Buongiorno! Hopefully you've had a chance to catch up on my first day's travels in Venice. If not, check it out here.
My next morning in Venezia began in pain. Despite the deliciousness I'd indulged during my first day in Venice, I've finally deduced that the pre-packaged and processed food onboard my inbound flight to Ukraine did not work well with my otherwise healthy diet. (Tip: If you have a long flight where food will be served onboard, make sure their menu pairs well with your diet. If not, pack snacks full of protein to keep you fuller for your long journey.) I was able to get my hands on some antacid (six whole euros!!) and sparkling water (a very popular beverage here) to settle my stomach and give me the will power to make it to my tour on time.
For those who enjoy tours, Viator provides hundreds, if not thousands, of tour options for cities around the world at various price points. You'll notice that in each of the cities I visit over the next couple weeks, I've booked a tour for popular destinations within or near the main cities. I've booked these tours not to assimilate into the tourist culture, but to gain information and history that I otherwise wouldn't have received based on my own observations and research. My tour included a private boat ride to the islands of Murano and Burano, just a quick boat ride from the main Venetian island. Learn more about the tour here.
Our small group of 10 met at San Marco Square along the Grand Canal. Our tour guide, Monica, provided us with headsets that we would use during our ride so that we could hear her over the waves and motor as she explained the history of the waterways and various islands we would pass. The ride was beautiful — clear, bright blue skies, with the waves crashing around us.
Our boat docked right outside the New Murano Gallery, a glass making factory built several decades ago. A young man greeted our group and explained that he was the son of one of the glassmakers. He led us to the main working site, where an older gentleman demonstrated the extensive process of making a small glass pitcher. Since glassmakers do not have any formal training, they must dedicate years learning this special trade from the preceding generations.
We were then led to their showrooms to view the various handmade glass pieces exclusively sold and shipped (for FREE) by this location. These pieces ranged from from thousands to only 10€.
After browsing the gallery, we had some time to set out and explore Murano. A less populated and much calmer island than Venice, I passed many small shops selling more glass pieces. If you're looking for a quick getaway from the city, I'd definitely recommend a day trip to Murano.
Our group then boarded our water vessel to the next destination, Burano. I was immediately captured by the vibrancy of every imaginable color! While attempting to listen and keep up with my group, I had to pause several times to capture the dazzling buildings decorating this island. We were led to a lacemaking shop, where a young woman greeted us to explain this intricate process. Since the school for lacemaking was closed some years ago, it's become a dying art, depending on the skill set of the elderly women who have practiced the trade since their teenage years. A small doily can take nearly four weeks to complete! We then browsed their showroom of various pieces ranging from tablecloths to embroidered silk garments.
Eager to soak in more of Burano, our group was given free time to explore the many aspects of this small island. An overwhelming amount of creative inspiration struck. Our guide explained that the buildings of this island were intentionally painted in bright colors to guide fleeing Roman fishermen to its ports, and I'm so glad they did so! Around every corner, you could find pinks, blues, and oranges applied to houses and buildings. Those who lived in these lovely homes would periodically open their windows to hang their laundry and look out to the streets below. The layout of the city made it likely to turn a corner to an empty street, offering the opportunity for a quick photo session.
After getting quite trigger-happy with my shutter button, I grabbed a bite at Fritto Misto, the go-to spot specializing in fried fish caught right on the waters surrounding the island.
After departing Burano, we headed back to San Marco Square to conclude our adventure. Once again left to my own curiosity, I explored more of the square and surrounding area. I then found another delicious, yet affordable, restaurant to enjoy handmade pasta and quality wine.
Unintentionally, I got off track and ended up on the other side of the island. It's often during these moments where I can appreciate the visits to areas and people I never planned to encounter. These experiences open up my travels to so much more and feed my wanderlust more than I thought I desired.
For more shots from Day 2 of my Venetian travels, check out the photos below.
See you soon from my next Italian destination, Positano.