Day 212: Burano & ExploringSeptember 14, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Time for a day-trip! The lagoon where Venice is located has more than a hundred islands, some of which are interesting and some of which aren't, but Shandos had heard good things about Burano. Not to be confused of course with Murano, which is a common excursion from Venice. So we bought ourselves some day-passes for the vaporetto (water-buses) and off we went!
Step one was of course the Italian breakfast standing at a counter, then down to the nearby vaporetto stop where we caught one boat to the northern coastline of Venice. Here we changed and caught a second vaporetto for Burano. Only moderately crowded which was nice, and plenty of people hopped off at Murano.
Burano was a bit further than we'd realised, and took more than 45 minutes to reach from Murano, but it was definitely worth the wait. Hopped off the boat to find a super-quiet island with beautiful painted houses in vivid colours. Bright blues, yellows, purples and many other colours besides. Nice canals as well, with wider footpaths than you usually get in Venice.
Plenty of opportunity for photos which we took up, enjoying a break from the hordes of people in Venice. Even the main street was full of empty tourist restaurants. It's only a fairly small island so we wandered around exploring for a couple of hours. Not much in particular to see other than enjoying the atmosphere, but it was definitely nice.
By the time we made it back to the main street it was 12pm, and clearly a couple of cruise ships or something had arrived because it was now absolute bedlam. Every restaurant was rammed full of people, loads of grey-haired people mindlessly following flags up the street, the works. It was really disheartening to see after it being so peaceful just 90 minutes earlier.
It was fairly hard to tell the tourist trap restaurants from the proper restaurants, and though they all had good-sounding seafood options with fish direct from the lagoon, it was pretty expensive and we didn't feel particularly up for it. In the end we headed back for the vaporetto dock where we'd seen a fish & chips place. The food wasn't quite as cheap as we'd remembered in the morning, and it was pretty average to be honest. My fish had definitely been cooked quite a while earlier. But oh well. Loads of aggressive pigeons hanging around too, though they made themselves scarce when Schnitzel attacked!
Back on the vaporetto, we decided to split up for the afternoon. Shandos wanted to check out the Guggenheim gallery on the southern side of Venice, while I was interested to see the Arsenale where Venice's warships were produced. So we hopped off at different stops, and I took Schnitzel with me.
Unfortunately you can't actually get inside the Arsenale as it's still an active military base, but what I could see from outside looked quite nice. From here I just wandered with Schnitzel, taking whatever turns I felt like and seeing what was down each street. This area of Venice (east of St Mark's) seemed very un-crowded, and some areas I almost had to myself. It was very pleasant after the annoying morning, and after the crowds from yesterday.
Had to take shelter from rain a couple of times - much more inclement and overcast today after the glorious weather we had yesterday. Not super warm but I'm still wearing shorts; I would've been hot in jeans. Eventually decided to head home and wait for Shandos, so headed back to St Mark's and boarded a ridiculously overcrowded vaporetto heading up the grand canal. After a few stops I managed to shove my way over near the railing so I had a decent view for the last half of the ride which was quite nice.
As I disembarked Shandos sent me a message saying she was done and asking to meet up! So of course I had a glass of wine in a cafe and waited for her to reach me. We decided we'd head back down to the places I'd been recommended near the Rialto Bridge and visit another one of those for dinner.
The one we chose was a little back-streets cantina and absolutely packed - no way we could have dinner here, but we managed to snag a bench outside and have some bar snacks. More chichetti (Venetian-style tapas or pintxos) and a few Aperol spritz to wash it down! After dinner I decided I needed one last visit to the gelato place from yesterday, so down we walked, to about halfway between the Rialto bridge and St Mark's. Still just as good, perhaps even better as this time they had mascarpone and caramelised fig flavour!!
Another very crowded vaporetto back up the grand canal finished our final day in Venice. Off to bed early and tired, but ready to get back on the road tomorrow.Read more