Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon famous for its colorful houses and intricately woven handmade lace. Traditional handmade lace is not as common as it once was, but you can still see women in the squares of Burano making lace by hand the old-fashioned way, and you can explore the island’s lace tradition at the Museo del Merletto, the Lace Museum.
Located in the former home of the Venice Lace School, Burano’s Lace Museum features more than 200 Venetian lace pieces chronicling the evolution of Venetian lace-making from the 16th through the 20th century. In addition to learning about the history of Burano lace through exhibits, you can watch a film about the craft and observe local islanders still practicing the tradition at the museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The island of Burano makes a fantastic day trip from Venice.
- The Lace Museum is a must-see for visitors interested in traditional textiles and crafts.
- An admission fee is required to tour the museum, and tickets can be purchased ahead of time online.
- To save money, purchase a joint ticket to the Museum of Glass (Museo del Vetro) in Murano and the Burano Lace Museum.
How to Get There
The Museo del Merletto is located on the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon, a 45-minute ferry ride from the San Zaccaria stop near St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) in Venice. To avoid the hassle of navigating Venice’s waterways on your own, book a guided tour of the Venetian Lagoon, which may also include visits to other Venetian Islands such as Murano and Torcello.
When to Get There
Although the smaller islands of the Venetian lagoon see fewer visitors than popular Venice sights like St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), Burano can still feel crowded. Visit late fall through early spring if you wish to avoid the crowds. If you do visit during the summer months, catch the first ferry to Burano in the morning to explore in relative peace.
Other Attractions on the Island of Burano
The vibrant colored houses and picturesque canals of Burano are a photographer’s dream. Legend has it that families used to paint their homes in bright colors so that they could see them from the sea, and the tradition holds today. The brightly colored houses reflecting in the canals is a sight you’ll want to capture, along with Burano’s own leaning tower—the bell tower of the San Martino Church.