Beyond Venice: Discovering Burano and Torcello

In the Not so far column, dedicated to all the beautiful places which surround our headquarters, there had to be some posts about the several tours of the minor islands of Venice. Today, in particular, we are talking about Burano and Torcello.

You have surely heard about Murano, one of the minor islands of Venice, famous for its handmade glass of the same name. But Burano, and especially Torcello, may be completely unknown to you. Nevertheless, you should already have seen those nice pictures portraying small brightly painted houses over little canals. Well, contrary to what most people think, they are not in Venice, but in Burano.

My advice is to plan a day-trip if you want to visit Burano, Torcello and also Venice. But, if you want to visit only Burano and Torcello, half a day is enough (that’s what I did). Indeed, once you have visited one of these two little islands, it’s worth visiting also the other one because it only takes 5 minutes by steamboat.

You have three possibilities to reach Burano and Torcello:

  1. By steamboat from the train station (line )
  2. By steamboat from Piazzale Roma (line 3 until Murano + line 12 until Burano/Torcello)
  3. With an organised tour starting from San Marco (in this case you’ll also visit Venice. The price is around € 20

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With the very first steps on this island you will immediately find it less crowded and more “relaxed” than Venice. First, I suggest you to walk along the canals (in particular the three main ones), possibly on both sides so that you can appreciate all the small coloured houses, which, let’s say it, are Burano’s main attraction. The pictures you’ll take here, especially if it’s sunny, will be little masterpieces! After that, walk down the internal alleys, towards the main square, where you’ll find San Martino’s Church with its leaning bell tower (visibly leaning!).

If you are keen on sewing an embroidering Burano hosts the Museo del Merletto (The Lace Museum). I can’t even cross-stitch so I didn’t visit it. 🙂 Now, in order to conclude your walk properly, have a break in one of the many cafés around the square and in the close by alleys. Don’t worry, in Burano prices are much more affordable than in Venice!

A couple of curiosities:

  1. There are several legends about the colour of the houses. The most famous one says that the brightly painted houses were made for fishermen so that they could recognize their home after days spent in the sea
  2. If you buy a house in Burano and you want to paint it, you have to ask to the town hall which colours are available 🙂

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After a few minutes by steamboat from Burano you will reach Torcello. Here the first thing you’ll notice will probably be… its silence! This island is almost uninhabited (it has more or less fifteen inhabitants), but it’s exactly its wild and shabby style that makes the atmosphere on the island so pleasant. Especially if compared to Venice’s chaos. The Santa Fosca Church and, in particular, the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral are worth a visit. The latter has beautiful mosaics and it is one of the most ancient Veneto Byzantine churches of the Venetian lagoon. Finally, a must-do is taking a picture on the Ponte del Diavolo (literally, The Devil’s Bridge), a small stone bridge with no handrails, typical of the Venetian tradition.


Ready to leave the magic of these two small islands to get back to the chaos of Venice? If not, don’t get nervous! A post about Venice’s best wine bars, the so called bacari, is coming soon. They are the best place where you can recharge after your trip in the lagoon. #staytuned

About the Author


Sono Martina, abito a Padova e nella vita, oltre ad essere un’instancabile viaggiatrice, sono una Web Developer a tempo pieno. Amo la fotografia. Spero di riuscire ad ispirare chi, come me, è animato da una grande passione per la scoperta di posti nuovi.


  1. Grazie Martina dei tuoi consigli! Ho fatto oggi il tour con Alilaguna ed è stato perfetto sia per durata che per prezzo e ovviamente per quello che ho visto! Senza di te avrei speso più soldi in vaporetti vedendo molto meno!

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