These two beautiful islands are Venice's best-kept secret

  • Color your world

    If you visit Venice, which many consider to be the most beautiful city in the world, you'll be immersed in its grandeur, history and stunning architecture. It's certainly hard to pull yourself away from the magic. However, if your itinerary allows, consider a day trip to two enchanting islands a short ferry ride away from the Grand Canal: Burano and Murano. Our first stop is Burano, known for its vibrant centuries-old buildings painted in eye-popping hues.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Look on the bright side

    Local legend has it that the reason Burano's homes were painted in such vivid colors was because of the town's centuries-old fishing industry. It's thought that the luminous colors could be seen by the fishermen in thick fog, serving as a beacon to guide them safely to shore.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • The art of lace

    When you enter the narrow streets of Burano, your first impression will most likely be a view on the numerous storefronts selling products made of lace. In the 16th century, women on the island began making lace with needles, a new art form for that time period. The highly-prized lace was exported across Europe for many uses, from altar cloths to table coverings for noble families. Burano artists continue this tradition and offer a variety of lace products in exclusive shops in town.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Laundry list

    Italians still carry on the age-old tradition of drying their laundry in public, which adds to the charm of a stroll through Burano's side streets and courtyards.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Make a fashion statement

    So maybe lace tablecloths aren't your thing, but you still want to take home a piece of Burano history. Consider one of the gorgeous dresses made from local lace, available in many designer shops throughout the town.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Catch of the day

    Continuing centuries-old practice, Burano fishermen bring in a daily catch to supply the local restaurants and townspeople with fresh seafood.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Surf to table

    While you can find everything from pizza to burgers in Burano's restaurants and trattorias, seafood specialties are logically a featured item on the menus.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Time for reflection

    You'll feel as if you're in another world when you first lay eyes on Burano's scenic canals, rimmed by houses and buildings bursting with vivid colors. The town's eye-popping hues and delightful architectural elements, often magically reflected in the canal waters, have earned it the reputation of being among the 10 most colorful towns in the world.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Mangia bene

    Italy is all about food, and the colorful restaurants along the streets of Burano are as picturesque as the cuisine they offer.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • For the birds

    The pigeons of Venice’s St. Mark’s square are famous, of course. Needless to say, the Burano pigeons still put on a show, often to the delight of the local children offering them treats.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • A bus stop like no other

    There's a bus system that takes you from the Venice airport to the downtown transportation hub, but from then on your "bus" will be the "vaporetto," Venice's public transport system. Here in Burano, you can enjoy some wine and a pizza as you wait for the ferry to take you to your next stop, Murano.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Murano – canals, history, art and glass

    Just a short ferry ride from Burano, the ancient island of Murano welcomes its visitors with yet another network of picturesque canals. Initially settled by the Romans, the island was a significant fishing port and salt producer in the 6th century. As early as the 13th century, it became famous for its exquisite glass making, an art form that continues to this day.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • In design

    Designs may have changed over the centuries, but there's no doubt that each Murano glass creation is a masterpiece. From modern to traditional, connoisseurs will recognize that this is the world’s hub for unique and original glass art.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Artist at work

    On a stroll through the back streets of town, you can actually peek into glass making ateliers for a firsthand view of how the artists create their exquisite works of art.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • A winning combination

    There’s nothing more romantic than to dine in one of Murano’s numerous restaurants, many of which are located directly on the town’s canal. You can’t beat the views and ambiance, accompanied by delectable Italian cuisine.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • A jewel of a gallery

    You'll find more than decorative vases, chandeliers and goblets in Murano. The process of bead making goes back to the 13th century and still lives on. Check out the jewelry collection at Fine Murano Glass, steps away from the ferry landing. The shop's gracious staff will welcome you to browse through their superb collection at your leisure.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Glass with a twist

    Imagine the skill required to mold glass over a fire into a unique design, as exemplified in these modern vases on display at the Simone Cenedese gallery in Murano.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Santo Stefano square

    You’ll find several impressive church squares in Murano. One of our favorites is the Campo Santo Stefano, which features a 19th-century clock tower that was built on the remains of a 12th-century tower.  Street entertainers and artists love to showcase their talents throughout the day and evening in this pleasant square.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Touch of whimsy

    The more you explore the artwork of Murano, the more you'll delight at the wide variety of creations produced by local artisans.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Stroll arm in arm through history

    Late afternoon and early evening is a perfect time to stroll through the streets of Murano to savor the art, history and romance of this historical island, before boarding the ferry back to Venice.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona


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