Burano is a characteristic fishing centre, constructed on four small islands on the lagoon; all of them connected to each other by bridges.

One of the main characteristics of the island is that of the colourful, polychrome effect of the small habitations: a tradition probably initiated as a reaction to the humid and hazy climate, full of fog which qualifies these places as belonging to the lagoon.

Apart from being a fishing, and of course a tourist island, the island’s economy is tied mainly to the ancient tradition of the art of Merletto. This activity has flourished on the island since the 16th century, and has taken the name of Burano into all the main courts and European collections. It is an erudite and complex art, which has been handed down: to safeguard the loss of this abundance of artisan wisdom, a Merletto school was founded and situated in the Palazzo del Podestà.

The name Burano is also tied to two artistic monuments: one ancient and one from the 20th century.

The island saw the birth of Baldassarre Galuppi in 1706, an illustrious 18th Century musician: his career took him first to Venice as Master of the Cappella in S.Marks, then to St Petersburg in the Court of Katherine II. His fame is also tied to the eloquent collaboration with Carlo Goldoni, who put approximately twenty short books to music.

Another cultural tie to the island was the foundation of the so called Scuola di Burano (School of Burano): with this terminology, a reference to a particularly happy season of Venetian painting took place in the first few years of the 20th Century. This society of this group of artists was founded around 1910, with the will to emulate the 19th Century French schools of Painting of Barbozon and Pont-Aven. Gino Rossi, Umberto Moggioli and Pio Semeghini are amongst the artists who became part of the activity of this school, along with the artists who worked in the precincts of Ca’ Pesaro. The style these artists adopted qualifies under a modern use of colour, due to the absence of simple sentimentalism, in the quest of a simple poetic rendition of the landscape.

An itinerary through the island, should take into consideration the main roads, but should also not miss savouring and exploring the small alleyways, the arcades; in search of views, undiscovered panoramas of the lagoon and not forgetting the reality of the small artisan population of the island.

  • The main road is via Baldassarre Galoppi.
In the main square you can see:

  • The ancient Palazzo del Podestà
  • The Chiesa di S. Martino (Church of S.Martino), built in the 6th Century, with a Latin cross layout, three naves and vaulted ceiling. In the sacristy, there is an important group of paintings, amongst which the Crucifixion, by a young Tiepolo.
You can go by boat from Burano to visit the mystical island of S. Francesco del Deserto: a real and authentic oasis of the lagoon.


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