Murano and Burano are two islands in the Venice lagoon, which is a shallow marsh that is home to dozens of islands. Venice’s islands were built up/created over several centuries, made by embedding logs in the shallow mud marshes and gradually building on those foundations.
Murano is famous for its unrivaled glass designs. Burano is famous for its historic production of lace as well as its brightly colored buildings. Below are samples of both islands.
Glass was an invention of ancient Iraq (according to our Murano guide). In the Middle Ages, Venice was the sole manufacturer of sophisticated glass creations. They kept their techniques secret, and so Venetian glass was a large contributor to making Venice a very wealthy city-state. The glass factories were moved from Venice to Murano in order to avoid the danger of fires spreading from the many glass furnaces to Venice’s crowded buildings. Murano is a completely industrial island, not beautiful like Burano or Venice itself. But its beautiful glass is famous world-wide.
The photos below show a glass artist starting with a ball of molten glass, blowing through the tube (not shown), and then crafting an ornamental glass horse, in ten minutes from start to finish.
Both Murano and Burano are reached by taking short boat rides from the island of Venice through the Venice lagoon. The fable told by our guide was that when all the fishermen’s houses looked alike, drunk fishermen might go into the wrong house and get in bed with the wrong lady. So the women painted all their houses in different bright colors to prevent any such “mistakes.” Burano has canals similar to Venice.
We viewed the Lace Museum, which contains framed antique lace pieces, such as the one above. Some of the pieces were several centuries old (and often torn and ragged). But the museum demonstrates that Burano’s lace-artists are producing works perhaps even better than those from previous centuries.
Below is the Burano town square. The Burano tower looks like it might be leaning. But my photos looked like I might have tilted my camera. So I was happy to find a flagpole to use as the reference which clearly shows the the angle of the Leaning Tower of Burano.