Two great crafts are synonymous with Venice: glassblowing on Murano and lacemaking on Burano. The latter is a richly coloured island far to the north-east of central Venice.
More accurately termed an archipelago of four islands, strolling about Burano’s bridges is an attraction unto itself, thanks to the vibrantly hued housefronts lining the street. They may seem whimsical and are indeed very popular with creative types, but the colouration of the neighbourhood follows a strict system to preserve the historic nature of the area. There are designated approved colours for each lot. A genuine must-see in Burano, however, is its intricate lacework. The Museum and School of Lacemaking provide visitors with a glimpse at the craft’s centuries-old history, and an authentic souvenir can be picked up nearly anywhere on the island.
Single-day visitors would be hard-pressed to make it out to Burano. While the Vaporetto connects the island directly to Venice’s F.te Nove terminal, the ride takes the better part of an hour. Best save this area for its own separate day trip.
Burano’s lacemaking legacy begins with none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Italy’s greatest artist purchased a sample here for the Milan Duomo’s altar and soon everyone in Europe wanted a piece. The trade took a brief hiatus in the 19th century but found itself rejuvenated by the opening of the lacemaking school.