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Burano is one of these islands off the Venetian lagoon, Italy, 4 miles from the Serenissima, a 40 minutes trip on vaporetti brings you to the “colored island of lace”.

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The island was probably settled by the Romans in the 6th century. The question how the island obtained its name is linked to two stories : one is that it was initially founded by the Buriana family and another is that the first settlers of Burano came from the small island of Buranello, a few miles South…

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Compared to the “next door” island of Murano (famous for its glass making), Burano had none of the privileges of that island. It’s only in the 15th/16th century, when women on the island began making lace with needles, that Burano was introduced to such a trade. Leonardo da Vinci visited in 1481, he purchased a cloth for the main altar of the Duomo di Milano. This “boosted” the island for a few years.  The lace was exported across Europe, but trade began to decline in the 18th century, fortunately in 1872 a school of lace making was opened, an excellent opportunity which revived the industry. Lace making on the island boomed again. Nowadays, few now embroider lace in the traditional manner with their “tombolo” (lace pillow), but as you can imagine this is extremely time-consuming and therefore expensive.

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Old traditional lace

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Another major interest of Burano is all these coloured houses that are reflected into the green waters of canals… In spite of having a high touristic interest, if you choose the right time of the day to visit, you will be enchanted by the tranquility and the calmness of this little paradise.

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Let’s end the visit with:

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“The world is but a canvas to our imagination” – Henry David Thoreau

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“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire” – Pamela Hansford Johnson