Video: Burano Island: Colours, Canals, and Lace-Making Traditions

Burano is a small island town in the Venetian Lagoon, located near Venice, Italy. It is known for its colourful houses, canals, and lace-making industry. The vibrant colours of the buildings come from a tradition where fishermen would paint their homes in bright colours to make them easily visible from the water. Burano is a popular tourist destination for its picturesque streets, vibrant atmosphere, and traditional artisan workshops.

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45 minutes’ boat ride from Venice lies the island of Burano with its brightly coloured houses and canals that line the streets that overlook the Venetian lagoon. Local legend says that all the houses on Burano should be painted in bright colours, so that local fishermen could see where they’re going in the common morning fog. As well as a fisherman’s island, Burano is also famed for its lacemaking that dates back to the 16th century, when islanders began making lace with fine needles. Lace played such an important role for Burano, that in 1481 Leonardo da Vinci travelled to the then Venetian-run Cyprus to retrieve some Burano lace, to be placed on the altar of Milan Cathedral! At the height of its power, Burano exported lace all over the world. Today, Burano is renowned as the ‘Island of Lace’, and skilled artisans still hand-embroider stunning pillows and fabrics to keep its tradition alive.

Modern day Burano has around 3000 inhabitants. A top attraction on this Venetian lagoon island is the leaning bell tower, which can be seen from the water. There is also the Lace Museum, where visitors can view an array of beautiful items dating back to the height of lacemaking during the seventeenth century. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to taste a ‘Burano cookie’ from a local bakery before you leave the island, for a fully authentic experience!

We visit Chioggia during our special Venetian Lagoon cruise aboard La Bella Vita. See the full itinerary here.

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