Most travelers I have met agree that one of the most unique and romantic cities in the world is Venice, Italy. It seems to be on everyone's travel bucket list lately and understandably so due to the rising sea levels that experts say will eventually submerge it. Man, what a tragedy that would be! I do highly recommend you go see it for yourself soon, however I would also suggest you take a day to travel just up the lagoon to another series of small islands collectively named Burano. It still has all the uniqueness and romance of Venice...just with a lot more color and fewer tourists. If Venice "takes the cake," as many people say, then I say Burano must be that oh so delicious icing!
When I arrived in Venice, it was a dream come true for me. I dreamed many nights of hearing Italian songs sung to me as I rode in a gondola down the Grand Canal and taking this exact picture (which I did). Isn't it lovely?
I was told I did not break my smile once during the hour long paddle through the amazing canals of Venice. I was just so excited to be there. After all I was living my dream, so what was the point of even trying to sleep while I was there, right? After turning my mouth black from trying Cuttlefish pasta for the first time ever (which is fantastic by the way),I cleaned up in the smallest hotel shower ever and headed back out on the floating city. Instead of "getting lost" this time, I decided to spend about $20 bucks on a 3-day Vaporetti pass. It's like their version of a local public bus, just on water as they don't have any streets. During my round trip that night, I noticed the outlying islands of Burano on the route map and decided to check them out before I left and I am super glad I did. Venice did not disappoint at all, but Burano is what made Venice even more than I ever dreamed of.
The story behind the different colors of Burano is pretty cool. Basically, residents paint the outside of what they own in whatever color they would like every couple of years. The colors range the spectrum from hot pink to neon green to mellow yellow to deep blues. Two things they all have in common however, is that they cannot be the same color as a neighbor and whatever color they choose must be bright. This is how fishermen (which is the main job of most families in Burano) can easily spot where they live as they paddle back into town from a long day out on the lagoon. The women there will tell you that the fishermen spend most of their time on the water drinking local alcoholic favorites like Ouzo. As the fishermen stumble in from the lagoon, they use the bright color of their particular property to get home. And the men will also tell you their property is painted like that so they can see from a long distance whether their wives are bringing other men in while they are out at sea.
Not only are there no cars or bikes to be found anywhere on Burano, but there are no TVs or cell phones either!!! Residents believe that the radiation from things like microwaves or even computers can cause harm to them. I hear this restriction might be finally loosening up since I left, but I kind of thought it was neat, probably since I was just visiting and not having to live without technology.
The women of Burano are actually credited with creating a certain type of lace ; double or triple stitch I believe. I really don't know enough about the lace to blog about it however, I can say it is absolutely beautiful and makes great gifts to bring back home for your mother or whomever you would like!
I could easily see Burano being a photographer paradise as well. You have the colors, the locals, the water, and all sorts of hidden gems around each corner. Burano even has a tower which leans farther than the Leaning Town of Pisa!
So make a day for Burano when you visit Venice. After all...it is often the icing that makes a cake truly memorable!