using the exterior of his home as a canvas.

    When Bepi Sua passed in 2002, he decided to leave his home in the exact condition that he had left it. You can see the exciting and colorful masterpiece by heading to Calle del Pistor.

    Simply turn off the main street, Via Baldassare Galuppi, at Girani Caffe Venezia, and the home is on the left.

    Curious visitors often make their way to the home, but overall you will probably encounter only a handful of people during your visit as fewer tourists congregate here.

    7. Take a Walking Tour

    We love to get a local’s perspective when visiting a new area. We love it so much; this is one of the top travel tips we provide to our readers.

    Of course, this also applies while visiting Burano. Taking a walking tour with a local guide is a great way to get to know more about the city, and its history.

    Not only that, but a local guide can also show you places that most visitors might not know about.

    Spending a few hours with a local guide will allow you to tour the small side streets and canals with fewer crowds than the tourist-packed main square of the island.

    This guide will also likely provide travel tips like which of the many restaurants are worth easing at and which of the many stores are their favorites on the island. These are travel tips that you can only get from a local!

    8. Eat at an Amazing Restaurant

    I have to admit; I was pleasantly surprised at the restaurant prices in Burano as they were significantly lower than the prices in Venice.

    Not only that but there are several restaurants to choose from on the island.

    Of course, if you hire a local guide, as suggested above, I would take their advice on where to eat. If not, let me give you a couple of suggestions.

    If you are a seafood lover, you will be in heaven on Burano island. As mentioned above, Burano is a fishing village, so fresh seafood abounds here on the island.

    For a delicious meal, Trattoria Da Primo serves up a delicious mix of fresh seafood and pasta to ensure that there is something to please everyone.

    If you want to try the local risotto di go or any other classic Venetian recipe, head to Trattoria da Romano. The restaurant is housed inside one of the original lace schools, making it a part of Burano’s history.

    9. Grab a Gelato at Gelateria Crema

    gelato in Italy

    You should eat gelato daily, if not multiple times a day while visiting Italy!

    While many shops sell gelato, you want to ensure that your gelato is hand-made with only the freshest ingredients.

    With that in mind, make your way to Gelateria Crema during your visit to Burano. Here you can explore the ever-changing menu of flavors to find the perfect gelato for your palette.

    Gelateria Crema is located at Calle Della Provvidenza, 230, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy.

    10. Take Photos From The Love Viewing Bridge

    If you haven’t noticed, there are photo opportunities everywhere you look in Burano (and the surrounding islands). With colorful side streets and winding canals, the city seems to beckon you to get out your camera.

    One of Burano’s most famous photo spots is the Love Viewing Bridge.

    The wooden bridge is at the confluence of two canals, creating a gorgeous backdrop of water and colorful houses.

    11. Shop Burano’s Boutique Shops

    As a major tourist destination, Burano is home to numerous boutique shops selling everything from refrigerator magnets to hand-made lace.

    Take time during your trip to Burano to find the perfect souvenir to take home with you.

    The small shops line the main street selling all sorts of specialty items. If lace isn’t your thing, consider getting an authentic mand-made Venetian mask.

    We purchased a hand-made mask during our time in Venice, and it sits prominently on the bookcase in our home beside a picture of us in Venice. You wouldn’t believe what a conversation piece it is!

    12. Admire Burano’s Churches

    As Burano has always been a part of the Venetian Republic, it only makes sense that several churches are on the island.

    Take time to admire the churches of Burano during your visit. You can see the history and craftsmanship associated with churches such as the San Martino Sinistro and the Chapel of Santa Barbara.

    13. Watch the Sunset From the Old Fish Market

    While the old fish market of Burano, the Pescaria Vecia, is no longer the bustling hub it used to be, it is still a great place to visit, especially if you are a fan of sunsets.

    Grab a bottle of wine and go down to the fish market to watch a gorgeous sunset over the Venetian lagoon.

    If you are making a day trip from Venice, you probably will not factor this into your time. If you are interested, hire a private water taxi instead of a ferry ride, or spend the night on Burano!

    14. Taste Buranelli

    Buranelli, also called Bussola, are dense cookies originating on Burano’s island. It is said that the fishermen’s wives would make these Burano cookies as a treat for their husbands during their long stints out to sea.

    The cookies are made using a blend of eggs, flour, sugar, and butter, making them crispy and buttery sweet.

    You can find them throughout town, so try one out for yourself!

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    Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

    About The Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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      Mike from TravelAndDestinations

      Thursday 12th of April 2018

      Great guide. I have previously been to Burano and loved it, although my visit was only for a couple of hours so I'm keen to go back, explore more and maybe try your restaurant suggestion too.


      Thursday 12th of April 2018

      Thanks, Mike! I hope you get to go back soon. It's such a beautiful little island.

      Ruth | Tanama Tales

      Sunday 18th of March 2018

      I have been to Venice twice but I have not been able to visit Burano. That is a bit painful since I love colorful places and the houses on this island resemble the rainbow (plus, they resembled me a bit of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico). I will need to visit a third time to stop by Burano.


      Saturday 17th of March 2018

      I went to Burano years ago on a tour, but I don't remember much of the details. I would love to go back and just explore on my own. I love all the colors and it would be fun to photograph.


      Saturday 17th of March 2018

      You really should go back, Anisa. You wouldn't stop snapping pictures. LOL!


      Saturday 17th of March 2018

      Burano is seriously a dream! I just went last year and was blown away by the colors. Loved your photos!


      Saturday 17th of March 2018

      Thank you, Lily!


      Saturday 17th of March 2018

      I really wish I had been able to visit here! Definitely sounds like the place to go! I love how colourful the buildings look!