While in Venice, I was keen to go beyond the confines of the city and explore some of the islands in the Venetian lagoon.

So on our second day in Venice, we set off through Cannaregio’s deserted streets to Fondamente Nuove (stumbling upon this petrol station for boats, below, along the way) to catch the number 12 waterbus to the colourful island of Burano.

Petrol station at Fondamenta Nuove

We bought our tickets on the quayside and got on the boat, where I was stunned by how crowded it was, in stark contrast to the empty streets of Cannaregio.

The waterbus was packed and we only just managed to get a seat.

Venetian lagoon

The boat set off, gliding slowly over the eerily still Venetian lagoon (above), which was so foggy, it was almost impossible to see anything.

Island of San Michele, Venice

As we sailed across the lagoon, we passed the island of San Michele (above), which has been home to Venice’s cemetery since the beginning of the 19th century.

Among the luminaries buried on the island are the composer Igor Stravinsky and the poet Ezra Pound.

The waterbus cruised across the lagoon until it reached the island of Murano, which is renowned for its colourful glass, where to my surprise, hardly anyone got off the boat.

We set sail again and as we crossed the ghostly lagoon, my interest was piqued by the small, seemingly abandoned islands that would emerge suddenly through the thick, gloomy fog.

I couldn’t help but wonder why the islands had been deserted and what had happened to the people who once lived in the ruined buildings that were being reclaimed by the elements.

The quayside at Burano

As we got further into the lagoon, we passed patches of reeds and marshland that were full of seabirds.

Then after a brief stop at the island of Mazzorbo, we arrived at Burano (above), where we disembarked and set off to explore the island.

Brightly coloured houses on Burano

It didn’t take long before we came across Burano’s famously distinctive houses that are painted in a vivid array of colours.

The most photogenic houses were those along the island’s main canals, but many of the houses in the piazzas and side streets also boasted bright façades.

Blue house in Burano

Some of the houses had clearly been freshly painted and looked well-kept, while others were much shabbier and in need of some loving care and attention.

Houses in Burano

Burano is quirky and pretty, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a social media star.

But I was dismayed by the number of people who made a beeline for the bridges over the main canals to pose for photos, with seemingly no interest in seeing the rest of the island.

Canal on Burano

The sheer volume of people jostling for the best angles was bad enough in cold, quiet January, I can’t begin to imagine how busy it must be in the summer.

Canal in Burano

Once we moved away from the most photogenic areas, we saw very few tourists, which suggests most visitors to the island don’t stray far from the revered selfie spots, which is a shame as it’s a lovely little island.

Canal in Burano

We spent our time on Burano ambling along its coastline, then strolling up and down its winding, narrow streets, its canals and piazzas, and past an old church with a very wonky campanile (below).

Burano piazza and church

Aside from its colourful buildings, Burano is renowned for its needle-lace making and there were lots of small shops selling lace goods, such as tablecloths and parasols.

Canals of Burano

We ended our visit with a slice of pizza in a busy little pizzeria, before making our way back to the quayside, where we hopped on the number 9 waterbus to Torcello to continue our Venetian island adventure.

8 thoughts on “Burano

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  1. What a cute little town that I’ve never heard of. The brightly painted homes along the sides of the canal is so pretty. Like you I’m so sick of selfies takers though. At least they stuck to one part of the town. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it’s a lovely little island. The first part of the island we visited was heaving with people taking photos, so I didn’t end up taking any photos there. But once we moved past there, the island was really quiet and that’s where all my photos are from.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed seeing Burano through your eyes. Your piece brought back familiar scenes and a few fresh perspectives too. Like you I also visited on a moody, foggy day, which I thought added a lovely sense of mystery to the island and the boat ride back and forth. Great timing with some freshly-painted houses!

    Liked by 1 person

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