Posted by: jeanne | February 28, 2015

a trip to burano

it was so beautiful outside yesterday that we decided to ditch our planned day of artwork and go to burano.  jim wanted to leave his coat behind (for the first time) but i reminded him how windy it was on the boat, so he brought that and his scarf.  we did forget connor’s mittens, but he only complained once, while we traversed fondamente nove going from the vaporetto stop we arrived at to the one we needed.

it takes special effort to get to burano.  you have to take the number 1 to lido, then get on the 5.1 to fundamente nove, and get on the 12 from there.  it’s a larger boat than the usual run of vaporetti, and it was crowded anyway.  i sent jim and connor to sit inside, as usual, and stood out on the deck taking pictures with my cellphone.

the boat ride takes 40 minutes, going north from venice to almost the edge of the lagoon, right next to the airport, on a map.


torcello is the final stop on the vaporetto run, but we didn’t go there, just looked across the water at it once we landed at burano.  since the only thing on the island is the old church, we didn’t think it would hold our interest long enough, and so didn’t go there.

SONY DSC beautiful curl, yes, but every one damages the seawall a little

burano is a quiet little fishing village that used to be the center of lace production back in the day.  in the present day, i only saw one woman tatting lace, and she was ensconced in a high end store at the foot of the main shopping street from the vaporetto stop.  there are actually several shopping streets, and the tourists off the boat all headed down the one, looking for the other.

SONY DSC clots of tourists at the end of the short shopping street leading from the ferry stop

you get to really dislike tourists, even tho you’re one of them.  french, mainly, with some german and a few americans.  we spent most of our ride out with a couple from rome – he a concert pianist, she a teacher at trinity college dublin, of all places.  they had a dog.  they were very taken with connor.

SONY DSC the layout funnels the tourists, clots of them

so we went the other way.

SONY DSC people hang their wash in the middle of the street. very practical

the houses are all old, and they’re mostly colored brightly, even moreso than in venice.


there’s a different type of house, also, with a curved roofline sort of reminiscent of amsterdam, but not really. (sorry, no picture).

SONY DSC jim and i just love walls

there are a few houses that aren’t brightly painted, and we’re not sure if the painting is a modern thing, or whether some houses just didn’t get the stucco and paint treatment because they’re ecclesiastical, or some other reason.


SONY DSC several houses has water bottles arranged outside their doors, and we have no idea why

people drape curtains over their front doors, something we haven’t seen in venice at all.  here on burano, it was everywhere.  only the unoccupied houses didn’t have curtains.

SONY DSC bricks that have no mortar are the reason for the mortar over the bricks

there are canals, and tiny little alleys, but everything is on a much smaller scale.


except for the campo around the large church, which was very extensive, and must hold bunches of people for whatever feast dates they celebrate there.


little houses,


little houses,


cute as the dickens little houses.


we managed to hit the other shopping street at some point, and it was full of cute houses and loads of tourists.


they were all having lunch.  we browsed the menus, and noticed an interesting trend.  all the restaurants on teh sunny side of the street had prices of 11 euros a dish, 15, 22.


and they were all full.  the restaurants on the shady side of the street were all empty, and offered prices from 7 to 9 to 15 euros.  but since it was lunchtime and the streets and restaurants (in the sun) were all really crowded, we moved on.


(actually, we stopped at the only supermarket on the island, a mini, and got some juice and pretzel sticks to hold the little until we stopped for lunch.


it would be the second restaurant meal we’ve had, not counting the cicchetti, which we should, but i’m not.

SONY DSC not really posing on a bridge, but loads of tourists stopped to take photos anyway

we moved on.  actually, i lie.  we moved on until i saw this really wonderful peacock scarf, and had to have it.


i let jim choose the color, but was finally delighted to be leaving some of my tourist dollars as compensation for being one of the tourists they love to hate.

SONY DSC there aren’t any real verticals in venice, and the taller the building, the more apparent

burano is an island that has more residents per square inch than tourists, unlike venice, which has more tourists than residents.  so i felt even more awful about invading their space than i usually do.  that is, until i found something i wanted to take a picture of – then all bets were off and i didn’t care if they looked at me with daggers in their eyes.

there’s one tourists industry other than souvenirs and lace here, and that’s scratching designs in gold leafed murano beads, like this lady here.  we wanted to take a picture to show meg, our resident jewelry maker at home.

SONY DSC see, meg?

moving on and turning off the tourist path, we found some adorable little houses on tiny campos, and even stumbled across an old guy sitting in his garden down this windy little alley complex.


he was growing vegetables, and probably grapes later in the season.  and he didn’t look up from his book when i took a thousand pictures of him and his garden, and the courtyard.

we noticed lots of for sale signs, and considered each one, even tho we haven’t a hope in hell of actually buying a house and moving here.  it’s just something i do, dreaming of what i would do if i lived here.  or there.  my actual dreams often deal with new living quarters.  i’m not really sure why, even tho we analyze our dreams on a daily basis.  it’s something i’ve always done.

when we finally stopped for something to eat, it was way off the main drag, at the corner of a campo with laundry hanging on the fronts of the little houses and a grassy plot nearby.


it was a pizza place, and i don’t tend to do pizza (fake food), but connor insisted, and ate one whole slice, leaving jim and me to finish the pie.  but it was very thin crust pizza, and i ordered a mixed salad and ate that first, and then was surprised that we managed to eat the whole thing.  jim asked me to mention that we came all the way from atlanta to sit under an awning with coke ads on it.


can’t get away from it, but at least there doesn’t seem to be a starbucks in venice…

SONY DSC more cats than rats in burano

after that, we strolled around until we found a playground for connor, who delighted a pair of old ladies who came to sit on the bench in front of him.


and then it was a little more strolling, until we ran into this group of italian men we could hear from hundreds of feet away.  they were all posing for a big selfie, and when they saw me taking a picture of them, handed me their camera and let me take a few dozen shots of them.  then they surrounded us and said lots of endearing things in italian, clapped us on the back, made eyes at connor, took selfies with jim, and moved on.  the blue bags belong to the married men, who just had to take something back to their wives (just idle conjecture, but i’m sure i’m right).


and we were back at the ferry stop, but still had 40 minutes until the scheduled ferry, and hadn’t yet gone down the main street leading from the vaporetto stop, so we did that, and took more pictures because the sun had gone behind thin clouds and changed the look of everything.

SONY DSC different hour, different wall

SONY DSC SONY DSC ugh, not a real house in sight

as my vaporetto timetable app was wrong, we got back to the ferry stop right after a boat had left, and had to wait with all the other tourists ready to go back to venice.  a busker set up his amplifier and started in with his guitar and harmonica, in italian, his cds at his feet to sell.  i fished out a few coins and got connor to go drop them in his bowl – i’ve known a lot of buskers and they need all the money they can get.


i was annoyed at one photographer who took bunches of pictures of him and didn’t bother giving him any money, but didn’t say anything because i was too damned tired.

the trip back was just as crowded.  connor entertained the troops while jim and i stood nearby, and then we were at fundamente nove, and back to lido, and back home, adn the sun hadn’t even set.

connor’s choice was between playing with the kids on the swing or going home to have his kinder egg, so we went home, and now we’re going to have dinner and go to bed, because we’re all exhausted.  tho you couldn’t tell with connor except for his red cheeks.

tomorrow’s saturday.  the ca’ d’oro is free on sundays, so we might do that again.  and kay arrives from dublin on tuesday.

more soon.



  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day.Living in a place where tourists take photos all the time is an everyday occurence for me. I never resent it cause it just makes me congratulate myself for living here.


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