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The island of Burano is located in the upper reaches of the Venetian Lagoon, 42 minutes away from Venice's Fondamenta Nuove on the ACTV's No. 12 water bus.

Historically, the island was a fishing village and lacemaking center. In past centuries, Burano was famous for the quality of its handmade lace, and its products were shipped to countries throughout Europe.

Today, Burano has two claims to fame: Its colorfully-painted houses (which are unique in the region), and its Museo del Merletto or Lace Museum. The museum is well worth a visit, whether or not you're a devotee of the domestic arts. If you're lucky, you may see a group of local women making lace by hand in the back room upstairs.

Photo 1 below gives an overview of Burano's position in the northern part of the Venetian Lagoon:

  • Just to the left of Burano is the bucolic island of Mazzorbo, which is connected to Burano by a footbridge. It's worth visiting mostly for its rural atmosphere and a modern subsidized-housing project, designed by Giancarlo De Carlo, that was built in the early 1980s. (The houses are painted in Buranese colors.)

  • Above and to the right of Burano, you'll see Torcello, an island which once had a population of 20,000 but it is now known mostly for its ancient and magnificent Byzantine-Italian cathedral, the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. Torcello is easy to reach by boat from Burano, and the views from the cathedral's bell tower are worth the climb.

  • Other land masses in the top photo are mostly extensions of the Italian mainland. Much of the area is underwater or barely above water at high tide, and from an airplane, this part of the Lagoon may inspire thoughts of Atlantis.

Photo 2 offers a closer look at Burano's central section:

  • The Burano vaporetto landing is at the top of the frame (look for the T-shaped pier and the blue boat symbol).

  • As you work your way down through the streets of Burano, you'll reach the Via Baldassare Galuppi, which leads into a large square with the Church of San Martino and the Museo dei Merletto or Lace Museum.

  • Tip: For more information on reaching Burano by public transportation, see our Venice Islands Tour article. 

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