This is a preview of the content in our Venice Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play


Brightly painted and bijou

Burano Houses

Burano is the Legoland of the Lagoon, where everything is in brightly coloured miniature – the canals, the bridges (Burano is actually made up of four mini islands), the tipsily leaning tower, and the houses, painted with a Fauvist sensibility in the deepest of colours, which are strictly regulated: anyone who wants to paint a house a different shade must send a request to the government, which will respond with a choice of accepted colours. The island has increasingly attracted the hip and cool, including designer Philippe Starck, who owns three houses.

Traditionally on Burano the men fish (and there’s a fair collection of trattorie where you can sample the catch, at prices that would be a bargain in Venice) and the women make Venetian point, ‘the most Italian of all lacework’, beautiful, intricate and murder on the eyesight, displayed in the Museo del Merletto. Burano is literally draped with the stuff, although buyer beware: in amongst the real articles is much that has been machine made or imported.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

Vaporetto no.12 from Fondamenta Nove.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by kevinpoh