Murano, Burano and Torcello

It was a perfect sunny day today in Venice. We decided a good option would be to take a four and a half hour boat trip around three of the islands of the Venetian Lagoon – Murano, Burano and Torcello. I bought the tickets online before leaving the hotel to avoid having to stand in any queues. The departure point was the dock alongside San Marco Piazza, so we were quite pleased to have one more opportunity to visit that magnificent square with its historic buildings. And, as an added bonus, the sunlight today gave me a chance to improve on the photos I’d taken yesterday in much duller light.

The boat trip across the lagoon was quite smooth. The boat travelled slowly through channels and past nearby islands, presumably to prevent the creation of damaging waves which could cause harm to the age-old structures along the waterline. In the open water, the boat sped up and we moved along at a fair clip.

Our first stop was Murano, the home for centuries of the famous Venetian glassware. Apparently in the 1500s, the glassblowers were banished from Venice to Murano so that if they caused a fire the city, with its wooden buildings, would not burn down. We were only on Murano long enough to visit a glass blowing workshop and watch two pieces being made, the second being a horse which was entirely created within sixty seconds. Of course, the exit was through the gift shop, with its exorbitant prices for masterpieces of Venetian glass. I passed through the shop hanging on tightly to my backpack, lest it should knock something off a shelf and result in my kids losing their inheritance.

Burano was next. A really lovely island with only one main shopping street lined on both sides by colourful houses, once owned by fishermen, who identified their homes from their boats by their bright colours as they returned from fishing expeditions at sea. The island is also famous for its exquisite lacework. Marg was pleased to find some beautiful shawl pins here, decorated with Murano glass. We were also pleased to find a place selling take away foccacias, as every other place seemed to only be serving food at tables. We had limited time there, and a sit down meal would have caused us to miss the boat.

And just a few minutes away from Burano was Torcello, once home to thousands, but now home to only fifteen permanent residents. Its historic churches are evidence of a much larger populace in years gone by.

It was an enjoyable half day. We returned to Piazza San Marco at about a quarter past three and returned to Hotel Abadesso for a cuppa and a chance to gather our thoughts and plan our movements for the rest of the day.

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