Famous for its colorful houses and handmade lace, Venice’s Burano Island definitely merits a day trip! Here’s what you should know to plan a day on Burano.
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How to Spend a Day on Burano
The small island of Burano has a more relaxed, open feel than Venice, but that same European sense of locals living right alongside historic spots. It’s even more true on Burano, where the colorful houses are one of the main draws for visitors!
The buildings live up to the hype. Candy colored houses line every canal and street. I don’t think I saw anything more subdued than lavender, and even the few white buildings had crayola shutters and doors.
The island is small, easily explored on foot. I think we walked nearly every street on Burano in less than an hour.
Planning your day on Burano Island
Getting to Burano is simple. Buy a vaporetto 24h ticket at any ticket booth, and make your way to the Fondamente Nove stop. If you arrive via train, you can take one vaporetto from the station or walk – about 20 minutes on foot. You can see the entire vaporetto system here to find the best way.
Make sure to buy the 24 hour ticket – the single direction ticket only covers boats going around the main island of Venice, not to its outer islands. The good news is this one gives you unlimited rides for the 24 hours!
With that in mind, many people spend one day to see both Murano and Burano. While you can happily spend all day at either spot, they’re doable together if you’re trying to maximize your time in Venice. The best way to start with Burano and head to Murano second – the vaporetto route makes this way easier than the reverse, especially in tourist season.
If you want to squeeze in an unexpected treat first, get off one stop early at Mazzorbo. This entire island is essentially a garden, and it’s a refreshing change of pace from the tiny streets of Venice. It’s tiny and connected to Burano by bridge, so this is both easy and picturesque.
Shopping for Burano Lace
Like Murano’s glass, Burano has been known for its lace for centuries.
Different shops offer different styles, ranging from the grandma doily to modern creations to elegant lingerie. While I can’t say wearing lacy clothing has ever been high on my list, after seeing some of the creations on Burano I will definitely be buying some for myself!
When in a lace shop, it’s common for staff to follow you around. They’re trying to be helpful, as many of the products may not show a listed price. Because everything in handmade, almost no shops will allow photos, which is why I don’t have any examples to show you!
When you go in a shop, make sure you look around a bit: there’s almost always a nonna (grandmother) sitting in a corner creating something intricate. It’s fascinating to watch if you have a few minutes!
There are so many stores with beautiful things, but I want to highlight two specifically that are worth your time.
Dalla Lidia Merletti d’Arte
Dalla Lidia is most notable as one of the oldest continuously open lace shops on the island. They also have a museum with displays of lace that dates back from the 16th century!
It also boasts the biggest showrooms of any shop I saw. You can find something to suit any style, and it’s a good place to start and get your bearings when it comes to lace. Keep your eyes open and see what you like!
Famous as much for its lingerie as for its lace, La Perla strikes a balance of having a variety of styles and price points while still feeling like a small shop.
While a stunning lacy robe runs 300€ +, they have beautiful handkerchiefs you can walk out with for 10€, so you can find a souvenir regardless of budget. If you’re looking for something specific (i.e. a baby dress), the staff is very helpful finding what suits your style and budget.
Lunch on Burano Island
No good day trip guide would skip out on a lunch suggestion!
Trattoria al Gatto Nero is a fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant on the island. While it’s not a cheap meal, lunch feels very reasonable for a place that serves you prosecco the minute you sit down.
They’re known for their risotto, which I naturally ordered. I practically inhaled it – delicious! Their cold seafood antipasti looked fabulous if it’s too hot to think about risotto.
This is the kind of place to definitely make a reservation – it’s normal for the every table to be prebooked if you wait until the day of.
I love day trips where you don’t have a packed agenda, and Venice’s Burano island is perfect for that!