The highlight of our visit to Venice was not the top tourist attractions like Saint Mark’s Plaza, the Grand Canal or Doges’ Palace. Instead, a day trip to the vibrant islands of Murano and Burano was our favorite experience. I’d recommend every visitor to Venice set aside half a day to visit these two islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
Visitors can book an affordable boat tour for around $22USD to Murano, Burano, and Torcello. These tours leave in the morning or afternoon and take about four and a half hours.
We chose to skip Torcello which is home to palaces and churches and go it on our own with public transport via Vaporetto boat. I highly recommend this option as the point to point transit is easy to figure out and you won’t be on a time table with your visit.
The colorful fishing village of Burano was our first stop. The island is known for lace making and there were many shops selling their wares on the streets.
The homes situated along canals are so vibrant and charming, I could not help but snap a photo every few steps.
Imagine living in an orange house?
Maybe pink is more your color!
We noticed a deluge of tourists pouring off the boats in the afternoon so get there early so you can capture the beauty of the island without people stepping into your frame.
Away from the main thoroughfare, there are many quiet canals to explore.
I loved snapping photos of the shuttered windows. One day I’ll frame these on my wall.
Until then, I have this small canvas painting to remind me of the colors and character of this charming island.
Next, we made our way to Murano, world renowned for glass making.
To reduce the risk of devastating fires, Venetian glassmakers were forced to move here in the thirteenth century. Today’s glass blowers employ techniques honed over the centuries to create high-quality beads, chandeliers, jewelry, and tableware.
Compared to Burano which was mostly residential, Murano was very commercial. Storefronts lined the canal making it an ideal destination for souvenir shopping if you don’t mind packing some fragile cargo.
The abstract blue glass sculpture in Campo Santo Stefano is worth a stop to snap some photos before popping in and out of the glass shops.
You can even catch a peek at the glassblowers perfecting their art.
After visiting several of the souvenir shops I came away with a Murano glass bracelet and a Venetian mask Christmas ornament.
We toasted to our colorful day out with some of the world’s cheapest red wine.
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