Sunday, 4 January 2015

Murano and Burano - Venice

Venice is a very small island sinking into the lagoon off the coast of mainland Italy.
Murano is a smaller island in the same lagoon famed for its Glass production. 
Burano is an even smaller island again famed for its Lace.

They are accessible by vaparetto, the water buses that speed you along the canals and out into the open lagoon.

The islands are worth a day trip, though I'll admit it would probably help if the glass museum on Murano had been open whilst I was there (it was closed for renovations for the first part of the winter). Given my predilection for museums, and what I knew of this one, this was a disappointing discovery, so instead I spent the morning wandering around looking at the innumerable glass figurines, animals, pendants and other things on show in the majority of the shops that lined the canals (and unfortunately, not taking photos).

Some of the chandeliers were spectacular but most of the really interesting pieces were either exceedingly fragile (in appearance at least) or weighed a bloody tonne and would have been a stressful and expensive venture to get home. Thankfully for me I only fell in love with a small antique inspired bottle and some black glass candle sticks that were too expensive/ impractical for my current life (but would make an excellent addition to a bridal registry).

Meandering along the canals I stumbled into the Chiesa dei Santi Maria e Donato, a little church with beautiful mosaic inclusions in the gaps in the patterned marble floor. What is intriguing, but I did not notice them at the time, is that this church supposedly holds the rib bones of a dragon slain by Saint Donato.

Having wandered around Murano and almost grown tired of the repetition of the shops I jumped on another ferry and headed across to Burano.

The lace museum was open and displaying some very pretty artifacts. The problem I find is that having seem these pieces in a museum and knowing they can exist I want them myself and subsequently, I find that the things on sale in the shops don't compare. Being old fashioned, I've decided I'd like a pair of lace cuffs for an as yet non-existent dress/blouse I plan to make. However typically such things are no longer readily available so I may have to make do, or see if anything can be adapted to suit said purpose.

Burano is a picturesque little island with brightly coloured houses all side by side lining the aqua blue waters of the lagoon. Having ensured I visited the museum whilst it was still open, I was happy to wander the little streets as the sun began setting, enjoying the bright colours of the houses, the warm glow of sunset, and the giggle of Asian girls taking dozens of perfectly posed group shots.

I was fortunate enough on the ferry rides back to Venice I was on the right sides of the boat and could enjoy both the sight of the sunset where the sky and sea before us was orange, and the almost full moon shining large and pink onto the calm waters of the lagoon.

By the time I returned to Venice I was cold and tired with very sore feet so I dived into the supermarket for a salad to counteract the excessive carbs the Italians seem to love (not that I've really been eating heaps).

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