Venice: discovering the islands of Burano and Torcello

by Tanja

Jump on a boat and float on the calm waves of the Venetian lagoon while admiring one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world: Venice and its islands. Every one of them is different from the other, are unique in their history, in the architecture and in their traditions. Venice’s islands must be explored individually, taking boat rides departing from Venice and from the coast.

Today we’ll take you with us to visit and discover the history and the legends of the colourful Burano and the mysterious Torcello.

Island of Burano

Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon


Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon

Famous for its colourful houses, Burano most certainly is the most photographed island in the lagoon. The colours reflecting on the green water of the canals, the leaning bell tower, the precious crochet and the fishermen lifting fresh fish from their boats, fascinate millions of tourists every year.

Visiting Burano means getting lost within the alleys, little streets and bridges. It means walking along the canals and wondering about the legends hidden behind the intense colours of the houses. Legend has it that locals painted their houses so that the fishermen could recognise their houses in the thick winter fog.

For a quick lunch stop at Al Fritto Misto, right in front of the boat landing. Speciality: a variety of fried fish, Venetian style.

Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon

Don’t miss Mazzorbo Island, a beautiful place which is reachable from Burano through a wooden bridge, named by locals as the Ponte Longo (long bridge), and a 5 minute walk. Founded in 640 A.D., Mazzorbo was the home of richly decorated buildings, churches and monasteries where the children of noble and patriotic Venetians were educated. Today, Marzobbo is distinguished by huge fields and parks.

The journey from Venice to Burano lasts around 45 minutes. You can reach the island departing from Treporti (10 minutes) and Punta Sabbioni (30 minutes).

Island of Torcello

Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon

From Burano, another 5 minute boat journey takes you to Torcello, the island that seduced Hemingway. The novelist found in the Locanda Cipriani his favourite shelter. When we arrived in Torcello, Sara, author of the blog and dear friend, explained to us the history of the Torcello island and its origins, which are even more ancient than those of Venice. Escaping from the barbarian hordes, many inhabitants from Altino found refuge in this far corner of the lagoon.

Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon

Burano and Torcello, Venetian lagoon

Today, there are only ten inhabitants left on the island. Walking along the main canal, you slowly plunge into a landscape that seems to have stood still in timeAmong the most famous archaeological sites of the island, there is the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral with the Byzantine mosaic of the Last Judgment, the church of Santa Fosca dating back to the 11th-12th century and the Attila throne.

The legend says that the marble seat has been used by Attila the Hun after the invasion of Torcello.

Stop for a happy hour at Taverna Tipica Veneziana
Fondamenta dei Borgognoni 5, 30100 Torcello
tel. +39 041 099 6428

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