Burano Island Venice
When you travel to Venice to experience culture and history, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that Venice itself isn’t the only interesting spot in the area. There are many nearby islands that are part of the Venetian lagoon, and each island is a tourist spot as well. One well-known island that travelers love to visit is Burano Island.
Have you ever seen some wallpapers that consisted of brightly painted houses with flower pots hanging out the windows of each? I’m sure you’ve seen this picture somewhere—whether it was on the display of a phone to show off the range of colors it was capable of, or whether it was a video showing in an appliance store that was selling flat screen TV’s. The happy image of old, colorful houses stands out in our memory. And what would you know, the Island of Burano is where it came from. Yes, this is the famous island with cozy little houses that look like they are eternally in fiesta mode.
Burano Island is a fisherman’s island, and it is said that the brightly colored houses were made that way so that fishermen could see their homes from the sea. Also, it was used as a way to distinguish between neighboring houses. In fact, there is actually a system to the colors, and before a resident paints his house he has to ask the government which colors he could paint it. It’s nice to see that the tradition has been kept alive until today. The most famous of the houses is “La Casa di Bepi Sua” or the house of Joseph Sweaty—if you have time, you should try to visit it.
The island was originally populated by people from Altino, and the name “Burano” came from one of the gates of the occupants’ former city. During the 16th century, the islanders were introduced to lacemaking, and some women made a profession out of it. Soon, Burano started exporting this lace, which was skillfully handcrafted. The stitches were so complex that some would take months to finish. Nowadays, most of the lace from Burano is made much faster by machine, but if you visit the island you can still sneak a peek into some shops with women busily stitching the lace by hand. They even have a school for lace making, and a lace museum or Museo del Merletto, which are things you must see on the island.