If you so happily happen to have a few days in Venice, be sure to take a self-guided tour of the two most popular islands in the Venetian Lagoon; Murano and Burano. One thing that is extremely important however, is that no maps are involved. Get that? NO MAPS. NO GPS. Firstly, by wandering the cobbled streets unknown you are able to get a more localised feel to the village, drifting away from the tourists that swarm the canal side come Summer holidays. The photographs also tend to look a lot more beautiful when there are no selfie sticks photobombing your shot. If you are worried about getting lost, there is no need to be. Both islands are very small and there are multiple landmarks that you can familiarise yourself with to help make your way back to the ferry port. Without further to do, here is your one stop guide to the beautiful islands of Murano and Burano.
The cheapest and most economical way to get to the islands is via the ACTV ferry. There are multiple lines that loop the Venetian Lagoon and come very frequently, so no need to keep on an eye on the watch, unless it’s nearing night fall (there are still night time services, however these aren’t very frequent).
Services that run to Murano:
- 4.1 and 4.2 – This service has a lot more stops than the ones suggested below, however because of this, there are a lot more ports that you can jump on at that may be suitable for you. The main stops are at Piazzale Roma bus station and Fundamente Nove. For more information: http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/articles/vaporetto_routes2_table.htm
- 3 – ‘The Diretto Murano’ is the speediest option, being that it takes off from Piazzale Roma bus station and heads direct to the island of Murano, stopping at all five ports on the island.
- 12- Departing from the Fundamente Nove, the service 12 runs direct to Murano, then goes on to Torcello, Mazzorbo, Burano, Treporti, and Punta Sabbioni.
Travel time to Murano from the time you leave the final port in Venice is approximately 25 minutes. Once again, this will vary slightly, depending on which service you decide to take.
Services that run to Burano:
- 12- This is the most viable option to get to Burano. When in Venice, this leaves from Fundamente Nove and when in Murano, it leaves from Murano Faro.
Travel time from Fundamente Nove to Burano is approximately 45 minutes.
I would strongly advise that you purchase a one day travel pass for 20 euros. Even though this might seem pricey, it is the cheapest option available. The ticket lasts for 24 hours from the time you first validate it and can be used on all ACTV ferry and bus services throughout Venice and surrounding areas.
Murano: If what drew you to Murano was the history and exquisite talent behind glass making then there are many glass making workshops still running around the island. Workers wait by the ferry ports to guide travellers to openings and demonstrations that are free, so keep your eyes peeled and ears opened for them when you jump off the ferry. Or if you are like me, and came more for the beauty of the village, you will not be disappointed. Murano is made up of 7 small islands that are all connected by arched foot bridges, so it is best that you avoid rushes and head to the island and start venturing as early as possible. Be sure to look out for Campo Santo Stefano. This really jumped out for me, I mean, a massive starburst made completely out of Murano glass? It is absolutely remarkable! This spot makes for a really cool photo opportunity as the clock tower from the 18th century stands directly behind the sculpture. Talk about unreal!
Burano: if you are tossing up between spending more time on Murano or Burano, then hear me out. BURANO is one of the most exquiste little villages I have ever stepped foot on. So I 110% think that Burano not only deserves, but requires more time to see all that it has to offer. The island of Venetian lace, is loaded with buildings in every coloured shade of the rainbow and pint sized stores selling beautifully designed lace and accessories as well as hand-crafted masks and a variety of arts. From the moment I walked off the ferry towards the village, I felt welcomed and my soul was filled with pure delight. Apart from grabbing pizza and gelato (compulsory when you are in Italy, right?) I didn’t even think to let go of my camera. In result of this, I returned back to Venice with 300 photographs of just Burano and an extremely vibrant Instagram feed. I didn’t necessarily tick any ‘landmarks’ or ‘sights’ off when I visited, but if I’m going to be honest, I don’t think it’s fundamental. What striked me about Burano was the enduring bright, bold and beautiful houses that lined the cobbled paths one after another. Contrast after contrast, the colours blended into one and made it one hell of a sight to see.
So feast your eyes, for a very bright yet beautiful series of photographs taken on the islands of Murano and Burano.