Burano: Italy's Most Colorful Town
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | November 9th, 2018
Located in Venice's picturesque lagoon, Burano is known for its colorful houses, fresh seafood, and pricey handmade lace. Back in the day, the brightly colored homes are said to have helped local fishermen return to their abodes during foggy evenings. Fishing was and still remains one of the town's main sources of income. In the 16th century, the local women's intricate lace making became popular throughout Europe and impacted Burano's economy significantly. Today, the town relies mostly on tourism. Burano is a beautiful and unique town, and makes for a perfect addition to any Venetian vacation.
How to Get There
The only way to get to Burano from Venice is by boat. You can either take the large express ferry #12, or hire a private water taxi, also known as a vaporetto. Ferry 12 runs every thirty minutes from the Fondamente Nove and San Zaccaria stops, costs €7.50 / per person, and takes about 45 minutes to get to Burano. A private vaporetto will cost much more, around €100 round-trip.
What to Do
The best way to see Burano is by walking the canals. Stroll past the colorful homes, shop for authentic lace, and dine at one of the freshest seafood restaurants in all of Italy.
Tip: Keep in mind when shopping for lace, a lot of the shops sell pieces made in China. Those pieces are inexpensive. Authentic Burano lace is VERY expensive. A small item, such as a hankerchief, can run as much as €60. This is due to the fact that the pieces take a lot of time to make. A large tablecloth can take a lacemaker up to one year to finish.
Burano Lace Museum
The Museo del Merletto gives visitors an in-depth look into Burano's lacemaking history. Located in the palace of Podesta of Torcello, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and admission costs €5 / per person.
Dine at Al Gatto Nero Da Ruggero
One of the most popular restaurants in the whole Venetian lagoon is Al Gatto Da Ruggero. Renowned for its stellar seafood, perfect risotto, rich wine list, and handmade desserts, Al Gatto is a top-notch family-run restaurant. Open since 1946, this famous eatery is currently up for a Michelin-star. When visiting Venice, be sure to make your way over to Burano for a meal at Al Gatto, also known as "Black Cat." And, be sure to make reservations well in advance.
Where to Stay
There is only one hotel on Burano - Casa Burano. It is located right in the center of town, in close proximity to every attraction on the island. Rooms start around €90 / night. Other lodging options, such a small B&B's and home/room rentals, can be found on Airbnb.
When to Go
The best time to visit Burano is during the months of April through October. The temperatures are comfortable, and the days are long. Keep in mind, the months of June through August can get very crowded with tourists, so I find April and October to be the ideal months to visit. During the winter months of November through March, temperatures can dip as low as 30° F. For those who don't mind the chilly weather, this can be a lovely time to visit, as the town is practically void of anyone other than locals.