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Burano: the most colorful island of Venice

There’s no doubt that Venice is beautiful, but I didn’t quite realize how beautiful until I started exploring more than just the main tourist areas. At the recommendation of a friend I headed for Venice’s most colorful island: Burano.

Getting to Burano

Ferry from Venice to Burano islandGetting to Burano was easy. I found the ferry right away at the Fondamente Nuove and bought a 24-hour pass so I could use the ferry the next day to visit Lido beach. The ferry leaves from Fondamente Nuove every half hour and it took maybe 40 minutes to get there. As soon as we landed, everyone departed the boat. Some flocked to the gelato stand right by the coast but it was pretty clear there was a well-trodden tourist path through the main city street.

The colors of the Burano buildings immediately stood out. From what I read, the houses were painted by the local fisherman to help identify their homes. Now, of course, you’d have to get some sort of government approval to paint a house on Burano. The island is just too famous and popular for its pretty colors.

Burano island is small and there are just a few canals that run through it. None of the canals were very wide—maybe 10 to 12 meters. There were very few boats going about as well. One thing I did like while wandering the narrow streets of Burano was that every house—not just the ones on the main tourist streets & central plaza—were painted. I believe it’s mandated, but it really makes for a cheerful and pretty place. When you’re wandering lost down a side street with no tourists, you can hear the television on while a crotchety Italian mother yells something to a kid…this just felt very…Italian.

Then there were the tourists. But no biggie. It was kind of fun to keep running into the people from the ferry ride over while wandering the streets. Everyone with their camera the ready.

Tourists on Burano island

I must’ve just spent a maximum of 2 hours on the island before heading back to Venice. But I came away with a gazillion photos.

View more photos from backpacking trip through Italy on Facebook: Two weeks in Italy

  1. Jaime says:

    I’m so glad you made it to this island. It’s one of my favorite ever… I too spent a few hours here and walked away with 100s of photos. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I loved it… I remember searching for two houses with the same color and couldn’t find any.

    • Adam says:

      Thanks again for insisting that I go! It was such a beautiful little island. I have way too many photos, though… But that’s nothing new.

  2. 9to5refugee says:

    I visited Venice a few years ago, but didn’t make it out to the island. You’ve just given me a great reason to go back!

    • Adam says:

      Definitely worth going back. I absolutely loved Venice and will make a point to go back again. Such a great little city and so many interesting things there. Lots more to explore and totally worth the hype.

  3. Ayngelina says:

    I was fortunate that Jaime from Breakaway Backpacker insisted I go to Burano, I had no idea it existed.

    • Adam says:

      A friend here in Berlin told me about it before I went so I was determined to go. And then Jaime tweeted me repeatedly that I needed to go, so there was no way to get around it :P

  4. Cheryl says:

    Looks like you had a blast Adam. Now I want to visit Burano! <3

  5. Danyelle Franciosa says:

    Sounds like you are having so much fun in Venice and yet Burano is truly beautiful island. I think I have to go that place very soon. I love the place so much.

  6. I love the pictures of the colorful houses — and the reason behind the rainbow hues. Nice post.

  7. Andrew says:

    I keep ending up going to Venice during Carnevale. Which is great, but doesn’t ever leave me time to go out to the other islands. It does look fantastic though.

  8. The sound of Italy: overheard sounds | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world says:

    […] port, the Fondamenta Nuove. It’s usually busy in the afternoons with tourists taking boats to the other islands, but it’s also quite a nice place to sit and watch time go by. The water slowly laps the […]

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