Venice’s Best Kept Secret
Beware of the long post because Burano was obviously one of my favorites! This was the part of my trip that I was most looking forward to. The anticipation was real and my trip honestly, just kept getting better. I took a lovely train ride from Verona into Venice. It was a quick ride at 1 hr and 27 minutes with beautiful views through the country. The train station in Venice was central and led out to the main ferries. The weather in October is amazing! It’s warm enough during the day to not have to wear a jacket, but cool enough at night to wear a sweater or leather jacket.
I found the ferry booth and purchased my ticket and was easily directed towards the correct ferries to Burano Island. The vaporetto is the easiest and fastest way to get around Venice. I downloaded the AVM Venezia app – but found it was much easier to purchase your ticket from a machine as the QR code did not scan as well. The app is helpful for a handy map if you are not near a vaporetto stop.
Burano is jaw dropping. The colorful houses only increased my excitement as I arrived at the island. I found my hotel – Casa Burano through hotels.com. There are little to no options, so I was happy to find this one. Burano is more of a day trip visit for most – but I just had to stay there and it was the highlight of my trip. The hotel I was staying at was a house along the canal next to the Tiffany House, where they happened to be filming the Italy version of Top Chef! It was hectic and there was a lot of security around – but I managed!
I think the house I stayed in only had two or three rooms available and I was the only one staying there until the day I checked out – other people were checking in. I loved the location and everything was renovated and up to date. In the morning, they deliver a cute picnic basket full of goodies. There is also a coffee machine at your convenience along with tea and cookies in the living room/kitchen area. If you do consider staying overnight at Burano Island, I would highly recommend Casa Burano. They are also affiliated with Venissa, details about my meal there below.
Places to See/Things to Do ✴
o Roam around, get lost! The colorful houses are gorgeous and you will find beauty in every corner you turn. These ladies I met during a late lunch told me a “legend” that back in the day, fishermen would get drunk after work & then lost on their way home. So houses were painted different colors so they could be easily found on their journey home from the bar. Not sure how true that story is, but it’s a good one!
o The Leaning Bell Tower – I would suggest taking a gander at this leaning tower from a distance – in between houses. The lean is more significant that way.
o Mazzorbo – this is where Venissa is located and it’s just right over the bridge from Burano. It’s a quick walk. The island is small – but you will be able to walk through their vineyard.
o Piazza Galuppi – this square is filled with restaurants and stores. I had a cocktail at one of the restaurants to rest my feet a bit and just people watch. There are also some lovely bakeries there where they have tasty pastries that are great for snacks or breakfast.
o Museo del Merletto – the lace museum! Burano is known for their lace making
o Tre Ponti – ah the one bridge that connects all the canals! Since I stayed overnight, I got the best, crowd-less pictures on and off this bridge :)
o And of course - selfies in front of all the different colored houses to create your own selfie collage haha
Restaurants/Foods to Try 🍴
o Al Gatto Nero Da Ruggero (The Black Cat) – one of my favorite meals during my Italy trip. Even if you are not staying on Burano Island, make a reservation and take a ferry trip over from Venice. I would strongly suggest making a reservation because I’ve seen them turn away multiple people (including myself, prior to making a reservation the following night). It is well worth it! And if you are lucky, you will catch the master chef himself checking on tables to see how their meals are going. Start with the appetizer of grilled scallops and razor clams. The portion was large (probably for sharing) – but I devoured the entire plate myself. This maritime city is known for their seafood, don’t even question yourself when you are deciding what to order. My main course was a seafood pasta which included shrimp, calamari, clams & mussels. It was flavorful and honestly the perfect amount. I was not as impressed with the tiramisu, but the service was great and the food was amazing. I absolutely loved the old school décor and mom & pop run restaurant. This was also highly recommended by the front desk from Casa Burano as a dining option. Peep the photo I caught of the chef walking through the doorway next to his self-portrait. :)
o Venissa – An experience! Recommended by a friend (thanks Lauren!) or else I probably wouldn’t have ended up here for lunch one day. They have a Michelin star for good reason. The food is high quality, unique and flavorful. The restaurant/winery itself is also an experience in its own. I opted to sit outside so that I was able to enjoy the beautiful weather and take in the vineyard views. I chose to go with the a la carte menu versus the itinerary menu because I didn’t think I could eat all those courses. I ordered just enough and was perfectly satisfied. The menus change frequently based on the ingredients they have available so surely, everything must be fresh and delicious! The presentation of each dish is beautiful as well. Highly recommend trying some of their wines with help from your server – they will not steer you wrong.