As if Venice weren’t beautiful enough, the nearby islands of Murano and Burano are practically made for postcards. Murano — the closest of the two islands to Venice — is famous for its glass-making community, while Burano — pictured above — was known for lace making but now its brightly-colored buildings seem to be the main tourist draw.
We kicked off my birthday by taking the short boat ride from Venice to Murano, where we attended a free glass-making demonstration at one of the workshops close to the port (note the boat gas station we passed on the way). Afterward, we spent a couple of hours meandering through the many glass art shops, which sold everything from adorable animal statuettes to decorative plates to enormous ornate chandeliers (I can’t even imagine how much it must cost to ship one of those home…) Our guidebook had instructed us to look for a special seal to distinguish the real Murano work from the fake, but we never spotted the logo they described anywhere. Instead, the workshops had a variety of different stickers and stamps proclaiming they were real Murano glass, so it’s still somewhat debatable as to the authenticity of our purchases. At least we know they were SOLD in Murano 🙂
Shopped out, we took a boat over to Burano where we gobbled down pizza slices for lunch and spent an hour or two wandering around the fishing village. As a photography nut, I was absolutely smitten with Burano — but I would recommend a visit even if the extent of your photography would be a selfie in front of one of the neon houses. It’s quite charming.