OFF TO BURANO: A Day trip to Italy’s most colourful island
My favourite place in all of Italy is a little island called Burano. Burano is a tiny island with a population under 3000, located in the Northern Venetian Lagoon. The first time I visited this colourful island was in 2016 with my mum. I fell in love with it then and decided to take Jared there in 2017. Have you ever dreamed of moving to a secluded area in the mountains or the woods, disconnecting from the world just for a couple of months to revitalize your spirit? Burano is that for me. I often remind Jared that one day, I would love to move into one of these colourful homes (for a year max) and live a simple life on the island.
THE BRIGHT COLOURS OF BURANO
Burano’s main occupants are fishermen. Every building on the island is painted a bright and vibrant colour. This is a tradition developed by the fishermen of the island in order to help them identify their house on their way home from a long day of work. These days, the island sees a number of tourists everyday, all flocking to capture those Instagram worthy shots. However, it is still a lot more relaxed than the main island of Venice. Since every single building is brightly painted in contrasting colours, you are sure to get stunning shots anywhere you are on the island.
GETTING THERE FROM VENICE
Getting to Burano is fairly straight forward and simple, but it takes time. It’s about an hour from the main island of Venice. From Piazzle Roma, take the vaporetti (water bus) #3 at terminal C to Murano Faro. From there, take the vaporetti #12 all the way to Burano. You can’t miss it, those colourful houses can be spotted from a great distance.
WHERE TO EAT
During my first visit to Burano, my mum and I tried to eat at Trattoria al Gatto Nero. I was inspired to visit the restaurant after watching IU’s “Every End of the Day” video. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get in because you needed to make a reservation ahead of time. Boy, was I disappointed but trust me guys… the wait was well worth it. My mum and I ended up eating at a restaurant called Rivarosa Restorante. The food was good and there was outdoor seating so you can enjoy the colours of the island. The restaurant was a typical Italian tourist trap. There was a cover charge of 7 EUROS for the two of us.
FAST FORWARD TO 2017 - Don’t make the same mistake I did. Make a reservation for Trattoria al Gatto Nero. Do it. Really, just do it. First of all, the Trattoria al Gatto Nero (Black Cat restaurant) is a family owned, 1 Michelin star restaurant. If you’re a fan of seafood, this place is not to be missed. They cook in a style unique to Burano with the utmost care to the raw food they serve. To be quite honest, when Jared and I touched down to Venice, we immediately took the vaporetti straight to Burano with our luggages in tow. Although I don’t recommend this, I just couldn’t wait to be back on the colourful island and I couldn’t wait to try the food at al Gatto Nero!
Showing up for our reservation 30 minutes early, our waiter was kind enough to seat us and take care of our luggages too! He then served us each a complimentary glass of champagne (Jared doesn’t drink so I had both). The setting was perfect. We were seated right on the edge of the canal, surrounded by colourful houses. We were feeling adventurous that day so we allowed our waiter to make our selections for us, with the exception of the Risotto of Goby Fish (Burano style) and a Pasta e Vongole (spaghetti with clams).
What we ended up with was this…
The “Al Gatto Nero” experience - a platter of the freshest catch from the Adriatic and Venetian lagoon. Because they ensure the freshness of everything you consume, this dish could vary depending on the time of year you visit.
And not listed on the menu, our waiter brought us out a complimentary polenta with baby shrimp dish.
Everything was delicious. Al Gatto Nero remains my most favourite restaurant and the meal I would love to experience over and over again.
LACE MAKING IN BURANO
While the men fished for years and years, the women of Burano were well-known for lace making! Although you can still witness some of the women of Burano practicing the art of lace making, make of the laces you see displayed in shops are often cheap and imported. If you do choose to buy lace on the island, it is quite expensive and rightfully so! It takes a really long time an a lot of people to produce one laced table cloth. However, many stores have laces on display for you to admire from afar. (Unfortunately I did not take any photos of this. Be sure to ask permission if you wish to do so!)
Burano still remains one of my favourite places on earth. If you wait for the crowds of tourist to leave, the island becomes very still and quiet. Honestly, wander a little further into the town and you can experience the island without large crowds. It’s quiet, calm, colourful, in the summer it’s bathing in sunlight, in the spring there’s a chill breeze. I will most definitely be back to Burano, hopefully sooner rather than later. And I hope that one day, I get to fulfill my dream of living on this island for a period of time.
Till next time!