From Murano, we decided to head off to Burano Island to shift our retail focus away from glass and onto a more delicate matter: handmade Murano lace. Our private water taxi sped off, cutting through the choppy water to approach this pretty place which is quite visibly off the beaten tourist track and I am certain that the €100 water taxi fee must have something to do with it. It seemed a lot less crowded and commercialized than mainstream Venice and I was quite keen to experience and appreciate this little fishing town characterized by splashes of colour on buildings, clothing and home ware.
My first impressions as we walked through the store-lined alley were dominated by quick cost calculations of a denim shirt garnished with lace inserts and two-piece maxi skirt and shoe-string top combinations dyed into mixed rainbow hues. When we reached the main canal, I was bowled over by the cheerful yet laid-back vibe which reverberates through the town with stores showcasing their goods at the bottom of brightly painted buildings in multi-colours. My fashion-crazed brain immediately made the connection between these striking buildings and colour-blocked trends thinking that whoever bolstered the idea of wearing solid canary yellow shoes with a little black skirt, mono-tone red shirt and green clutch bag must have certainly been inspired right here.
We walked along the water canal stopping to take pictures on the bridges and to marvel at the exquisite lace and embroidered creations spilling out of quaint stores and souvenir shops. Dresses, table cloths, overlays, scarves, toilet-roll holders, curtaining and even bookmarks are just some of the many beauties crafted by hand and to fully appreciate this dying art, I was lucky enough to witness an elderly lady patiently working away upstairs in one of the specialist shops to create another lacy item. Mum, who is usually good at practicing self-control, gave in to her weakness for home ware. She purchased a pretty table overlay with cut work and richly embroidered flowers in red and yellow as well as a table cloth for her sister. Unfortunately, her sister’s gift never made it back home… We suspect that it might have been stolen from the Evergreen Hotel where we stayed in Paris… But we cannot be sure. What a loss… 🙁
I loved Burano. As calm as it may be, I would seriously consider renting a flat right here for a longer stay. It’s one of those hidden, peaceful places that just give you the opportunity to stare out at the water and to remove yourself from the crazy rat race to appreciate time-consuming, traditional Italian skill.
It’s quite a distance from Venice Island and is best approached by water taxi which cuts through the choppy water with speed.