In ad­di­tion to Mu­ra­no and Tor­cel­lo, this island on the Ve­ne­tian La­goon should not be mis­sed. Lo­ved (and wi­de­ly pho­to­gra­phed) by tou­rists, it is fa­mous for its co­lour­ful hou­ses, but­ter bi­scui­ts and abo­ve all, its han­d­craf­ted la­ce.

Where Venice - - Contents - BY STE­FA­NO TRAINE

Lo­ved by tou­rists, the island is fa­mous for its co­lour­ful hou­ses and han­d­craf­ted la­ce.

Wi­th a po­pu­la­tion of on­ly th­ree thou­sand in­ha­bi­tan­ts, the island's row of hou­ses, who­se fa­ca­des boa­st all the co­lours of the rain­bow, are tru­ly spec­ta­cu­lar and ma­ke it one of the mo­st pic­tu­re­sque pla­ces on ear­th!

Ho­we­ver, the ori­gin of this tra­di­tion of

pain­ting the hou­ses in bright co­lours

was not on­ly for ae­sthe­tic rea­sons. Le­gend has it that its fi­sher­men, of­ten con­fu­sed by fre­quent banks of fog, de­vi­sed a chro­ma­tic co­de that would help them iden­ti­fy their own lan­ding piers mo­re ea­si­ly. Ea­ch co­lour cor­re­spon­ded to a fa­mi­ly, to their hou­se and to their ad­dress.

BURANO LA­CE. The island is al­so the ca­pi­tal of hand­ma­de la­ce, a craft kept ali­ve for cen­tu­ries by the wi­ves of fi­sher­men wai­ting for their hu­sbands to re­turn from sea. The work is ex­tre­me­ly exac­ting, wi­th ea­ch wo­man spe­cia­li­zing in a sin­gle stit­ch. Sin­ce the­re are se­ven stit­ches in to­tal, ea­ch pie­ce is pas­sed from wo­man to wo­man to fi­ni­sh. Groups of wo­men work di­li­gen­tly for days to pro­du­ce items, whe­ther lar­ge or small, of mat­chless beau­ty: trims for dres­ses, ac­ces­so­ries, ta­ble­clo­ths, glo­ves, um­brel­las and ma­sks, all ma­de from this de­li­ca­te, whi­te la­ce, craf­ted wi­th a pain­sta­king at­ten­tion to de­tail that has la­sted for cen­tu­ries.

Whi­le on the island, ma­ke su­re to vi­sit the

Mu­seum of La­ce-Ma­king to un­der­stand why so­me­thing so ex­qui­si­te should not be­co­me ex­tinct (Piaz­za Ga­lup­pi, 187).

GA­STRO­NO­MIC TRA­DI­TION. But­ter bi­scui­ts kno­wn as Bu­ra­nel­li (ei­ther ring or S-sha­ped) are fa­mous on the island and you will be of­fe­red them whe­re­ver you go. Ho­we­ver, this is not the on­ly spe­cial­ty that you'll find. The island has a long-stan­ding ga­stro­no­mic tra­di­tion lin­ked, abo­ve all, to fre­sh fi­sh.


Va­po­ret­to li­ne num­ber 12 runs from the Venice-Fon­da­men­te No­ve stop to Burano (1 hour). If you're not in a hur­ry, the Ve­ne­tians re­com­mend ta­king li­ne 14 from San Zac­ca­ria (Pie­tà stop). Take a look at the ve­nue whe­re the Film Fe­sti­val is held, and ad­mi­re the MOSE flood bar­rier, the huge hy­drau­lic en­gi­nee­ring pro­ject de­si­gned to pro­tect the la­goon.

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