The Venetian Lagoon: Murano, Burano, and Torcello

The Venetian Lagoon: Murano, Burano, and Torcello

After a few days visiting the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica, a visit to the islands of Murano, Burano, or Torcello can be a wonderful change of pace and scenery from the bustling city streets.

One of Venice's famous Canals

If you’re spending three or more days in Venice, you will probably have enough time explore one or two of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon. Each island feels like an extension of Venice, but they also have their own character. After a few days visiting the Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica, a visit to Murano, Burano, or Torcello can be a wonderful change of pace and scenery from the bustling city streets. All of the islands can be accessed easily via water buses ran by the Venice public transport company, so why not visit one, two, or all three on your next trip?


Murano is famous for its Glass-making history

It should only take around half an hour by boat to reach Murano. Murano’s glass industry is famous all around the world. This makes Murano the most famous island in the lagoon. If you’re interested in the island’s fascinating glassmaking history, you can visit the Glass Museum (Museo Vetraio). You will also find countless glass trinkets, vases, and other larger pieces available in the island’s many artisanal glassware shops. The colours and patterns imbued into its glass have made Murano synonymous with glassmaking all around the world, so you will probably be tempted to buy something — just make sure you can fit it into your luggage or have a secure way of getting it home in one piece!

But there’s so much more to Murano than its glassware and glassmaking heritage! The streets and harbour are beautiful and it has two stunning churches: St Pietro Martire and Basilica di Santi Maria e Donato, which is famous for its stunning mosaics. Murano is a small, quiet island, so it may be exactly what you need after a few days exploring the busy canals and streets of Venice.


The beautiful colourful buildings of Burano

Burano is a little further away than Murano, and can be found around 33 minutes from Venice if you travel by water bus. You can catch a bus either from Fondamenta Nove in Venice or from the Faro stop on Murano. Burano’s vibrant, colourful houses give the island its own distinct atmosphere. The colours are varied and it is believed that this penchant for colourful houses was borrowed from the colourful boat hulls of the island’s fishing boats.

Burano is famous for its lacemaking industry, and any visitor keen to understand as much as they can about the island’s heritage ought to visit the Lace Museum. The museum is very small, but this makes the building and the museum experience even more charming!


The island of Torcello, another beautiful island to include in your visit to Venice

Torcello is just a short distance north of Burano and it has plenty to offer visitors. The main reason to visit Torcello is its impressive cathedral, which is called the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. This cathedral dates as far back as 639 A.D. and it has a fascinating history. Alongside the basilica, you will also find a striking bell tower and the Church of Santa Fosca. Tickets are often sold separately for the basilica, the bell tower, and the Church of Santa Fosca, but you can buy a ticket that includes all three locations, so keep your eyes peeled! The bell tower will afford you a stunning view of the island, the surrounding lagoon, and the distant city of Venice.

If you don’t want to choose between these three fascinating islands, you can take our Three Islands boat tour and visit all three over the course of 4 and a half hours! Even if you don’t visit all three islands, we hope you’ll at least visit one on your next trip to Venice. If you have any more questions about the islands of the Venetian Lagoon or one of our many tours, please get in touch. Plan your next big adventure today!