Museo del Merletto

The lace museum

Venetian lacemakers, by Robert Frederick Blum

Lace making is an old Venetian art, especially on the islands (often, in places where men fished and repaired nets, women would be expert lacemakers). The art took off in the 16th century, after Leonardo da Vinci visited the town of Lefkara on Cyprus and was so taken by the lace there that he bought a lace cloth for the high altar of the Cathedral in Milan. The lacemakers of Cyprus had adapted Venetian point, and it wasn't long before other Italian cities were putting in orders in Venice, where the technique originated.

The lacemakers in Burano took it and made the island prosperous, although in the 18th century it began to decline. When the School of Lace was founded on the island in 1872, lacemaking had declined so drastically that only one woman remembered how to do Venetian point.

The school closed in 1970, but this little museum is still the place to come to watch the last few practitioners weave their delicate scrolling floral patterns. There's a film displays, history, patterns and beautiful examples of historic lace.

Practical Info

Hours Apr-Oct Tue-Sun 10am-6pm; Nov-Mar 10am-5pm

Adm €5; €3.50 ages 6-14, students 15-25, EU citizens over 65

Piazza Galuppi 187, Burano

Website

+39 041 730034

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