Coloured houses, fishermen and lace: a day in Burano

Bright coloured houses, clothes hung to dry in the sun and the scent of the sea. You are in the picturesque Burano, one of the pearls of the Lagoon of Venice, visited by thousands of tourists every year.

In the shade of the leaning bell tower, old ladies embroider the original lace (needle-lace) of Burano with their “tombolo” (a lace pillow) laughing and chatting to each other in the Campielli. It feels like being in paraside: there are kids freely riding their bikes, colourful balconies full of flowers and fishermen lifting the freshly caught fish from their boats.

It’s very simple to reach this island from Cavallino Treporti, taking an ACTV water bus line 12 you’ll be in Burano in about 11 minutes. Alternatively, there are many private boats offering tours to the main islands of the lagoon, every day.

Once you get off the water bus you’ll find yourself in a green area, where, you can admire an imposing sculpture by Remigio Barbaro, who was a famous artist of the island. Walk until you reach Piazza Galuppi. Here the owners of the shops will certainly invite you inside, to show you the making of the lace. At the end of the square you’ll find the Church of San Martino Vescovo. The “leaning bell tower” - by now true symbol of the island - dominates the square.

If you are looking for a place to eat, do not worry, Burano is renowned for its restaurants, where you can taste some excellent fish of the Lagoon, prepared according to old recipes of the Venetian tradition.

The most famous dish is the “Risotto di gò”: the rice is cooked in the broth obtained from the cooking of the “gò” and then creamed at the very end. The “gò” is a typical fish of the Lagoon of Venice, known in the rest of Italy with the name “ghiozzo” (goby). 

We recommend some of the most typical restaurants:

  • Al Gatto Nero: a family tradition, historical restaurant since 1965.
  • Osteria al Museo: in Piazza Galuppi, you’ll be waited on by a young team in a pleasant atmosphere. Recipes of the Venetian tradition with a touch of gourmet cuisine.

If you can’t stop for long, you just can taste the typical sweet of the island: the “Bussolà”, a ring-shaped biscuit, made of a sort of shortcrust pastry containing flour, sugar and many eggs, that you can find in every bakery and pastry shop of the island.

You can taste it strolling around the alleys while admiring the fishermen’s houses, that, according to popular tradition, painted their houses with bright colours to recognize them, on foggy days, returning from the fishing.

One of the best views is from the “Tre Ponti”, a wooden bridge that links three districts of the island. On the bridge you can take wonderful pictures with the colours of the houses reflecting on the water, the leaning bell tower overlooking the island and the sun going down the old fish market with a glimpse of Venice in the distance.

At the end of the Piazza Galuppi you’ll find the Chiesa di San Martino Vescovo (Church of Saint Martin Bishop). The Church houses a very famous painting by G.B. Tiepolo. Next to the Church there is the Oratorio di Santa Barbara (Oratory of Santa Barbara).

Not far, there are also the Lace Museum, the Town Hall, the well which is entirely made of Istrian stone and the statue of Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785, famous musician called “ Buranello”) by Remigio Barbaro, the well-known artist of Burano.

In the small square, near the Church, there are some stalls where you can buy souvenirs of the island. In a street near the square, every Wednesday morning the weekly market takes place, and a few minutes from here, there’s also a fish market, where you can find the typical fish of the Venetian lagoon.

Going through the alleys of the island you can find many capitelli votivi (wayside shrines) placed at the entrance of almost every Calle (Alley); and going around the island you might come across the most famous house of the island: “la Casa di Bepi Suà” (the House of Bepi Suà). On the outside walls of the house there are many drawings of geometric shapes all coloured with different bright colours. It’s unique!

f you still have some time to spend on the island, you can go to Mazzorbo: you just need to cross the “Ponte Lungo” to reach this island, a real green gem in the heart of the Lagoon. The Chiesa di Santa Caterina (Church of St. Catherine), which dates back to the XIV century, definitely deserves  a visit. 
And if you are a wine enthusiast, it is worth visiting the estate ”Venissa”, enclosed in an old walled vineyard that houses a vineyard of Dorona di Venezia, an indigenous variety of grapes of Venice.

  • Certification
  • Blue flag
  • Child friendly beach
  • Bike friendly municipality of Cavallino Treporti
  • EMAS
  • Partner
  • Municipality of Cavallano Treporti
  • Via dei Forti
  • Veneto - Land of Venice
  • Venice Sands