Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 28, 2012

Burano, the beautiful fishing village in Venice.

As well as fishing, the island of Burano in the Venice lagoon is famous for lace making, and it is still possible to buy lace on the island. Unfortunately most of the lace for sale is not hand made and probably not made on Burano. You will know if it the genuine article by the price. We saw some beautiful hand made pieces and they were expensive. This is justified when you consider the hours of work in each piece.
Burano is also famous for its brightly colored houses. It is said that the houses were painted in different colours so the sailors and fishermen could identify their houses as they came in from the sea. Once again, this is probably no longer the case, but the houses certainly look lovely sparkling in the Venice sunshine, or even on a cloudy day as it was the day we were there.

The sun peeped out from the clouds a couple of times just to show this pretty island at its best.


This is the main canal leading into the main piazza. I love the jumble of colours. What fun to live in a bright pink or orange house.





This one was my favourite colour. It was the most gorgeous deep red. The photo is not quite true to colour.




When you can’t decide on one colour, pick two.






This would be a great spot for dinner in summer.







There was one building with medallions on the front with animals biting other animals. I have no idea of the significance of these. Perhaps someone out there knows.








It was good to see that the residents dress to match their houses.


At the entrance to the town is this sculpture of a young woman waiting for her sailor to come home and fearing that he won’t.


There is one in Portovenere of a completely different style. Click here to see it.

Catch the vaporetto to Burano at Fondamente Nove. It will be worth it.


  1. I think Burano is so beautiful. I noticed that even the hanging laundry is artistic! The gelato there is good, too…

    • It is a gorgeous island. We also had an excellent pizza there.

  2. Amazing photographs! Thank you for sharing!


    • Thank you for visiting. Burano is beautiful.

  3. This place looks amazing! Love the photos.

    • Don’t miss Burano if you go to Venice. I think it is more interesting than Murano.

  4. Beautiful photos!

    • Thank you. I think it would be difficult to take a bad photo here.

  5. Debra…..I visited Burano a couple of years ago and watched the nonnas lace making. You’re right – the real thing is very expensive. Burano is a photographer’s dream and you’ve captured the colour of the island beautifully. Particularly love the pic of the grey/green window with muted pink background. Simple but beautiful. Ciao, Robyn.

    • Burano is a delight to photograph. It was a dull day when we were there, but the sun came out briefly.

  6. Amazing colours! Love it

    • Don’t you think it would be fun to live in one of those houses???

  7. oh boy oh boy oh boy! Debra, this is one of those places I must see during my month in Italia coming up!

    • You will love it!!! Venice is not far from Ravenna.

      • I’ve been thinking I’ll take the train up to Venice after Ravenna and nose around. How could I miss Venice on this trip?! It’s hard enough to be missing Rome! I plan especially to go the the smaller places around Venice.

      • Venice is stunning and you will be there without the crowds. I love going in the off season.

      • All part of the plan–actually the BASE of the plan–no crowds, so I can think and enjoy! I hope to be seen as a low-key tourist….

  8. I just love Burano!!! It’s my favourite Venetian Island. We bought a beautiful crocheted bedspread there – couldn’t afford the amazing hand-embroidered ones, which would make a lovely wedding gift from a doting mother and would become a family heirloom for sure.

    • Some of the handmade lace is on display in a few places. It is exquisite. I can’t imagine how many hours it took to make some of these pieces.

  9. Absolutely beautiful and great photos! I am certain that the cheap lace is made in China… On the other hand, the real one takes so many hours of hard work that very few women will make it nowadays or the prices will be astronomical. In the old times, they possible gathered outside their homes on sunny days and spend time with their neighbours making those lace masterpieces which would be worn by rich people and the nobility. It reminds me of a small town south of Granada where we used to have a house. The women were still making hand-made “mantillas” and bridal veils, sitting outside their homes and chatting. Prices were still reasonable taking into account the long hours they had to spend doing needlework. Quite a few of the old women had practically lost their eyesight doing that work. They told me it was particularly dangerous when they were making black lace. Nowadays, the white one can be dyed professionally to match any colour, so it is a bit easier for them.
    As for the medallions… it beats me. One of them depicts a lion, the symbol of Venice, so it makes sense that it would be biting another animal…. but the rest… a mystery.

    • I imagine it gave the women something to do while waiting for their men to return from the sea, and to earn some money. What a slow process it is. I do a bit of embroidery, so I have sime idea of the work involved.

  10. The colors on those buildings are so amazing, I would not mind spending time there at all. So vibrant!

    • Burano is lovely and not as crowded as the main islands.

  11. Oh! The colors are absolutely beautiful!! I would want to paint every single day if I lived there!!

    • I’m sure it would be a delight for an artist to paint in Burano. It is a delight to photograph.

  12. Such a color festivity! I always love pictures which have so many colors in it. What a lovely place Burano is.

    • Burano is gorgeous. I love the bright colours. There is a newish group of houses just outside the town that are lilac. I would like to investigate this area when I go back.

  13. Colourful houses!! Nicee

    • Thank you, Burano is delightful.

  14. You have captured the stunning colours of Burano beautifully Debra. Your photos bring back fun memories of an Easter spent on Burano. I loved watching the woman doing their lace work. It’s a shame it is so expensive but you can see why.

    • I completely understand why the lace would be expensive. The lace makers deserve to be paid for their skill and time.

  15. Talk about brighten up my day! It is a wonder this post wasn”t freshly pressed. How fabulous. I want to go there…..thanks for sharing!

    • I wanted to follow up with another brightly coloured post.

  16. Lovely post! It’s amazing to see how fearlessly they’ve mixed the colors without any restrictions from matching. Liberating!

    • I love the mix of colours. I think it is very brave of these people to do this to their houses.

  17. […] more: Burano, the beautiful fishing village in Venice. « Bagni di Lucca and … This entry was posted in Lucca and tagged burano, buy-lace, lace, lace-making, made-on-burano, […]

  18. Thank you again for such a colourful patch in our overcast days. We had the best seafood lunch there a few years ago. I was fascinated by the church tower with its jaunty little lean.

    • I saw that church tower on the way back to Venice. There are many leanimg towers in Italy.

  19. Thanks for the inspiring post. Those colours are stunning!

    • Burano is lovely. It must take a bit of maintenance to keep these houses looking so good.

  20. What a welcome shot of color on a cold gray day in W. Pennsylvania! I want to fall into these pictures and stay there for a while 🙂

    • I think Burano would brighten up any day.

  21. These gaily painted houses are divine. I love the one with the blue shutters and the orange walls.

    • I would love to live for a while in one of these houses. It would feel as though you were living in a doll’s house.

  22. Wonderful post, the colours are extraordinary. I want to go there.
    I have a thought about the significance of the medallions. I have read a fictional book recently about Romeo and Juliet. In this book (not surprisingly) they talked about medieval family feuds. Each family had an animal/bird that signified their area and home, also it was woven into their crest and flag etc. Perhaps this is the meaning behind it. Perhaps not.

    • That could be the answer. I want some for the Vergemoli house.

  23. love the colors–makes me hungry for more!

    • You should visit Burano, it’s fabulous.

  24. Incredible colors. I especially love the orange house! How fun, Deb. Hope you have enjoying your weekend.

    • We could do with some blue sky, it seems to have been raining for a week.

  25. What a magical place! The rainbow of colours must have been a joy to come home too after being at sea!

    • I can imagine the delight of spotting you house from out to sea after a miserable fishing trip

  26. Beautiful, so beautiful these houses dear Debra, and you really made a great compositions, fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • Thank you, it is a gorgeous place.

  27. What beautiful photos!!

  28. Debra, what a stunning looking village. Those colours are gorgeous…houses everywhere should be more colourful!

    • I agree! I want to paint our place in Italy green, pale green, not too bright. I hope the comune allows me to do this.

  29. I’m so in love with this place and the colours, it’s almost like a dream or fantasy if that makes sense! 🙂

    • Burano is gorgeous. I have been a couple of times now and I know I will be back.

  30. What a gorgeous place! Your photos are just lovely 🙂

    • Thank you! I wish I could paint like you can. It would be fun to paint Burano.

  31. That first photo of Burano is my desktop photo…with my daughter strategically placed in the foreground. Happy..happy memories!! A beautiful Venetian island!!!

    • That seems like a nice thing to look at every time you switch on.

  32. That is a completely charming place.
    Good photos, as usual.

    • Burano is a lovely place to spend the day.

  33. I loved Burano when I visited in 2009! The colorful houses looked like a postcard! Great photos! Thank you for these!

    • I’m sure they are the subject of many postcards.

  34. Wow! It’s like a fairy land. Makes me want to write a story about it. 🙂

    • You should! Burano is gorgeous and there must be some wonderful old stories here.

  35. This post makes me very happy. You are helping me with my winter blues. I want to go paint now!

    • Burano is very paintable.

  36. These photos give me such joy. I’ve never been to Burano, but this still makes me miss Europe dearly.

    • Burano is well worth a visit when you are in Venice. It is much less crowded than the main islands and quite different.

  37. I love them! Love the colours especially!

    Do you mind if I use some of your photos for a research project I have for my Art History assignment on Community Living? I’ll give you credit, of course.

    But I really love the place. I haven’t visited but I hope to soon. 🙂

    • I am happy for you to use the photos for your project. Good luck with it.

  38. […] Canal has to be one of the very best things you can do. I also love the less visited islands of Burano and Torcello. We usually take the train to Venice and stay for a couple of night and just […]

  39. […] as fishing villages but the same can be said of world cities like Denmark’s Copenhagen and Italy’s Venice for as long as they’re near bodies of water and may still harbour fishing villages in […]

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