Burano is probably the most colourful place in Europe and one of the most colourful places in the world.
Some of you may do it for the ‘gram and some, like me are just obsessed with cute quirky old houses but everyone can agree that Burano is very unique.
Unlike modern neighbourhoods that paint their homes varying colours of the rainbow, Burano’s colourful look is dictated by old tradition and an odd kind of logic.
Burano initially was an island village of fishermen. To ensure that the men came back to the right house after being out at sea fishing, each house was painted a different colour. Can you imagine the awkwardness of ‘honey I’m home’ when the honey in question turns out to be someone else’s wife…? I suspect there’s a couple of untold stories as to why exactly they started painting the houses every colour imaginable.
As the years went by, what Burano citizens viewed as a necessity at first became a pride of each Burano family. To this day, you can’t find two houses side by side that sport the same colour paint.
I don’t know about you but I think this is a much better reason for the island’s multi-coloured facades than ‘we just thought it’d be cool and attract tourists.
There were two main craftmanships available to women in Burano who wanted to make a living. The first was making and mending fishing nets. This was usually done during the long winter evenings in preparation for summer’s fishing season.
The second, took place while the men were at sea. Burano ladies would take the skills they learned making nets and produce lace tablecloths, curtains, and clothing. This skill evolved over the years and Burano lace gained a reputation as being some of the best lace in the region.
Even these days the stores on the island sell locally crafted lacework that rivals anything you’ve seen coming out of Europe.
Come for the views, stay for the food. That’s a mark of a great town. In Burano, the reason to stick around for tea comes in the shape of Bussola (also known as buranelli) – donut shaped cookies that appear incredibly plain yet are delicious and addictive. There may have been a fight over the last cookie in my household.
My favourite variety are Essi – S shaped buranelli (mostly because they’re easier to eat on the go and I just love odd shaped sweets). The cookies are becoming a sensation with the tourists and are a tad overpriced but the rumour is that original recipe buranellis can only be bought on the island and they are totally worth the indulgence. Buranellis also last an incredibly long time so you can bring a box of these as a souvenir to anyone with a sweet tooth.
And if you caught any one of the four (somewhat) subtle puns in this section you totally deserve a cookie.
5: Get away from the crowds and soak in the colour
While Burano gets a lot of tourists it’s not nearly as crazy as Venice gets in the summer. It’s connected through the water bus system and easy enough to get to (just check the timetable as the long distance boats to Murano and Burano stop service in early evening).
And again, it’s one of the quirkiest, most colourful places in Italy.
If you want to take a quiet stroll, escape the crowds and take it all in, go in mid to late May (same goes for Venice) and get off the main street. You will see tourists melt away within minutes and have the narrow village streets all to yourself. Burano is most beautiful in the warm afternoon light. Pack your camera and go explore.
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