This island is famous for its rainbows of brightly coloured houses, originally painted so that fishermen could see them in the fog.

TravelCurious Tip

To get to Burano, take the LN (Laguna Nord) ferry from the Fondamente Nuove stop on Venice's northern shore.

Several miles northeast of Venice lies the small, pretty island of Burano. With less than 3,000 inhabitants, it makes for a relaxing break from the crowds of the main city, and you can wander along at your leisure, admiring the little alleyways and old footbridges that have changed little in the last few centuries.

An Explosion of Colour

The most vivid impression that most of Burano’s visitors take away with them is of one thing – colour. Many of the island’s houses are brightly painted, and you will see blues, reds, yellows, greens and almost any other colour you care to name as you walk through the streets. The origins of this cheery décor are the subject of much speculation; the most popular theory is that, in days gone by, each fisherman would paint his house an unusual colour so that he could identify it when he was working out on the lagoon. The process is rather more official now, and if you want to paint your house these days you need the permission of the local council, who will respond detailing the permitted range of colours.

The Leaning Tower of Burano

Besides the houses, the Church of San Martino is worth a look, although you may need to quell a slight sense of alarm on first seeing the visibly slanted belltower. Inside the church, there is a beautiful painting of the crucifixion by Giambattista Tiepolo. Moving on, you may see craftsmen hard at work making silk – this was historically a major industry for the people of Burano, and its history is documented in the islands lace-making museum.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Venice
Campo Santa Maria Formosa
A lovely neighbourhood square surrounded by narrow alleyways and Gothic buildings, barely changed since the time of Canaletto.
Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo
This historic square is home to an imposing Gothic church and the Scuola Grande di San Marco, as well as an important 15th century equestrian statue.
Known for its people's mastery in the art of shaping glass, this island is a top attraction of the Venetian Lagoon.
A historic shipbuilding and military naval dock of Venice.
Giardini Pubblici
A park created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807, built on top of torn down religious sites
San Pietro di Castello
A sleepy church on the island of San Pietro, once Venice's cathedral from 1451 to 1807

Related Tours

Private Tour of Murano and Burano
The best way to explore Venice is either on foot or on a boat. Escape into the pearl of the Venetian Lagoon, away from the bustle of St Mark’s Square, and into the tranquillity of both Murano and Burano.

  • Cruise along Central Lagoon, towards Murano 
  • Visit a traditional glassmaking factory 
  • Travel from Murano to Burano via water-taxi 
  • Walk along the scenic canals and take in the vibrant architecture 
  • See a demonstration of traditional lace-making
  • Savor bussolai - Burano's famous cookies
  • Travel back to central Venice

Celebrated as the centre of production of the world famous Murano Glass and often described as a “small Venice”, Murano is the most well known Islands surrounding the stunning Venice. Our first stop will be a traditional glassmaking factory, where you will watch artisans make chandeliers, vases, statues and other beautiful objects. 


Famous for its colourfully painted houses and its picturesque canals, this pearl of the Venetian Lagoon will simply leave you breathless. Walk along scenic canals and take wonderful photographs of the vibrant local architecture and beautiful vistas that makes the island of Burano a rather special place to visit. Then enjoy a visit to a local workshop where lace continues to be made by hand today. 


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