Eclectically colorful streets, their bright shades resembling a drawing from children’s coloring book, tiny boats heading into the sea, carrying the smell of fish and adventure, flossy clouds adorning the blue sky, turning the landscape into picture-perfect perfection.

The cheerfully colourful island of Burano sits in the Northern part of the Venetian lagoon and, just like nearby Venice, its lifeline is the green-coloured canals speckled with fisherman boats and adorned with curved bridges.

A fantastic day trip from Venice and Murano, the tiny island pops with color and quite rightly so as it’s considered to be one of the world’s most colorful destinations.

Burano, Venetian Lagoon


As soon as you step off the ferry, Burano greets you with a cacophony of shades exploding from the brightly colored walls of the small, square shaped houses, neatly perched together by the string of canals. While it’s easy to assume that the houses were painted at random, almost as if stroked by an artist’s brush, the reason for this lies in the town’s history. During the golden age of its development, citizens of Burano had to request official permission to paint their houses, and it was the government’s decision what colour they could use. According to the legend, fishermen were the first ones to paint their homes – they did it so they could easily spot them from the sea.

Burano, Venetian Lagoon


A photo lover’s paradise, the island combines small-town tranquility with an eclectically bold persona. Just a short walk amongst its rainbow-colored streets where the intensity of shades competes only against the perfectly blue skies, will leave your head spinning. Tiny squares, where brightly painted walls echo the sounds of everyday banter, are filled with the scent of fresh laundry gently swaying on the washing strings. Here, you will see local women unhurriedly getting on with their chores, disturbed only by a curious tourist stopping by to take a photo. With flowers pots in each lace curtain-draped window and children carelessly playing in the sun, Burano seems almost too idyllic to be real. A quick walk down the main street stretched along the canals is a reminder that its fairy-tale charm is precisely the reason why Burano’s growing in strength as a tourist destination.

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Burano, Venetian Lagoon


Galuppi Square, the local mecca of all things lace, is filled with stores paying homage to the city’s most famous craftship – lacemaking. Dating back to 1500s, lace embroidery reached the peak of its popularity in the 19th century and, as you can tell by hand embroidered pillows, napkins and tablecloths displayed in opulence in every shop window, it’s clearly here to stay. A more romantic explanation for lace’s popularity lies in the local legend. According to the tale, a fisherman was once tempted by a mermaid’s signing, but withstood it out of love for his fiancée. His loyalty was rewarded by the Mermaid Queen, who gifted him a beautiful nuptial veil made out of sea foam. The fisherman’s fiancée wore it on her wedding day, becoming the envy of all women in Burano who then tried to recreate the veil through lacework.

Burano, Venetian Lagoon


While the best way to explore Burano’s past is by taking a stroll along its winding streets and gently curved bridges, the tiny town is home to historical landmarks that are also worth a visit. San Martino church, with its leaning bell tower and ashy pink facade contrasting against the otherwise colorful houses, is a great starting point. From there, walk to Museo del Merletto (the Lace Museum) or go on a hunt for the island’s most colorful house, la Casa di Bepi Suà. Tucked away in one of the alleyways, it’s painted with colorful, geometric shapes standing out even amongst the other brightly painted buildings.

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Burano, Venetian Lagoon


Religiously filled with tourists upon each ferry arrival, Burano managed to retain its authenticity and a part of this is reflected in its delicious seafood cuisine. Unlike nearby Venice where almost every restaurant screams “tourist trap” and the menus are as much overpriced as they lack authenticity, Burano is not short of great food spots. The irresistible risotto de gò (roughly translated as “risotto of goby fish”) is one of the staple dishes so be sure to head to trattoria buranella (“Burano’s tavern”) for a hearty portion of this local goodness.

For a truly indulging experience, visit Ristorante Ai Cesendeli on Via San Martino Sinistro 834 and order their specialty, tagliolini neri “Ai Cesendeli’. Priced at €16 a portion, it may seem a bit steep but the dish is worth every cent. In fact, it may easily turn out to be the tastiest pasta you’ll have the chance to try in Italy!

From the rainbow-colored madness, fabulous food and centuries old traditions, Burano has a lot to offer. Its cheerful, bold architecture is guaranteed to make you smile – after all, it’s not every day that we can get lost in a fairytale.




Marta is a digital nomad and the creator of A Girl Who Travels, where she writes about budget, solo and female travel as well as location independence. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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