ISLANDS (Burano – Torcello – Murano)
The excursion to the islands of the Venetian Lagoon is particularly enchanting thanks to the unique features of the Venetian landscape which can be admired during the motorboat trip.
The boats cruise through the area of the Venetian lagoon called ‘Laguna Nord’ characterised by the presence of barene and little islands separated from one another by canals and ghebi.
Flora and fauna reign supreme here, and the sense of peace here is broken only by the gentle sound of tiny traditional lagoon boats (sandoli, mascarete and the most modern fishing boats) which are the only ones capable of cruising through the shallow waters of the narrow canals.
The first island you come across is the Island of Burano:
an island of fishermen with a strong idiomatic identity, and a very distinctive range of colours on its houses.
Burano is famous all over the world particularly for its lacemaking which is proudly showcased at the “Lacemaking Museum” near the square dedicated to the famous musician Baldassare Galuppi.
Excellent restaurants make a visit to the island of Burano particularly pleasant.
Opposite Burano is the island of Torcello, the first settlement of Venice as we know it today.
In its largest period of expansion, it reached 10,000 inhabitants. Today there are few residents left.
Its ‘historic centre’ features the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta which dates back to 639 and preserves Byzantine mosaics of inestimable value, the adjacent church of Santa Fosca and the Museum of the Estuary, rich in archaeological artefacts of the Venetian lagoon. Ancient legends provide the names of two peculiar monuments here: ‘Devil’s Bridge’ and the ‘Attila’s Throne’.
As we continue on our journey we reach Murano, the most famous of the three islands. It is the world capital of glass art, and is teeming with active artisanal glass shops which continue to mould glass according to methods and traditions invented many centuries ago by the first glass makers.
The Glass Art Museum gathers pieces of great historical value and extraordinary craftsmanship. Also worthy of a visit is the Church of Saints Maria and Donato: it is one of the most ancient churches of the Venetian lagoon, an excellent example of Romanesque-Byzantine style which still preserves its original mosaic floor in marble and glass.
Besides these three enchanting islands, the Venetian lagoon includes many others which can easily be reached by public motorboat from the Punta Sabbioni and Treporti terminal: Lido di Venezia, famous for the renowned ‘Venice Film Festival’; Saint Erasmus, the Island of Artichokes, Choggia and Sottomarina, known for their fishing boats, and many other smaller islands.