A photo guide to the Instagram-perfect islands of Murano and Burano near Venice

As I promised you in my post about our visit to Venice during the school fall holidays, I now have a follow-up for you about our visit to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano. If you have more than 1 day in Venice, I definitely recommend taking a trip here. Burano is a small island with cheerfully colored houses and is famous for Venetian lace production. Murano is another island where traditional Venetian glass is made.

Getting there

As I wrote in my post about Venice, since we were staying in Lido di Jesolo, our “base” for the boat trip was the town of Punta Sabbione, where we boarded the Vaporetto line No. 14. It wasn’t until the next day that we discovered that the shorter way to both islands was from the port of Treporti. There are large paid parking lots in both ports (Punta Sabbione 5-7 €/day, Treporti 8 €/day).

From Venice take the Vaporetto line No. 12. A one-way ticket for 75 minutes costs €7.50, a two-way ticket €15. A day ticket (if you want to get around both islands in one day) costs €20.

Burano

For many, Burano is a version of Instagram heaven. The dazzling rainbow colours of the fishermen’s houses, the quiet, peaceful streets, especially when you take the first ferry here. It really is as surreal and picturesque as it looks in the photos!

The island of Burano has been occupied since the 6th century, but it only gained importance in the 16th century, when women on the island began to make needle lace, which became popular among the European elite, as it was a luxury that few could afford. You’ll find the lace museum in Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi. The 17th century Chiesa di San Martino, which has a leaning bell tower, is also a dominant feature of this square.

Murano

Murano has been inhabited since Roman times and is actually a collection of seven separate islands connected by bridges. It is the place where the famous Venetian glass, one of the best in the world, is made.

In 1291 the Council of the Venetian Republic moved all the glassworks to Murano because of the numerous fires caused by the constant need for high heat in the glassworks. Murano produces beautiful hand-blown glass, and one of the best things you can do while you’re here is watching a glass-blowing demonstration. Some glassworks (fornace) have free demonstrations, others charge a fee. We saw glass blowing at the Fornace Mian.

I have to say, the Murano struck me as a lot more shabby than the Burano. But on the other hand, there were some gems here too: the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato. The basilica dates back to the 7th century and is the main church on the island. Inside, magnificent Byzantine mosaics cover its floor and dome. Outside is the bell tower, which, like most bell towers, is separate from the church.

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