Did you know that island hopping is part of everyday life in Venetian lagoon? Although walking is the main means of transportation in Venice, many Venetians also own a boat or use a public transportation to get around.
Last time we were in Venice, we didn’t go to any other islands in the Venetian lagoon, because there was just not enoug time and we knew we will return. So two years later we went back and spend the whole first day island hopping.
Murano is known for glass making and famous Murano glass. Glass making came to Murano from Venice, because the government banned the furnaces to protect the city from fire and also to isolate the glassblowers to keep their glass-making skills and knowledge secret. Glass was luxurious and extremely valuable at some point in history and it was only available to wealthy people. Being a glass-maker had some perks. They could wear swords and enjoyed immunity from prosecution. The daughters of glass-makers were allowed to marry into Venice’s blue-blooded families.
I loved walking the streets here, because they were not so crowded (maybe because there was a dense fog in the morning and many people changed their plans when vaporettos outside Venice were suspended for some time) and when we wandered into more residential area I just wanted to buy the house there to spend all my vacations and long weekends there. I could picture myself lying under pomegranate tree surrounded by bushes of lavender and rosemary, sipping glass of wine, reading book and then go to my beautiful kitchen in my stunning Mediterranean villa and make some delicious risotto with seafood for lunch. Does anyone knows how much does house in Murano island with beautiful garden costs? And to think that I wanted to skip this island!
Torcello was founded in 5th century and was the economical an political center of Venetian lagoon. Because of increasing area of swamp around the island and malaria population dropped quickly, because people moved to surrounding islands of Murano, Burano and Venice. Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta from 7th century is the main sight on the island today and despite the declining power of Torcello it retained the function of cathedral until 1818 when it was downgraded to a parish church under the Venice Patriarch. Around the cathedral are archaeological sites and most of the island is natural reserve.
Surrounded by so much nature and not that many tourists, I changed my mind and want to buy my vacation villa here. A lot more peace and a lot more nature to detox from stress of everyday. I am very fond of Mediterranean vibes, beautiful architecture, easy-going lifestyle, delicious food and sea. So if you have a villa on Torcello or Murano with garden (lemon and pomegranate trees are a must) and want to sell it way under any normal price, please contact me.
Burano is an island of rainbow. Colourful, fun, vibrant, very touristic but still so pretty you would wish to experience a life there as a local. How much fun would it be to live in a pink house, with your neighbors living in light blue one and the other ones in yellow? It is an island that will bring a smile to your face, even though you might be annoyed by the number of tourists and probably photographed when looking outside the window or drying your laundry outside.
Three fun facts about colourful houses in Burano:
- Burano is a fisherman’s village and to find the way back home they painted their houses in bright colours to see their homes from off-shore even in the thickest fog and to distinguish them from their neighbors.
- Every two years you have to repaint your house.
- If you want to change the colour, you have to get approval from the local community government, because it must fit nicely into the whole colour scheme of the street.
Beside its colourful facade Burano is also known for delicate lace. There is a legend about beginning of lace making in Burano. Nicolò, handsome fisherman from Burano, was most eligible bachelor in the area, but he only had his eyes for his fiancee Mary. Just before the wedding he was at sea fishing when he heard a sweet song and soon his boat was surrounded by group of most beautiful women, Sirens. He wasn’t enchanted by them and Sirens were so affected by his love for his fiancee that they gave him a stunning embroidery, created with the foam of the sea. Nicolò gave this to his bride as a gift on their wedding day and Mary then tried to recreate this gorgeous lace and so the Burano lace was first made.
SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE
San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice and you have probably seen it on photos, as this is one of the most photographed sites in the city. From Riva degli Schiavoni you can admire the panorama and also hop on vaporetto to take you across to the island. Beautiful white church of San Giorgio Maggiore designed by local architect Andrea Palladio was completely finished 1611, after his death. To get a nice view to the main island of Venice you should take the elevator to the top of the bell tower (entrance fee is 6 EUR, for under 26 is 4 EUR).
The main reason we visited the island was not this church but rather Vatican Chapels that were part of Architecture Biennale. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see them on that day, because it was already closed (Biennale is opened from 10 am to 6 pm, but you can’t enter after 5:45 pm), so we had to return the next morning to be able to see them, and it was well worth it. There is also no entrance fee to see Vatican Chapels, so I encourage you to go and see them, because this is also the first entry to Biennale by Vatican.
Nonetheless our trip was not in vein. In Le Stanze del Vetro we saw monumental glass sculpture by American artists Pae White, Qwalala. Word Qwawala comes from Native American Pomo word and references the meandering flow of the Gualala river in Northern California. It is a 75 metres long, curving wall made of glass bricks hand-cast Poesia Glass Studio in the Veneto region. Each of these bricks is unique and weighs 20 kilos. We also visited the exhibition The M.V.M. Cappellin Glassworks and the Young Carlo Scarpa 1925-1931.
See more about it here: https://lestanzedelvetro.org/en/category/exhibitions/
If you want to visit islands in Venetian lagoon I suggest you get yourself multi day travel pass (1, 2, 3 or 7 days tickets). You can buy it online or when you arrive in Venice at most vaporetto stops, airport and other ticket points. It is a lot cheaper then buying each ride separately and a lot more convenient. See more about it here: https://www.veneziaunica.it/en/content/public-transport.
Here you can find a map of vaporetto routes. On every station you will also see a map and where exactly you need to go to board the right vaporetto. Don’t forget to always validate your ticket before entering the vaporetto station.
Where would you love to have your vacation villa and how would your perfect day there look like?
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