A Trip to the Islands of Venice
Venice is made up of more than one hundred islands, joined together by canals and bridges. As if that weren’t enough, the city is also surrounded by numerous islands of different sizes which are dotted through the lagoon. These are some of the most well-known:
MURANO: The Glass Island
Famous all over the world for its glass, this is one of the largest islands of the Venetian Lagoon, and one of the most touristy. Many of the glass factories of Murano can be visited, so you can see how artesans make handmade glass products using the technique of blowing. They make lamps, cups, sculptures and other decorations. In the island of Murano, yu can also find the Glass Museum of Venice (Museo del Vetro di Venezia). Get there: by vaporetto from Venice, with lines 41, 42 and DM (the last of these is the fastest, and takes twenty minutes).
LIDO: Venice Beach
Of all the Venice islands, Lido is the only one that has main roads, cars and beaches. Lido forms a sort of natural barrier between Venice and the Adriatic Sea. At the beginning of the 20th Century, it was one of the most fashionable coasts of Europe. Currently its beaches have lost some of their glamour, but are perfect for a having a dip. In Lido, the famous cinema festival of the Biennale is celebrated, and it’s also the island to go and try your luck if you fancy betting in the casino. Get there: to get from Venice to Lido by vaporetto only takes 10 minutes. Among the many lines that can take you are 1, 2, 11, 18, 20, 51 and 61.
BURANO: The Coloured Island
With its colourfully-painted houses, this small island looks to have been taken from a book of fairytales. Traditionally, it was a fisherman’s island, and it’s said that the custom of painting the façades brilliant colours began so that seamen could recognise their houses during snowy days. It’s intense chromatic palate is charming, but no less interesting are its seafood and fresh fish dishes. Lace doilies are also typical of Burano. Get there: in vaporetto from “Fondamente Nuove” in Venice or the island of Murano, with line LN. The trip takes around 45 minutes.
TORCELLO: The Island of Mosaics
Of the various islands of Venice, Torcello is one of the quietest, given that it’s practically uninhabited. Its two churches, however, are very well conserved. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, constructed in the 17th Century, stands out because of its incredible Byzantine mosaics. In Torcello, you’ll also find one of the two must luxurious restaurants of all the Venetian lake: the Locanda Cipriani. Get there: you have to take the T line of the vaporetto from Burano. The jourmey only lasts 5 minutes.
SAN MICHELE: The Island of the Dead
Also known as the island of the dead, San Michele is the historic cemetary of Venice. It’s not particularly for tourism, but has some interesting works of funereal art, and holds the peacefully-resting remains of some famous characters such as Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Luigi Nono and Joseph Brodsky. It also houses the church of San Michele in Isola, the first Renaissance-style building to be constructed in Venice. Get there: with vaporetto lines 41 or 42 from “Fondamenta Nuove”. It only takes 5 minutes.