Burano – a photo story

By Alexandra Redisch in Burano

Italy will feature heavily here on Sophie’s World in the coming weeks and even months. And while the focus will be mainly on Umbria, we’ll have a few other little goodies here as well..

Last July, I spent a week in la bella Venezia, (and two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise – more on that later) with my fiancé. In Venice, the tiny, colourful island of Burano was one of our favourite places.

Statue, Venetian lagoon

Burano lies just a stone’s throw from Venice’s Ponte Rialto. And while big brother Murano is certainly more prosperous, not to mention famous, Burano has a quirkiness to it that I have yet to see anywhere else. The island boasts exquisite lace making, fresh seafood and yummy lemon biscuits known as bussole, but is perhaps best known for its vibrant colours.

Canal, Venetian lagoon

Houses generally have two or three storeys, with kitchen, breakfast nook and toilet on the ground floor and bedrooms further up. An ancient legend says the local fishermen painted their houses in bright colours to better see them from far out in the lagoon. Today, if you wish to paint your house, the government must first approve the colour.

Canal, Burano
Venice skyline on the horizon

The leaning tower of Burano

Burano has its very own leaning tower – the Campanile of the church of San Martino

Leaning tower, Burano Alley, Burano

Trattoria al Gatto Nero da Ruggero…

…complete with a gorgeous real life gatto nero

Square, Burano

Have you seen Burano? What’s your favourite spot in la bella Venezia?

unesco logo

Burano is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Venice and its lagoon.

Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.



About Alexandra Redisch

One of the kids in ‘travel with kids’, avid traveller, mystery writer, chocoholic, currently working on a WWII biography.

64 Responses to “Burano – a photo story”

  1. Ana (Ana Travels) 7 May 2012 1844 #

    The colours of the buildings are amazing! So cheerful 🙂

    • Alexandra Redisch 9 May 2012 1102 #

      I know – it was a really strange place, actually. There’s a “similar” place in Northern Norway called Hammerfest, where, because of the weather, you have to paint your house every few years, so people tend to go crazy with the colous of their houses!

  2. Leigh 7 May 2012 2254 #

    What a beautiful spot – kind of reminds me of the coloured houses in Newfoundland and in Quebec’s Magdalen Islands.

  3. Don Faust 7 May 2012 2257 #

    Nice photos! I love all the colorful stucco houses along the canal.

  4. dtravelsround 7 May 2012 2329 #

    I love these shots! Italy is such a photogenic country!

  5. Laurel 8 May 2012 0833 #

    Looks lovely. I’ll be in Venice in July so will try and make a stop in Burano as well.

    • Alexandra Redisch 9 May 2012 1112 #

      You definitely should Laurel! Stop by Murano as well, that’s the island next to it. I’m hoping to get a post up on that as well soon!

  6. ItalianNotes 8 May 2012 0847 #

    Burano is magic – so colourful.

    • Alexandra Redisch 9 May 2012 1113 #

      Colourful but not fussy and over the top, but rather serene and calm, I found. Something you don’t expect when the houses are so colourful…

  7. Andrea 8 May 2012 1111 #

    It’s so pretty and colourful! I guess it makes sense that Italy would have more than one “leaning tower,” given the age of the buildings. The architecture there never ceases to amaze me.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 May 2012 1704 #

      I’m constantly surprised by Italy, too. Around every corner…

  8. Angela 8 May 2012 2158 #

    Little secret, I’ve never been to Venice 🙂 Lovely photos!

  9. Abby 9 May 2012 0205 #

    I went there when I was fresh out of college and have always, always wanted to return. Someday! Gorgeous photos!

    • Alexandra Redisch 9 May 2012 1120 #

      I went there in July, but it would be interesting to go back in another season, maybe in the autumn, to see what the colours are like then…

  10. Elena Anne 9 May 2012 0358 #

    Your photos are really nice! I didn’t know that the color of the houses in Burano needed an approval from the government! Their houses are really colorful and it’s really fun to look at.

    • Alexandra Redisch 9 May 2012 1122 #

      It’s crazy really, must be because of the tourists/ keeping the local traditions.

  11. Jarmo 9 May 2012 2156 #

    I still need to visit Venice, but Burano seems lovely, such nice colours, must be a relaxing place to spend a while 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1639 #

      The islands around Venice are really nice for getting out of the heat, too 🙂

  12. I love all the colors.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1647 #

      Me, too 🙂

  13. Lovely photos! I visited Burano a few years ago and it is such a peacefull little place… I would love to go back

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1649 #

      Thanks 🙂

  14. Easy Hiker 10 May 2012 1014 #

    Love the vibrant colours on these ones. That’s Italy for you!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1648 #

      Very Italian,isn’t it…

  15. Hannah 10 May 2012 1139 #

    ” Today, if you wish to paint your house, the government must first approve the colour.”

    Is this true? What’s wrong with choosing a paint color for your house?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1643 #

      Hannah – the house colours follow a specific system for historic reasons, so when painting your house, you can only use approved colours for the given part of the island.

  16. Francy R 10 May 2012 1507 #

    I went to Burano a couple of years ago, but it was too rainy to appreciate it! We just had a quick overview of the city and moved away! Would like to go back in summer! 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1650 #

      Something about a sunny summer day – makes the colour stand out even brighter…

  17. Jackie Smith 10 May 2012 1608 #

    Its been some time since we visited the outer islands near Venice and this brings back wonderful memories. We’ve been eyeing a cruise from Venice this year so I will look forward to your future posts on the one you took.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1651 #

      Alex and her fiance stopped in all sorts of lovely locations in Greece, Croatia and Turkey. Posts will be forthcoming 🙂

  18. Anne 10 May 2012 1823 #

    Beautiful shots! It could be an advert for colors, these wonderful houses are creating a breathtaking landscape. Mediterranean lifestyle. I can feel it.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1652 #

      Thank you, Anne 🙂

  19. I have heard that Burano should not be missed while visiting Venice! Absolutely love the first picture. In fact, I’m still smiling 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1653 #

      That’s my fave, too 🙂

  20. InsideJourneys 10 May 2012 2252 #

    How absolutely charming. I’d never heard of Burano before. Another place to add to the list. Thanks Alexandra + Sophie!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1654 #

      Both Burano and Murano islands are excellent stops when in Venice.

  21. Christina (Jandal Road) 10 May 2012 2353 #

    Great that you also found the real gatto nero! Brava! I adore Venice, too. I loved that we stayed on Lido Island and took the vaporetto every day to get to the main part of Venice. I also just enjoyed wandering around the less populated streets – quite a melancholic atmosphere with those crumbling yet beautiful houses and nobody around!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1655 #

      Staying on Lido is a very good idea, Christina.

  22. Natasha von Geldern 11 May 2012 0105 #

    God how gorgeous, I’ve got Italy envy! Been to Venice twice but not to the islands – next time!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1655 #

      The islands really are gorgeous – and a bit different from Venice herself.

  23. I’ve been to Italy and Venice on my recently-concluded 70-day solo backpacking trip in Europe but unfortunately, I never got around to visiting the islands. I only stayed in the mainland. Too bad though, Burano looks so charming!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1656 #

      Always good to leave a little something for next time…

  24. Christy @ Technosyncratic 11 May 2012 0341 #

    Such bright, cheerful buildings! I’d never heard of this place either, but it looks lovely.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1657 #


  25. Jenna 11 May 2012 0700 #

    I’ve seen a few posts about Burano and it looks so perfect. I’ve been to Venice a few times, Murano once, but never to Burano. I should have gone there instead of Murano! Next time 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1657 #

      I think they’re both interesting to see.

  26. Beautiful photos! We loved Burano and wished we had more time to visit. We were there during late November and the colors were just as vibrant. Though, the best photos we had were during dusk when their street lights were shining on all the colorful houses.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1658 #

      Would love to see your night time photos of Burano, Mary..

  27. Sabrina 11 May 2012 1408 #

    I love that the colors of the houses are all different. And the tiny alleys between the houses!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1659 #

      So Italian, isn’t it?

  28. I just love the colorful buildings in Italy! Beautiful pictures!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1659 #

      Thanks, Becca.

  29. Lisa 11 May 2012 1723 #

    Burano is so lovely and colourful – I would love to visit that part of Italy soon!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1659 #

      Well, summer’s just around the corner… 🙂

  30. Nancie 12 May 2012 0357 #

    I was 16 when I visited. This brings back some very old, fun memories.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 May 2012 1646 #

      I was 15 when I was first in Venice. First time abroad without family – I have really good, fun memories as well 🙂

  31. Ayngelina 16 May 2012 0538 #

    Breakaway Backpacker recommended Burano to me and it is really worth the afternoon just to wander the gorgeous streets.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 June 2012 0036 #

      For the colours alone!

  32. Mary @ Green Global Travel 26 June 2012 2137 #

    Great photos of Burano. I made it to the bigger island, but skipped this one.

  33. travel 9 November 2012 1652 #

    think that is the best article thet i have read

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