To escape the barbarian invasions in 452 AD, the habitants of the town of Altino took refuge in the islands of the Lagoon of Venice including Burano. Its name comes from the “Porta Boreana”, one of the entrances of the city of Altino, so named because it is placed in the direction from which the wind blows from north-east (named “Bora”). Known for its colourful houses and its lace, this island of the lagoon has very ancient traditions. Developed initially on stilts, since the time of the Republic of Venice, Burano lived from fishing. Then in the mists of time linked to adventures and legends of the past the art of lace, has allowed the island to be known abroad. The history of lace begins during a trip towards the east of an old fiancé fisherman. He was tempted by the siren song but he has resisted to their charms, so he received a gift from the Queen of the sirens which remains fascinated by the faithfulness of this man.
The siren has hit the corner of the side of the ship and the foam created by the movement of water has formed the bridal veil for the young girlfriend.
Arrived the day of the wedding, the fisherman gave the gift to his bride and the veil was admired and envied by all the young people of the island and they began to imitate the lace of her veil using needle and thread thinner and thinner, hoping to create an embroidery even more beautiful for their wedding dress.
The first evidence of the flourishing trade of lace is dating back from the late fifteenth century. This type of crafts has met his spread in the sixteenth century thanks to the Duchess Morosina Morosini, who created a laboratory. By the time the lace of Burano acquired international fame and soon became part of the homes of many European families. At the end of the nineteenth century was born the lace school where the art has been handed down from generation to generation. The school was then closed in 1970 where today stands the Lace Museum where you can admire the wonderful masterpieces of the lace of Burano. The museum contains about 200 masterpieces of the school between the sixteenth and twentieth century. Today in the building it is possible to see the lace-makers and buy directly from their some of authentic products. Walking through the colourful streets you come to the Church of St. Martin the Bishop.
Dedicated to the Bishop of Tours was consecrated October 29, 1645 by Marco Antonio Martinengo, Bishop of Torcello. The church does not have a main entrance in fact one enters through a door in the Renaissance style close to the Chapel of Santa Barbara. The entry consists of a large hall which houses the statue of the Madonna. The interior however, is in Lombard Baroque style with a Latin cross plan with three naves topped with neoclassical pillars. The multiple colours of the houses that today are the attraction for the island, in the past were used to define the properties, but a legend was linked to their island’s colours. The legend tells that the fishermen painted their houses to better recognize the buildings from a distance, after a long period spent at sea. Plunge into fantastic story and experience in first-hand into the wonders of the past time!
Our concierge will give you all the information needed to spend a day in the history of another pearl of the Serenissima!
The island of Burano is easily accessible by public transport from the city centre.