02 April 2014

Colorful Burano

Taking a brief break from Venice's churches (more to come!), we took a side trip to Burano. Many people go to the larger and much closer island of Murano when visiting Venice. Murano is where all the Venetian glass is made. Rather than doing that, we opted to visit the farther out Burano, famous for its colorful buildings and hand made laces and clothes.

Like Venice itself, the island of Burano is traveled either by foot or boat via a series of canals. There are no roads or vehicles. In all honesty there really is not a whole lot to do on Burano. However if you have a few days in Venice I still think it's worth the side trip because "just" walking around looking at all the colorful houses is thoroughly enjoyable!

Love it.

Unsurprisingly, Burano is full of seafood restaurants. We were surprised and pleased to discover that restaurant prices here were very reasonable. Neither of us got seafood though! Much like when I was in Prague in December, my pork deprivation reared its insatiable head prompting me to order a Carbonara. Which I may have ordered more than once on this trip...

Burano is not a huge island. We didn't wander around the entire thing but we did explore some of the back streets where fewer tourists ventured. The exploring we did do made it obvious that it's not just the central houses and buildings that received the technicolor treatment but all of them. It must be very strange to live in a place so frequented by tourists that every facet of your outside life is documented - knowing that your laundry is never private and that your undergarments will likely end up in any number of vacation photos! Living in DC gave me a healthy dislike of tourists but at least my apartment buildings were so uninteresting as to not be swarmed by a bunch of amateur photographers such as myself!

Getting to and from Burano is very simple. Take the number 12 vaporetto (which runs every half hour) from Fondamente Novo, pier C or D (I forget) which itself can be reached by several different lines such as the 4.1 and 4.2 from San Marco/Zaccaria or by walking across the city. I do strongly suggest queuing early at the pier because the boat, while larger than the regular city vaporetti, is only so large and even in March was packed to standing room only. The trip itself is about 40 minutes from F. Novo and if you don't have good sea legs you might want to sit down. Same goes for your return trip.

Also a general rule of thumb...getting on an off public transportation abroad is not a game for polite people. Regardless of the "ugly American" reputation we've earned (rightly or not, I've seen all kinds) I think Americans in general tend to be polite, especially those who have not lived in any of the US's ruder cities. Props to DC for earning #3 rudest city in the country! So you think you have a certain place in a queue but when it starts moving you realize the queue was just an illusion. I'm not advocating line jumping, but don't be afraid to jostle a bit. It's really every man for himself.

It's not major attractions, churches, or museums that make Burano worth the visit but rather the island itself. It's a nice change of pace from the narrow, shady, tourist-choked streets of Venice.

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