Burano ★★

Burano, Venice, Italy (Photo by Eric Salard)

Burano is an island of candy-colored fishermen's houses and hand-tatted lace in Venice's Northern Lagoon

Tiny Burano (pop. 5,300) is the fishing village version of Venice, a clutch of islets threaded by mini-canals and lined by eye-poppingly colored houses that lie in the far northern reaches of the Venetian Lagoon, accessible only by a half-hour vaporetto ride from Murano (itself a 10–15 minute-ride from central Venice).

The name of the game on Burano is lace making, an antique art that can still fetch high prices in Venetian shops. Prices can be a bit more reasonable here; you can get a lace-edged hankie for about $10. There is even a small lace museum.

The island has as Tiepolo Crucifixion among the canvases in the parish church of San Martino Vescovo at Piazza Galuppi 187. It's open daily 8am–noon and 3–7pm.

Burano's best attraction, however, is itself: a village in which the houses are all painted in bright primaries and pastels, with shutters and doors in violently but pleasantly contrasting colors. Burano exhibits a leisurely pace of life, one tied to the rhythms of the tides and the coming and going of fishing boats along its diminutive canals.

It's a wonderful way to decompress from the hectic, tourist-clogged streets of central Venice, and many a visitor finds himself happily missing his intended boat back to Venice (or on to Torcello) just to spend another hour profitably doing nothing at all on Burano.

Burano lace (Photo by jayneandd)
Museo del Merletto
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

The Burano Lace Museum keeps the local tradition alive

Photo gallery
  • , Burano, Italy (Photo by Eric Salard)
  • , Burano, Italy (Photo by JalilArfaoui)
  • Burano lace, Burano, Italy (Photo by ClixYou)
  • Calle dei Saladi, Burano, Italy (Photo by Zairon)
  • , Burano, Italy (Photo by Shayantani Sarkar)
  • , Burano, Italy (Photo by Ştefan Jurcă)
  • , Burano, Italy (Photo by MarkusMark)
  • Houses along Rio San Mauro, Burano, Italy (Photo by Gary Houston)
Burano tours
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Free or reduced admission with a sightseeing card

Get into Burano for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with:

    » more on discounts & passes
    How long does Burano take?

    You could zip around Burano and be off to Torcello in about an hour—longer, obviously, if you pause for lunch.

    Shutterbugs will probably end up spending two hours taking pictures of all the colorful houses.

    How do I get to Burano?

    In short: Take the vaporetto line #12 from Murano—but the details can get a bit complicated, and so are explained in detail on a separate page» more

    Useful Italian phrases

    Useful Italian for sightseeing

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
    ...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
    ...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
    When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
    When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
    Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
    Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
    Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
    ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
    two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
    one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
    one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
    one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

    Basic phrases in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
    thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
    please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
    yes si see
    no no no
    Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
    I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
    I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
    How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
    That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
    Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
    Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
    Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
    Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
    Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
    Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
    ...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

    Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
    When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
    At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
    Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
    Today oggi OH-jee
    Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
    Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
    a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
    Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
    Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
    Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
    Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
    Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
    Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
    Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
    a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
    January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
    February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
    March marzo MAR-tzoh
    April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
    May maggio MAH-jee-oh
    June giugno JEW-nyoh
    July luglio LOO-lyoh
    August agosto ah-GO-sto
    September settembre set-TEM-bray
    October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
    November novembre no-VEM-bray
    December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

    Numbers in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    1 uno OO-no
    2 due DOO-way
    3 tre tray
    4 quattro KWAH-troh
    5 cinque CHEEN-kway
    6 sei say
    7 sette SET-tay
    8 otto OH-toh
    9 nove NO-vay
    10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
    11 undici OON-dee-chee
    12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
    13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
    14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
    15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
    16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
    17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
    18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
    19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
    20 venti VENT-tee
    21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
    22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
    23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
    30 trenta TRAYN-tah
    40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
    50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
    60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
    70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
    80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
    90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
    100 cento CHEN-toh
    1,000 mille MEEL-lay
    5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
    10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah

    * You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).