On your next trip to Venice, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the unique island of Burano. This community has charm of its own with its brightly painted small houses that artists and photographers dream about.
The tiny island of Burano consists of four individual islands connected together by bridges. Originally a fishing village, Burano became famous as a lacemaking community in the 16th century. Although there is a school of lacemaking, few women perform this craft today, as it is very tedious and expensive.
An estimated 4000 to 7000 people live on this tiny island today, and they live inside their houses as well as outside, sometimes frying their fish and ironing their clothes in the streets. You will not find any overnight accommodations here, and the only restaurants are small trattorias and bars with outdoor seating areas. Burano is definitely a place with lots of ambience, which is why I enjoy it so much.
An easy place to explore on foot, Burano’s main attraction for me are the brightly painted houses with clothes hanging out to dry. Around each corner the scene is more interesting than the last. With its narrow streets, there is basically one main street, Calle Galuppi, which is filled with shops and small cafes such as Bar Caffe Palmisano.
Calle Galuppi is also a favorite with locals for their evening stroll or passeggiata and everyday socializing. The shops here also are painted in bright colors, keeping with the same tradition as the houses.
Gasoline pumps appear at the end of a canal. No cars here but of course the boats need fuel.The colorful houses attract a lot of artists, and the famous French designer and artist Philippe Starck actually owns a home here.
I found it interesting that whenever a resident wishes to change the color of his home, he is required to submit the request to the government. A system is in place to insure that variety continues in the colors, and so different areas of Burano have different color combinations. This tiny island of Burano truly is one of a kind, separating it from the other Venetian islands.
Tradition attributes the story behind the colorful houses to the local fishermen. Supposedly, they painted their houses bright colors, different from one another, so that they could see them when returning from the sea in the fog. This seems like it might have origins in truth, but no matter the reason, the houses in Burano make visiting this island an unforgettable memory.
Have you ever been to Burano? I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment.
Ciao and grazie.
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