Day 14 – breakfast > glass factory tour in Murano > Burano
The buffet breakfast at Hotel Antiche Figure was quite good. It was nothing like the varieties of 5 star hotels but it had everything you want for basic yet filling breakfast.
We were ready for our free tour to visit the glass factory in Murano after breakfast. You will need to inform the concierge that you are interested to join the tour in advance to secure the seats for you.
We were picked up by a water taxi to Murano and there was another family staying at our hotel also joining the free tour.
We took full advantage of the water taxi ride and took many nice photos cruising in the canal. A free ride which would compensate us for refusing to pay 80 euros for a gondola (gondola gondola gondola!).
Watching the artisans (or glaziers) at work is quite amazing and definitely worth while to stand and watch for a little while. After visiting the glass factory, we were taken to the showroom and it is not allowed to take photos there. They have everything there from sculptures to chandeliers to wine glasses. There was a drinking glasses set that I liked. It was hand painted with some gold/silver floral patterns and not the kind of tacky and over the top design. To give you an idea, it looks like the pattern on Perrier Jouet belle epoque champaigne bottle. It was a set of 6 small glasses with 1 small jug. I almost bought it until I realized the price is €600!!! We ended up leaving the factory empty handed.
We walked towards the Burano water bus pier after we left the glass factory. Murano is a place that looks similar to Venice, though a lot less crowded with a lot of glass product souvenirs shops. If you are planning to buy souvenirs in Murano, make sure you compare prices from difference stores before actually buying it as the price varies. Look for the trademark below for the original Murano glass product.
We passed another artisan glass factory which is on the way to and quite close to the ferry terminal to Burano, which was definitely worthwhile to take some quick snaps. We didn’t stay in Murano for long as there wasn’t much else to see besides the glass factory and we took the water bus to Burano. It is a very small island and you don’t really need a map to get around.
Details of the waterbus service:
We finally arrived at this surreal and photogenic island with its vibrant house colors! Legend has it that people began painting their houses in luminous colours so that the fishermen could see them even in in thick fog and avoid crashing into the shore after a voyage at sea. The color of the houses follow a special pattern. If the residents wish to paint their own house, an official request needs to be sent to the government and it will approve or disapprove the suggested color. Besides its colorful buildings, Burano is famous for the lemon-scented, S-shaped buranelli biscuits and handmade lace.
We ended up having lunch at Bar Sports Pizzeria as the other restaurants that we wanted to go to was full.
The meal was ok. Not something exceptional but it was average though no complaints. If I have the chance to visit Burano again, I would love to try Da Romano. Famous designer Philippe Stark who owns some properties in Burano mentioned in an interview that it is his favourite restaurant and recommended the dish frutti di mare.
If you are planning to visit Burano, you can check out the following website for restaurants recommendations. http://goitaly.about.com/od/venice-islands/ss/burano-island-venice_3.htm
There is no doubt that Burano is my favourite part of our time in Venice. I think this town has a colorful character and it makes me energetic and happy. I can even feel the positive energy just by looking at the photos now. My photos don’t really do the town justice, as Mr Map’s Nikon DSLR ran out of battery after a little while, though luckily we both have two cameras each. If you are ever going to visit Venice, I would highly recommend you to visit this beautiful small town, and make the most out of a half-day visit. If I ever come back I would spend less time in Venice so as to make a side trip to Burano. If you are in Venice for two days, I would definitely spend half a day here. We took the ferry back to Venice after a pleasant afternoon.
Story about Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) connected the interrogation rooms in the Doges Palace with the prison cells. Legend has it that It got its name from when prisoners passing across it sighed for their lost freedom and their final view of Venice through the tiny windows. There is another legend about the bridge which is more romantic. Legend has it that if couples kiss on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs as the bell of St Mark’s Campanile tolls, the couple will be granted eternal love.
We found a restaurant called La Zucca through Yelp with a high rating and went there for dinner. It is about 10mins walk from our hotel. Like every night during our time in Italy, we didn’t make a reservation and just walked in. We were lucky enough to get the available table, although it was outdoor seating (I had my coat and scarf on for the whole dinner).
We ordered the signature drink of Venice called Spritz. There were 2 types of Spritz served in this restaurant. One is more bitter while the other one is sweeter.
I couldn’t remember what exactly we ordered (it’s been more than 6 months after my trip in Italy) and my Italiano is also quite hazy. The dishes were recommended by the waiter and they were all very good, definitely one of the highlights of our stay in Venice.
We had panna cotta for dessert.
It was a very good dining experience. Everything tasted excellent and it was not very expensive. Definitely highly recommended.
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat – lunch 12:30-14:30; dinner 19:00-22:30
Address: Sestiere Santa Croce 1762, Venice
Thoughts about Venice
To a lot of people, Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world, even George Clooney had his wedding in this city (Sep, 2014 a month before our visit). Personally I think Venice is too crowded, full of tourists, and everything is overpriced (including the transportation). Despite this, the narrow streets, architecture and canals make the town itself quite a spectacle, and it is both enjoyable and frustrating to get lost through its windy streets. I would still recommend first timers to go to Venice as many experts have said that Venice will vanish by this century’s end due to global warming. Also, try your very best to be a responsible tourist and hopefully our future generations will still have the chance to see it and marvel at its beauty. Burano is definitely my favourite part of Venice and try not to miss it while you are in Venice.
After staying in Venice for 2 nights, we were heading to Milan the next day, the last city on our Italian holiday.
What do you think of Venice? What is your story about Venice?