Burano – a highlight of the Venetian Lagoon

buranoboatsVenice is a must-visit place for any traveller within its proximity, but keep in mind there are other islands to visit via water bus, like the little island of Burano – the ‘jewel’ in the Venetian crown. From Fondamenta Nuove on  the north side of Venice, the vaporetto takes just 40 minutes to reach the island of Burano. As your boat draws near the island, the multi-coloured terraced homes welcome you. The colours are not just beautiful in the distinct light of the region, but they are practical too. Each one marks the territorial boundary of a property and residents can see their homes from quite a distance, useful for fishermen returning with their catch in the misty morning

Get there on an early boat and you are almost certain to see the ladies of the island sweeping and wiping down their immaculate house fronts. Little brooms and polishing equipment ‘decorate’ many a façade along with ‘buntings’ of white linen which are draped neatly across homes and the little squares linking the narrow passages. The fogher or hooded fireplace gives interest to the outer shape of many of the walls, whose typical Venetian windows are ‘framed’ with a white band.

Archeological evidence has shown that early settlers have inhabited Burano since before the Roman colonization. They  were fishermen, salt gatherers and farmers, all well versed in navigation. Burano’s naturally sheltered position and its detachment from the mainland meant these original lagoon dwellers were protected from invaders and plagues of malaria which were normal in the other islands.

Inhabitants over the centuries raised the ground, dug canals and built bridges to transform a swamp into a hospitable place.The island is approximately seven kilometres from Venice and has always been closely connected to it by its shared past in good and bad times. It was occupied by French and then Austrian troops and contributed its own heroes to the ill-fated 1848 revolution led by Daniele Manin. In 1866, it joined the kingdom of Italy together with the whole of Veneto and became a township of the Municipality of Venice in 1923. It has long been associated with lace, first produced by nuns in the 15th century, and then taken up by fishermen’s wives.

Visit the museum and admire the intricate work of these nimble fingered lace-makers or you can browse the little stalls and small shops along the canal paths into the main square, Piazza B. Galuppi, dedicated to a famous Italian musician born in Burano named Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785). Tapestries, jewellery, linen and other quality items are on display, but there is no ‘hard sell’ and it is so relaxing to sit with a caffé latte in the one bustling thoroughfare that Burano possesses.  Seafood is another good reason to visit Burano, as there are many excellent restaurants serving typical local dishes mostly centered around the main piazza.

 

See more at: http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/jewel-venetian-lagoon-burano

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