Centuries ago, fishermen in the Italian village of Burano—which is located on an island near the city of Venice—painted their houses vibrant colors so that their village would always be visible on the horizon when they were out at sea. Bright shades of pink, orange, red, and yellow also helped to separate one building from another, since virtually every property on the island is linked to the building next to it.
There is no automobile traffic in Burano. Residents travel by boat, bicycle, and on foot. Space is so limited on the island—it is not uncommon to walk beneath a canopy of laundry air drying in the sun. Burano is home to several delectable seafood restaurants that serve fresh fish and squid ink pasta. Artists routinely roam the streets painting, sketching, and photographing Burano’s technicolor buildings.
Burano takes so much pride in its colorful exterior—it is unlawful to paint a property unless a resident receives permission from the government. Every lot on the island has its own designated color. Virtually every building on the island is repainted every two years so that Burano remains a bright spot on the horizon.
Burano is world famous for the ornate lacework produced by the island’s many skilled seamstresses. The Museum of Lace displays some of Burano’s most treasured lacework. Burano is well worth visiting if you’re searching for an exquisite bridal veil, lace collar, or pair of lace gloves.
Burano is also home to the church of San Martino—which features one of Italy‘s notorious leaning bell towers. The San Martino bell tower is off-center because it is steadily sinking into the sea along with the rest of Burano. Hailing a water taxi or ferry to visit the colorful island of Burano may be the closest that you will ever get to walking on water.