Why The 2 Idiots recommend exploring Murano and Burano?
Venice is not the only island in the Venice’s Northern Lagoon that you can explore. With inexpensive ferries, island-hopping is a piece of cake, even with children, and the islands of Murano and Burano can be enjoyed with just a few hours of exploration. One island is renowned for its glass. The other? For its colorful buildings and lace. Both are charming and if you are spending more than a day in the Venice area, take one of those days to visit these islands, as we actually found this to be our favorite day when we were in Venice.
CREATING AN IDEAL ITINERARY
You could elect to do a private tour (which would be very expensive), join a guided tour on each island, or, as we did, be perfectly contempt with taking the ferry and walking around on your own. In Venice, ferries are like buses; they are frequent, inexpensive, and easy enough to maneuver with a stroller and young children. We bought an all-day ticket, which was €20 for each adult. (Aarav was free at 2.) When you arrive on each island, they are small enough to enjoy without a guide or getting lost. Google Maps was very useful during our trip, as it included ferry times and locations – be sure you have a good data plan.
We suggest heading to Murano after you have enjoyed an easy morning and breakfast, departing by 9:30 a.m. You’ll spend the morning on the island and have lunch, then head to Burano, which has more sights to see and will fill your afternoon. You’ll return to Venice either before or after dinner. Riding on the ferry also provides great views for photographs, particularly from the front of the ferry.
It is very easy to get to Murano and Burano by ferry. We look Line #12 F. te Nova to Murano, and then onto Burano (it also continues to Torcello, which we skipped). Your return to Venice will be direct from either island you visit. It’s a very quick ferry to Murano, and then just over a half an hour to Burano. Torcello, should you try to go, is an hour from Venice, so you won’t have much time to enjoy all three in one day.
|Itinerary||Estimated cost per person (only attractions)|
|Go to Murano (9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
Murano (10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
– Catch a glass blowing demonstration
– Grab lunch in Murano
Go from Murano to Burano (1 – 1:30 p.m.)
Burano (1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
– Walk around Tre Ponti
– Walk around and enjoy the colorful buildings
– See the leaning tower (Chiesa di San Martino)
– Visit the Lace Museum and get a lace-making demonstration
Come back to Venice (6 – 7 p.m.)
|A 24-hour travel card is €20 per person
Glass-making workshops vary from €10 to €20
All in Burano is free, with the exception of the Lace Museum, which is €5 Euro for adults and €3.5 Euro for children 6 to 14
Meandering around Murano
Murano is famous for its glass, and everywhere you stroll along the canal-lined streets seems to be a shop featuring some of the most beautiful glass you’ll find, from glassware to chandeliers to vases and more. Word of caution: the glass is not cheap! Many shops also offer glass-blowing demonstrations and you can watch artisans blowing into a long pipe with molten glass at the end of it, with each blow creating a bubble and beginning to shape the glass. It is fascinating to watch, and some believe the art began in Italy in the 2ndmillennium. Murano became the hub for Venetian glass when fear of fire in Venice forced them to the smaller island to make their creations. You’ll easily find glass making workshops but we suggest paying for an actual show (about €10 – €15), which can be more educational and inclusive for both you and your children.
Besides looking at beautiful glass, you’ll enjoy Murano for its charm. There are no cars, so you kids can run around as you stroll along the Grand Canal. Before departing the island, stop for lunch. There are less tourist traps on this island than in Venice, so you’ll find restaurants as charming as the island.
Basking in the sun in Burano
After lunch, return to the ferry to visit Burano, which is filled with color as each house along the canals and cobbled streets are painted in vibrant hues. (Fun fact: Each house has to request permission from the government to paint a certain color!) The most popular spot for photos is Tre Ponti, a canal bridge surrounded by color. Be ready to take lots of pictures, because this place is Instagram worthy!
Again, there streets are car-free for your children to enjoy safely. While roaming, you’ll see much of Burano’s lace in the local shops. The lace dates back to the 1500s, and you’ll learn how the intricate designs are made at the Lacemaking museum, which features lace-making demonstrations.
One of the must-visits on Burano is Chiesa di San Martino, which features Venice’s own leaning tower. At the time Pisa was building its cathedral and tower, so was Burano, and the competition was fierce to finish first and create the more beautiful. While Pisa’s tower’s construction mistake caused it to immediately lean, Burano’s tower was constructed perfect. However, after it was built, they decided to extend the length when the church was enlarged, and the extra weight caused the tower to lean.
Wherever we travel, we seek parks to allow our son to run and play. We couldn’t find a park in Venice, so we were thrilled when we discovered a park on this island overlooking the water. If your kids have been feeling cooped up, definitely seek out this park because it’s the only grass you’ll find during your trip to Venice.
As the day draws to a close, head back to Venice. It’s a long day, so after dinner, we just returned to our AirBnB.
- It’s going to be a long day. Carry everything you need to keep your child entertained, including toys, water, food, electronics.
- Venice lacks parks but you’ll find a grassy park by the water in Burano, so be sure to visit for some playtime.
- Bring a good stroller, as the day will be long and you child can nap in the stroller. We recommend this stroller,which is lightweight and can fit into a bag so you can carry it easily.
- If you decide to buy some Murano glass, the stores can package and ship them safely and with insurance to your home, so you don’t have to worry about carrying the delicate glass with you during your travels.
- The day will be super-hot, so be sure to have sunscreen, hat and plenty of water