Some 11 kms. north of the Grand Canal in Venice and 45 minutes by vaporetto (water bus) lies the island of Burano which is inhabited by 3,000 people. The quiet canals that crisscross the whole island is lined by brightly-painted houses that are the main attraction of the place. The vibrant colors made it easier for returning fishermen to find their homes in the thick fog and also marked the boundary of one’s property since houses were built cheek-by-jowl beside each other. Burano is also famous for its hand-stitched lace which used to be a flourishing industry during the 17th century. There are many shops that you can visit where they sell these items as dresses, shawls and tablecloths as well as pretty umbrellas and fans, albeit mostly machine-made.
You can eat better here than in the mainland with the fresh seafood delivered by fishermen to the restaurants early in the day. It is also a good deal cheaper. We tried the delicious, creamy Risotto alla Buranella made from the fish found in the lagoon. They also have the excellent Risotto alla Pescatore which is made up of mixed seafood.
We walked around following the canals that meandered all over, past colorful plant boxes filled with flowers and small wooden bridges that arched over the smaller waterways. Every now and then, we ran into children playing in the secluded courtyards that had laundry hanging across the neighborhood where housewives peered over the wooden balconies. The place has a bucolic setting making you feel that time has stood still and you are savoring the ambiance harking back to the olden days when things happened at an unhurried pace.