I decided to get out of the crowds and head over to the island of Burano. I had seen pictures of the colorful buildings and wanted to see it. I assumed that most of the pictures were way over saturated. Not so, the buildings are very brightly colored! According to Wikipedia it was settled by the Romans in the 6th century. My first thought about all of the brightly painted homes was that it was a scheme to attract tourist but I was wrong. Starting in the Renaissance period a color system for the houses was developed. Then and now if you wish to paint your house you must submit a request to the government and they will let you know what colors are approved for that lot! It became known for high quality lace in the 1500’s which became an exported good. A school for lace making was opened in the 1872. Now, however, lace is no longer hand made. They sell a lot of lace and linen products.
When I first arrived on the island a pretty linen shirt caught my eye (many of the stores there have outdoor displays). A handsome young man hovered and explained that the items were hand made in Burano. They did display tags indicating this was the case. I made a comment about how it wrinkles and he told me that you did not need to iron it, just cold water wash and hang to dry. Then he told me that the shirt I was looking at was made by his grandmother. How much, I asked. 180 euro but today it is discounted you can get it for 160 euro. I thanked him and walked away. Later, I saw the same shirt elsewhere for 160 euro. I’m wondering if his grandmother made that shirt too! It was a lovely shirt but troppo caro per me
Later that afternoon, back in Venice, I went to a less touristy neighborhood for a look around and to have dinner. I walked to the Grand Canal and turned right, away from San Marcos Square, and walked until the neighborhood changed. I found a beautiful park bordered by some lovely old mansions. I heard John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” playing loudly and as I crossed a small bridge I realized it was coming from a boat pulled up to shore next to the bridge; it was really nice. I got dinner at a sidewalk café and then walked back toward the hotel as the sun was setting
The next day on the way to the train station I visited the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The first church was built on the island in 790. An earthquake leveled it in 1223 and a new church was built. The island was owned by the Benedictine Monks until Napoleon claimed it for military purposes. The island was purchased by Count Vittorio Cini in 1951 who had the church restored. I visited a museum exhibit ‘Maurice Marinot. The Glass, 1911-1934′ and went up to the top of the church bell tower for some pictures.