Tourists in Venice are often tempted to go over to the famous Island of Murano. One of the islands of the Venetian archipelago, Murano is well-known all over the world for its handmade colorful glass. Though some glass souvenirs may be bought in Venice as well, visitors in Murano can watch the making of glass in the various fornaci and buy souvenir which are less likely to be made in China (don’t be fooled by cheap prices, if something is handmade and of good quality it can be fairly expensive!).
It takes about 40 minutes by boat to get from Piazza San Marco to Murano, and most people stop there. But if they only stay on the boat, or catch the same boat after a visit of Murano instead of going back to Venice, in only about 30 minutes it is possible to reach the island of Burano. Although the similar name, the two islands are quite different from each other: Murano has the same decadent beauty of Venice and it bases its economy on the glass production and tourism; Burano’s colors are mesmerizing and in the small ancient familiar shops it is possible to buy the amazing handmade laces. In those shops it is very common to find an old lady teaching this fine art to the younger generations. In one of these shops, “Merletti d’Arte da Lidia”, there’s is a beautiful permanent exhibition, visitable for free, of old laces: sheets, dresses, tablecloths, tissues, all just preciously handmade many years ago. Young girls used to learn this art and start decorating sheets and curtains at a very young age, to donate them as brides to their groom for their life together. Most of the times, such tablecloth and sheets were too beautiful to be used in common life and they arrived to us perfectly preserved. The tradition of the so-called dote is not used anymore, and it is difficult to pass such art and skills on to young generations. Admiring such masterpieces might be enough, given that buying authentic Burano laces may mean paying hundreds or thousands of Euros, quite a fair price for all those months, or even years, which somebody spent in creating them.
As I already said, Burano is an explosion of colors, and therefore a paradise for photographers. Besides my DSLR, I brought with me my Polaroid: I am used to the kind of monochromatic pictures this small jewell from the ’70s usually gives me, they all have a predominance of blue. But in Burano the pictures simply came out amazingly, all the colors quite bright. Too bad I cannot show you those pictures, but if you have an instant camera or a film camera, don’t hesitate to go to Burano and try for yourselves.
FUN FACT: would love to see the leaning tower of Pisa but haven’t had the opportunity yet? The bell tower of the Chiesa di San Martino Vescovo in Burano leans as well, a lot!