Venetian islands: Day trip to Murano and Burano

Most people only visit the main Island of Venice on their trip but there’s plenty more to explore in the Venetian lagoon and only a short journey away on a vaporetto! As we were only in Venice for 3 nights we only managed to squeeze in two of the islands but there’s 5 or so other popular islands (and 40 others that make up all of Venice!) you could also visit if you have more time.

*Tip – book up a trip to the prosecco region, which is only 30 miles away from Venice! If you go in the summer this would be a great day trip! I know this is on my bucketlist for my next trip to Venice. If anyone’s reading that’s already taken this trip, please leave any suggestions/feedback/tips you have about this trip as I’m keen to go!

From Fondamenta Nove its a short trip by water bus (vaporetto) number 12, 13, 41 or 42. We didn’t realise at the time but the particular vaporetto we used (I can’t remember the number of the vaporetto we got on) stopped at multiple Murano locations around the island. So we swiftly jumped off at the first stop thinking ‘wow that was quick!’ Only to realise that there are lots of further stops after this and we had ended up at a pretty desolate part of Murano (David’s directions misleading us again…) So definitely double check which stop you want to get off at first!

We chose Murano and Burano as they are typically the most popular of the islands to visit and we were limited on time. The former is famous for it’s glass making and the latter is famous for it’s lace making.

Murano

In 1921, all of Venices’ glass furnaces were moved to Murano to prevent an outbreak of fire. Did you know that Venice also bans wood pizza ovens to prevent fires breaking out in Venice? This is why you shouldn’t eat pizza in Venice (try Naples instead!) And any tourist you see eating pizza in Venice should be scolded! Places offering ‘traditional Italian pizza’ are tourist traps! Venice have amazing food options, stick to traditional Venetian pasta, risotto and seafood  dishes. My next post will be all about the best places to eat in Venice, I tasted some of the best and most unique seafood pasta dishes here, so keep your eyes peeled!

I wanted to purchase a little souvenir crafted from authentic Murano glass to take home but the prices can be pretty steep! A lot of the ‘Murano’ glass is imported from China and the shop owners will try to con you by telling you it is made in Murano. The only way to check authenticity is to look for a sign of authenticity in the shop and you should also get a certificate of authenticity upon purchase of true Murano glass.

There are plenty of glass ornaments displayed all over Murano, such as glass flowers on bridge railings and an exhibition, which I believe may have been their version of a christmas tree?! But I’m still not quite sure. I don’t have a great picture of the ‘tree’ because it was surrounded by metal railings and I refuse to post my shoddy photography of it!! I’ve read before that they put a glass christmas tree up every year but I couldn’t find it (unless it’s the exhibition which I think looked more like a sea urchin?) Anyway, it didn’t look much like a christmas tree (but it could have been…) Who knows. Please enlighten me if you have ever found this Christmas tree!

Murani

I was so cautious of ending up with a cheap knock off from China that I failed in my attempts of buying a souvenir from Murano. This is partly due to the expense of the authentic Murano glass statues. However, before we left I did manage to find a shop selling Murano glass back in Venice called Atelier Murano Glass Art Gallery where I purchased a glass bauble to hang on my christmas tree when I got home!

Even if you don’t purchase anything from Murano it’s a pleasant and quiet little island to walk around. There are plenty of glass factories that give glass making demonstrations and also a glass museum to keep you occupied, too.

Burano

Burano is picture perfect. If perfection could be captured in one photo it would undoubtedly be Burano at sunset.

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Burano is famed for it’s stunning collection of multi-coloured fisherman’s houses. Historically, fisherman used to paint them all sorts of bright colours so that they could be seen through the thick fog that often features in Venice and this would avoid them crashing into the island when they came back from a day of fishing. Since then its become tradition to have your house painted in a bright colour! I suppose the brighter and more innovative the better nowadays to stand out from the crowd.

We were lucky enough to be on the island of Burano at sunset (completely unplanned) and the view is utterly breath taking. We were absolutely in awe of the place. Travelling to an island like Burano makes you realise how small your corner of the world is. You can see a sunset from anywhere in the world but the whole host of colours you get to experience in Burano, all in one brief moment, is amazing. I would definitely recommend planning your day to witness the sunset over Burano. I still talk about how beautiful it is now.

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It was really quiet on this island when we visited. There were a few tourists here and there but it was mostly just empty streets.

Burano is also well known for its lace making but again, check authenticity! It’s mainly a fishing island with lots of different casual cafes, where the main ingredient of most dishes is fish (shock).

The boat ride back to Venice from Burano was beautiful, we watched the sunset the whole way home. The orange and red skies mirroring over the deep blue lagoon was the perfect end to the day.

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