Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I shared the details of how we got to Venice in my last post, and this one is partially "how to get to Murano & Burano"- and partially "other fun things to do in Venice". 
Exciting, I know. Who doesn't like a 2 for 1 deal?

This post is huge because we did a LOT this day...we walked about 28,000 steps! We definitely earned every single bit of gelato we ate while we were there. 

OK so.
Part #1a: How to get to Murano
Much like all other transit in Italy- the waterbus system couldn't be easier. You can use the English ACTV site, where you can plan your trips. Don't buy tickets ahead of time, you can easily do it when you get to the F.te Nove stop. If you're planning on going to Murano and Burano, I'd recommend getting a 1 day ticket- that way you just have to buy it once, and it saves you money going back and forth around the islands! There are maps at the stops as well showing where/when each line runs (like the subways in the USA) in case you get confused.
We stayed in Cannaregio, so we just took a short walk to F.te Nove B, which we heard was the easiest location to leave from Venice to get to Murano. Murano has 6 easy stops that would get you to the touristy parts of the island- and if you accidentally get off on the "wrong" stop- everything is within walking distance, with bridges across canals to get you where you need to go. We got off on Murano Navagero- and made our way around the entire island.
how to get to murano from venice
A few tips:
1. Go. Early. In. The. Day. If you're "not a morning person"- get over it...or get used to being packed like a sardine into a waterbus! We were still jetlagged, so we naturally woke up around 5-6 am, and headed towards the F. te Nove to grab an espresso and a cornetto- and take an early waterbus over to the island. There were only a handful of people around, so we had our pick of where to sit!

2. Validate. Your. Ticket. Make sure to validate your ticket before you get on the bus- on some rides people come around to check to make sure you've done this, and you can be fined if you don't have the proper ticket/validation.

3. If your stomach doesn't love being on the water, pack a ginger ale or some ginger chews (Chimes are the best)- you can thank me later. 

We got to Murano pretty early...before 8 am I think- and at that time in the morning NOTHING exciting is open...which was actually fine for us. It was overcast, so we just walked around the island until we found a small cafe that was open, and ordered more espresso (duh).  There was so much color to be seen; I think I took about 80 pictures of old doors and bright homes and businesses.
murano venice italy
how to travel to murano, italy
love the contrast in color

Murano is famous for its glass goods and glass blowing, and proof of that was all over the island- like the insane glass sculpture below:
glass blowing in murano, italy

Slowly the shops where you can watch the glassblowers work started to open, so we wandered until we found a free one. Some studios will allow you to watch the glassblowing for free- and only ask for tips at the end or usher you into their shop to buy goods. Others do charge you an entrance fee. In our opinion it was cool to see, but we were glad we didn't have to pay an admission fee for it!

My favorite bit of the island was a studio we found that was COVERED in these hand blown glass roses in about 30 colors. Amazing, right?
glass blowing in murano, italy
Seriously- amazing art on every wall in the city!
glass blowing in murano, italy

Part #1b: How to get to Burano

It's about a 30 minute waterbus ride from Murano to Burano- which is completely beautiful! We left from Murano Faro and ended up at Burano SX- which I think is one of the main spots most waterbuses go to the island. Burano is super tiny, and not at all hard to get around!
how to get to burano, italy

Burano is known for it's insanely colored buildings- and it did not disappoint at all. It's basically impossible to take a bad picture on this island! About halfway into our time there the clouds finally burned off, which meant we could get even more vibrant shots of the houses (and by we I mean me). Michael was so patient with me and I screeched every time I saw a house in a new color. I mean you GUYS. NEON GREEN HOUSES. MAGENTA RESTAURANTS. WHAT!?!?
burano, italy

Packers colors, of course!
burano, italy

Obviously I had to hold my Fruti di Bosco gelato up to the colorful walls, because #instagram.
bright gelato in burano, italy
pink house in burano, italy

Other than taking colorful pictures and a little shopping there isn't a TON to do on Burano, so we hopped on a waterbus back to Murano and got some pizza, naturally. I think the pizza was like... 6 euros? The water was almost the same price!
pizza in murano, italy

After eating we waited for a waterbus so we could head back to Venice- as you can see the beautiful blue sky came out!

We got back to Venice and recharged at our Airbnb for a bit before heading out to explore some more..which leads me to:
Part #2: Things to do in Venice!
So obviously you can spend your entire time in Venice just getting lost in the canals. Some are gorgeous, some are super smelly, but all have character and so much history! At first I was a littttle creeped out by all the narrow alleys and canals (#strangerdanger), but once you get used to the vibe you realize how safe the island is. 
canals in venice, italy

We headed down to Piazza San Marco, where we were blown away by Basilica di San Marco, and Palazzo Ducale.
Basilica di San Marco, Venice Italy
Basilica di San Marco, Venice Italy

Palazzo Ducale, Venice Italy

Palazzo Ducale, Venice Italy

Can we talk about the architecture here? GAHHHHH.
venice, italy

SO many gondolas! We didn't end up taking one partially because they were pretty expensive and partially because we wanted to walk around more during the daylight- but they sure were gorgeous to look at!
gondolas in venice, italy

Next we headed over to the Grand Canal and the Ponte di Rialto- which was amazing from the front...but under construction inside!
ponte di rialto- venice, italy
gondolas in venice, italy

This is what we SHOULD have gotten for dinner...
pizza in venice, italy
...but instead we enjoyed some lemon gelato since it was getting HOT in the sun!

Like I said earlier, you could spend the entire day just walking around the canals!
After being around San Marco we were SO glad we got our Airbnb where we did. San Marco area is really busy, touristy, and full of a lot more shops. Cannaregio was so quiet- and still had plenty of restaurants and bars!
canals in venice, italy
We ended up getting a later dinner and some wine at a place our Airbnb host recommended. We didn't really love it- but that was kind of the theme of the food in Venice- it wasn't that epic. The food everywhere else in Italy was SO much better...I've actually had better Italian meals here in Madison (love you, Osteria Papavero) than the meals we had in Venice. Thus, I can give you ZERO Venice restaurant recommendations- sorry!

Whew! So there you have it- Venice in a nutshell!

- Don't be afraid to book an Airbnb away from the Grand Canal or San Marco area. Everything is super safe and walkable- and will be much cheaper away from those touristy areas.
- Buy the day pass for the ACTV waterbuses for Murano/Burano- and go early in the day! 
- Don't spend too much for food in Venice-cheap pasta/pizza is about as good as expensive pasta/pizza.
- Eat lots of gelato, and take lots of pictures :)

Have you been to Venice/Murano/Burano?
What were your thoughts on them?

xo, laura

To see my first post about Venice, go HERE.
Find me on Instagram HERE

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