Venice is beautiful, but potentially not the wisest destination for the first stop on my trip. Before leaving the UK, I was running around frantically trying to get things done until the last minute. A two week beach holiday might have been a more appropriate first port of call.
I spent my first two days in Venice a) sleeping and b) trying to get in as many of the tourist hot spots and museums as possible. I had purchased a Venezia Unica card and was determined to get value for money, by actually visiting the museums I had forked out for (in between leg rest breaks). Combined with staying in a hostel, the beginning of my trip was not turning out to be very retreat like at all. That was until I visited the islands of Murano and Burano – in what turned out to be the perfect day- trip antidote to my tension and weariness.
It only takes ten minutes to get to Murano from Venice’s Fondamente Nove stop on the 4.1 or 4.2 vaporetto line. Or if you’re feeling lazy like I was, you can take the vaporetto all the way around the main island of Venice from Guidecca (where I was staying) or San Marco Zaccaria. It takes a wee while if you’re going to go all the way around, but it’s a nice trip to take – get the wind in your hair and all that.
From the moment I stepped onto the island I felt more relaxed. You can easily dawdle away time wandering around, crossing bridges and taking pictures. There’s a lot of tourists there eating gelato and also taking pictures, but that didn’t bother me. Everyone was just enjoying the sun and soaking up the atmosphere.
The island of Murano is known for its glassblowing. In 1291 all of the glassmakers in Venice were made to move to the island due to the risk of fires. There are lots of glassware shops and factories that you can look around. Watching a glassmaking demonstration is either free or €5.
The glass museum in Venice was one of the few I actually enjoyed. The first sections were a little dull, but the contemporary glass art was great!
Once I had completed my stop off at the museum, I headed on to Burano on the number 12 vaporetto line from Murano Faro stop. Burano is much further out than Murano, so be prepared for it to take a little while to get there.
Burano is absolutely beautiful – all of the houses are painted in different vibrant colours. Supposedly so that home owners could find their own house in the mist. There isn’t much to do on the island of Burano other than wander around the canals, take pictures, eat gelato or have a cheeky aperol spitz. All of which was absolutely perfect for me. Despite the long ferry ride back to the main island of Venice (and then on to Guidecca), I felt replenished.
If you have more time, you could stop of at Torecello as well.