{Travel Tales: Malta & Italy, Part Eighteen – Exploring the Venetian Lagoon}

Get yourself ready for pictures galore because this is the day we hit the most colorful town in Italy – Burano – and it was a photographer’s dream land.  Of course, there were multitudes of other things to see, so we’ll get to Burano shortly.

The breakfast at the Venice hotel was my least favorite so far, however I will give them points for having prosecco and orange juice (though I never did get the chance to make myself a mimosa).  We ate quickly, had some coffee and then set about the business of the day, which was to take the vaporetto to Burano and Murano, two islands in the Venetian lagoon.

Almost everything in Venice is relatively easy to get to on the vaporetto.  The trick seems to be finding the stop that is the most beneficial to your destination.  For example, we could’ve taken the vaporetto closer to the hotel and transferred to another one, but that seemed counterproductive when we could walk to the stop that would take us right to the islands we wanted faster.  And thus we began our day walking to Fondamenta Nuove to catch what I started calling “the boat subway.”

Burano kind of eases you into the area where all the houses are every color of the rainbow.   We followed the crowd until the narrow street opened up into a colorful wonderland.   The street leading up from the vaporetto also has its charms, but it isn’t until you get past the little row of shops, all offering Venetian lace products, that it truly becomes a feast for the eyes.

Everything about it was quaint and pretty and I wanted to take pictures of each and every house there.  And I might have…

And this is probably my one of my favorite images from the whole trip:

IMG_7027

There is, of course, more to Burano than just colors.  They also boast their own leaning tower connected to the main church, and a lace museum.  Burano is famous for lace, and they had it in abundance: dresses, tablecloths – if you can make it out of lace, you can find it in Burano.  We visited the piazza with the church and found the lace museum there as well.  We even saw a wedding photoshoot (we were pretty sure it was just a fashion photoshoot since there was no groom or anyone else with the bride and the photographer).

I’m attempting to limit my pictures of the Burano Lace Museum.  I took more than I realized and they may warrant an entirely different post.

Following the lace museum, we shopped around looking for some gifts.  I wanted to get a few people gifts from both Italy and Malta and I had yet to find the Italy ones.  Burano was the perfect place to grab some last minute items.  It was also time for the gelato stop, in keeping with the idea that I wanted to eat gelato in as many different cities as possible.  Burano helped out with the variety of flavors: I tried mojito, grapefruit and a white chocolate with lemon and ginger.  Normally I can’t stand white chocolate but the lemon and ginger intrigued me and it was worth it.

The rest of our time in Burano was spent simply taking it all in and looking at all the different buildings.  I, of course, hunted down more quaint places to take pictures, and had a little photoshoot of my own (both selfies and pictures I made Sarah take!) against a pretty pink building.

Having seen our share of colorful buildings, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time in Murano before heading back to the main island.

Murano is known for glass, and like Burano, they display their craft everywhere.  There were multitudes of jewelry stores filled with beads and other glass crafts and sculptures.  Murano, however, is not as pretty to look at as Burano.  It’s more medieval looking, with the traditional stone buildings.  We mostly did a lot of shopping but Murano also boasted a small, but interesting, glass museum that we visited (where I loved looking at all the beads).

Lunch was in Murano, where we ordered giant pizzas and were almost attacked by a pigeon.  I’m dead serious.   While we were eating, a little cluster of pigeons wandered over, trying to get themselves a meal.  They were bold, these pigeons.  They even went as far as to hop on the table next to us, and it looked like they were just about ready to hop directly onto our table, but the wait staff took care of it and shooed it away.  This did not deter those insane birds.  When the patrons behind us left, the pigeons hopped right on up to their table and started helping themselves to some pizza crust.  Thankfully we survived this without any pigeons ever touching us.  It was simultaneously hilarious and frightening.

More shopping ensued, though I never actually bought anything in Murano because everything I knew I would wear was far too expensive and I had already treated myself to the expensive perfume in Rome (which has proved to be a far better buy as I’ve used it almost everyday since returning from Europe).  Then it was back to Venice on the boat, and the hotel on foot.

After a brief rest at the hotel, we went out for dinner gelato (yes, rather than have an actual dinner, we had gelato), and walked around the neighborhood some more.  I also decided that I wanted prosecco to bring back to the room, and I found it!  It was actually at the same place where I got the gelato.  You gotta love a city that sells mini bottles of prosecco at the gelato store (what is basically the equivalent of a deli selling soda).  More wandering, and I finally got a picture of the weird blue Smurf gelato.  Still don’t know what flavor “puffo” is supposed to be; I didn’t try it.

Another awesome day in the books, and it was back to the hotel, where I shamelessly drank prosecco out of a plastic cup from the bathroom.

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