Venice Explorer: Burano Lace

boats and body of water
Photo by Pixabay on

Buongiorno and Welcome – today we’re touring the Island of Burano, which is one of the Venetian Islands.

Burano is renowned for this history of gorgeous lacemaking. This even served as the plot for Hallmark’s romance series ‘The Wedding Veil,’ with Autumn Reeser, Lacey Chabert and Alison Sweeney…

Burano is defined by it’s colorful buildings and mix of shops and eateries. It is just off the beaten path enough that you get an authentic Veneto experience.

The island, like neighboring Venice and Murano, Burano’s city roots date to 5th century AD, after the Barbarian invasions in Rome.

Burano can be done in a day with a guided tour package of Murano and Torcello (day tour), or you can spend the say on your own taking a ferry.

It is four miles from Venice and forty-five minute trip from St. Mark’s by vaporetto (water bus).

I recommend getting a local tour guide to take you around the island because they have the passion and knowledge to bring the island alive.

The main attraction in Burano is The Lace Museum, where you’ll discover an exhibit of the history of lace in Burano and see lace samples.

What is Burano lace:

  • The first laces date back to 1500 and by the 17th century Burano’s needle-lace making flourished They copied established Venetian needle laces and making copies of Belgian point de graze and French Alencon laces…Yet Burano’s mastery of craftsmanship set it apart – soon they had their own style:of slightly brown cotton thread, with unique designs like:
    • punto a crocette (flying flowers),
    • punto controtagliato
    • punto aria (geometrical designs, flowers, spirals)
  • Burano’s lacemakers were so talented that their embroideries were invited to France (another lacemaking mecca) to start important lace production
  • The lace workmanship was mostly taking place in the “Scuola Merletti” (Lace School), which you learn about at The Lace Museum
  • Lace was made usually by five individuals working together…each lacemaker assigned a step that they were good at.
credit Lace Museum

 Legend of Burano:

  • Once in Burano, an ancient betrothed fisherman, while fishing in the lagoon, met a Siren who tried to seduce him, but this fisherman refused because he was so in love with his fiance. The Siren Queen was so impressed by his faithfulness that she gifted him a lace veil created from sea foam. His fiance’s veil was so admired by its style was copied for others and the Burano lace was born.

While on Burano be sure to marvel at the beautiful San Martino Vescovo Church and Leaning Bell Tower.

aerial view of city near body of water
Photo by Emanuele Costantini on (Leaning Tower is visible)

The church includes abeautiful Tiepolo painting of the crucifixion and work attritbuted to Veronese.

  • Tiepolo: The Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770) was arguably the greatest painter of eighteenth-century Europe and the outstanding first master of the Grand Manner. His art celebrates the imagination by transposing the world of ancient history and myth, the scriptures, and sacred legends into a grandiose, even theatrical language.  *reference

Burano is known for its Rainbow Rows (reminds me of my heritage in Charleston, SC) – brightly colored row type houses with tiled roofs. It feels like you’ve stepped into a work of art.

Burano, like all Italian cities takes food seriously and you can enjoy delicious fish, pasta and wine in this colorful village.

Here is a good resource for Burano food from Michelin.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Burano and we look forward to seeing you next time on American Nomad Traveler.

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American Nomad is written by avid traveler, Adele L. When she is not traveling, she works in tech sales and is an art history tutor (Art Expeditions). Adele also is the author of cozy romance Solitude Lake on Amazon.

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