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Burano is an island located in Venice Lagoon, approximately 9 km from the City. Burano is comprised of 4 smaller islands linked by a long bridge to the island of Mazzorbo and has a population of about 2800 inhabitants. The main activities on Burano island are: fishing, dock yarding (making boats) and the production of lace. During the last few decades the main resource in Burano island has been tourism. Tradition says that the name of Burano comes by the gate B˛rea located in Altino: it seems in fact that the first inhabitants of Burano island, escaping from the barbarian hordes, had latin-altinate origins. The first name of Burano island was Vicum Burianum.

Houses in Burano

It's possible to get to Burano island by both private or public means of transportation. Among the private companies offering excursions to Burano island are: Venezia Noleggi Imbarcazioni, Veniceboat. The public company Actv offers a regular waterbus service (vaporetti, line 12), with departures to Burano island from stop "Fondamente Nove" every 30 minutes during the day. Along the route you can see on the right the cemetery (San Michele), then on the left, Murano island (there is a stop near the lighthouse as well). Entering the "Canal dei Marani" you get in the open lagoon, on the right you can see the Arsenal and Certosa, then the islands of Vignole and Sant'Erasmo, real truck-farms of the City (whose agricultural products arrive daily to the Rialto market). Then you pass near to the islands of San Giacomo in Paludo and the Madonna del Monte. The latter is really ruined. You get to Mazzorbo, the ancient Maiurbum, long time ago a place of residence for noble Venetians, is now full of truck-farms and vineyards. At the end of the "Canale di Mazzorbo" you can see on the right the small Santa Caterina Church, built in the fourteenth century. Then on the left there is the ancient Torcello island. Finally you at in the unique stop of Burano island, close to the public park with benches; a perfect place for a picnic.

Tradition says that the island has a colorful look for this reason: during winter time Burano island has many foggy days and when the fishermen come back after fishing they can easily recognize their own home. As a result Burano island's inhabitants paint the exteriors of the houses in olive-green, lilac, blue, yellow and so on. The unique milieu of Burano island attracted many landscape-painters during the first years of the twentieth century. The "School of Burano" was born between 1911 and 1946. It is not a real school but an important season for the contemporary Venice painting. We can list some of the artists that lived in Burano island: Gino Rossi, Arturo Martini, Novello, Martini. Burano island surely deserves a visit even if your stay in Venice will be a short one. On Burano island there is a special atmosphere, probably the same that there was in the "Serenissima" during its ancient age. After 7pm, when the last tourists leave Burano island you can feel you are in a place without time.

Lace Museum

The art of lace has ancient origins in Burano. The production started in the fifteenth century, supported by the doge's wife Morosina Morosini first and by Giovanna Duodo wife of the doge Pasquale Malipiero, later. The "punto (stitch) Burano" or "punto in aria" (so called as the lace is not layed on the loom) became an appreciated and required technique in all of Europe. The French competition started in the second half of the eighteenth century as Colbert, the prime minister of King Luis XIV, through money and allurements, found the way to bring to his court many lace-makers from Burano island. The Venice government tried to stop this escape with strict laws but it was too late; lace's crisis was started. Having added insult to injury, in Burano island some lace-makers started using the "point de France". This situation continued until the end of the nineteenth century, when the countess Adriana Marcello and the old master Cencia Scarpariola, (at that age eighty years old and almost blind) saved the secular tradition, handing down the "punto Burano" to posterity. Then was found a school in Burano island, supported by the Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia.

The main street in Burano island is called Via Galuppi. Here there are many shops selling souvenirs, and bakeries that show the island's traditional cake, the "BussolÓ", a circle made by a sweet and hard dough with eggs, whose diameter is about 10 centimeters. Another variant of "BussolÓ" is the "Esse", with its typical "S" shape, but having the same taste. Every week, in Rio TerÓ del Pizzo, is remarkable the Burano island's market, where it is possible to buy various foods and more.

Daily, in Campo della Pescheria, you'll find the fish market that always offers fresh fish, and a small market which sells fruit and vegetables coming from the lagoon's islands. In Burano island there are some restaurants that offer fresh fish, often daily caught. Here is a list of the most celebrated: "Da Romano ", Via Galuppi 221, tel. +39 041 730030, that have had among its clients many important personages.

Other restaurants in Burano

"Trattoria al Gatto Nero " - Via Giudecca 88, tel. +39 041 730120.
"Trattoria al Raspo de Ua " - Via Galuppi 560, telephone +39 041 730095.
"Ristorante dal Baffo" - Via Galuppi 359, tel. +39 041 730108.
"Ristorante Galuppi" - Via Galuppi 468, telephone +39 041 730081.
"Ristorante da Forner " - Fondamenta Terranova, tel. +39 041 730002.
"Ristorante al Vecio Pipa" - Strada San Mauro 395, telephone +39 041 730045.
"Ristorante ai Pescatori" - Via Galuppi 371, tel. +39 041 730650.
"Ristorante Amadi" - Piazza Galuppi 227, telephone +39 041 730092.
"Trattoria Maddalena" - Fondamenta Santa Caterina 7 (Mazzorbo), tel. +39 041 730151.
"Ristorante Riva Rosa" - Burano, San Mauro 296, tel. +39 041 730850.
"Ristorante Pizzeria Principe" - Burano, S. Mauro 455, tlf. +39 041 735067.

Burano's rio

In Burano island is very diffuse the "voga alla veneta" (a rowing style but standing). During ancient times it was necessary to carry the fish to the City or to the mainland, but today it is almost only a sport. Very famous is the Burano regatta, a competition for 2-oar gondolas, that runs every year on the third Sunday of September and represents the rematch of "Regata Storica", run only two weeks before. In Burano island were born many "Champions of the Oar", the most famous was Sergio Tagliapietra nicknamed "Ciaci" (Burano 1935). He won 14 editions of "Regata Storica" (rowing "gondolino"), 21 Burano regattas and 18 Murano regattas (1-oar gondolas). "Ciaci" is a real myth for Venetians as he won more than 200 red flags (the prize for the winner; the second gets the white flag, the third the green flag, the fourth the blue flag). Sergio Tagliapietra played in the Olympic Games in Melbourne and Tokyo and finally won 13 editions of "Palio delle Repubbliche Marinare" (a competition run by Venice, Amalfi, Pisa and Genoa). The traditional way to row by the local fishermen is "alla valesana" or "alla buranella" (the boatman rows alone standing with two crossed oars). In Burano is active the Associazione Remiera Vogaepara that offers rowing courses. It's located in Burano island, Strada San Mauro 58, tel. +39 041 735018.

It's not possible to talk about Burano island without mentioning the name and the life of its most celebrated son: Baldassarre Galuppi (Burano 1706 - Venice 1785), nicknamed "the Buranello". He was a composer and a theatrical author and his operas were played in London (1741-46). Then he was appointed by the Russian Czarina Caterina as a court composer (1765-68). He cooperated with Carlo Goldoni in writing some comedies. He composed more than 100 operas (specializing in the "opera buffa"), sacred and instrumental music.

Galuppi Square

At the end of Via Galuppi you get to the square bearing the same name, having in the center the monument of the musician. On the left there is the "Palazzo Comunale" built in gothic style that has inside the Burano Museum (opened in 1981), and the Burano Lace School (founded by the countess Adriana Marcello). This Museum (Museo Civico del Merletto), tel. +39 041 730034, shows beautiful examples of Venice production from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. On the right of the square is San Martino's Church (Saint Martin, the Bishop of Tours - France, is the protector of Burano as well). The church was built during the fifteenth century. Inside is "the Crucifixion" a Giambattista Tiepolo's painting. The leaning bell tower is already part of the lagoon landscape.

Beyond San Martino's Church are located some small shops selling souvenirs then a kiosk (if you need a toilet, drink something and kindly ask for the key of the toilet located at rear). Finally you get to the public park. From this place there are many beautiful views. Towards south, not too far away from Burano island, you can see the Island of San Francesco del Deserto. This monastery lies in a far corner of the lagoon and it was called "of the two vineyards". An ancient story says that in 1220, during a storm, Saint Francis of Assisi along with friar Illuminato da Rieti, coming back from their pilgrimage to Holy Land landed here. On that place Saint Francis built a hut to stay. Then the saint, Italy's patron, planted its walking-stick that germinated, as a result is possible to see the rest of a secular pine inside of the Franciscans' convent. The Order received the island in 1233 as a gift from the noble Venetian Jacopo Michiel. The austere small church located inside of the convent was built in the thirteenth century. It's only possible to visit San Francesco del Deserto with private transportation as it is not available a public line of transportation linking Burano island to S. Francesco del Deserto.

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