Burano is an
islandin the Venetian Lagoon, although like Veniceitself it could more correctly be called an archipelagoof islands linked by bridges. It lies near Torcelloat the northern end of the Lagoon, and is known for its lacework.
Burano is situated 7 kilometers from Venice, a short 40 minute trip by Venetian motorboats, "vaporetti".The island is linked to
Mazzorboby a bridge. The current population of Burano is about 4,000.
The island was probably settled by the Romans, and in the
6th centurywas occupied by people from Altino, who named it for one of the gates of their former city. Two stories are attributed to how the city obtained its name. One is that it was initially founded by the Buriana family, and another is that the first settlers of Burano came from the small island of Buranello, five miles to the south.
Although the island soon became a thriving settlement, it was administered from Torcello and had none of the privileges of that island or of
Murano. It rose in importance only in the 16th century, when women on the island began making lacewith needles. The lace was soon exported across Europe, but decline began in the 18th centuryand the industry did not revive until 1872, when a school of lacemaking was opened. Lacemaking on the island boomed again, but few now make lace in the traditional manner as it is extremely time-consuming and therefore expensive.
Culture and main sights
Burano is also known for its small, brightly-painted houses, popular with
artists. The designer Philippe Starckowns three houses. Other attractions include the Church of "San Martino", with a campanile, the "Oratorio di Santa Barbara" and the Museum and School of Lacemaking. The colours of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development; if someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that lot. This practice has resulted in the myriad of warm, pastelly colours that characterises the island today.
Notes and references
* [http://arglist.com/photos/burano.html Free-use photos of Burano]
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