Murano, Burano, and Torcello of Venice

Ferry to Murano from Fondamente Nova

We slept in until 8am and didn’t get out of the house until 10am. We headed down to the vaporetto station at the end of our street, Fondamente Nova. There were no ticket kiosks or booth at our end of the pier, but the gas station operator told us to go over the bridge.

There were a whole bunch more vaporetto docking stations over the bridge, a ticket booth and the kiosk. Unfortunately neither were accepting credit card so it was good I had cash on me! A day pass was 20€ each.

Photo of a wide canal in Venice with boats tied to poles in the water

We took the Number 4 to Murano. It was crowded ferry full of people! In the distance, you could see the Dolomite mountains blending into the clouds. We passed wood posts in the water where cormorants and seagulls stood sentry. Old buildings could be seen in the distance and the red brick walls surrounding Murano as we docked at the ferry station.

Photo of the tall skinny lighthouse in Murano


We went in the opposite direction of the crowds, eventually making our way to Central Murano by zigzagging through the quiet residential streets. The canals of Murano where lined by glass shops. We walked around and visited the lighthouse before stopping for gelato and espresso at a cafe.

Spring flowers were in bloom all over Murano. There were white blossoms on the trees, yellow forsythia, daffodils, and blue hyacinths in people’s yards, and dandelions on the lawn. I looked forward to returning home to the same flowers abloom in the gardens of Ontario!

Photo of yellow flowers abloom on a bush in a residential garden

I found it amusing that despite the sunny, balmy spring weather, people were running around in Canada Goose down coats and thick furs here! Matt and I were quite comfortable in our border season jackets, unzipped, and enjoying the warm sunshine on our faces.

Photo of a canal in Burano

Boat to Burano

We took the Number 12 ferry to Burano. It left Murano every 20 minutes and was a 45 minute boat ride. We lined up 16 minutes ahead of time to assure we’d get a seat as the ferries are packed like sardines even during off-season!

Photo of a boat outside colourful houses


Our tummies were grumbling for lunch as we sat on the boat. Fortunately there was a lovely little park just off the dock with people having picnics on the grass and on wooden benches. We found a sunny bench to sit and got out our own picnic of sandwiches and chocolate. Pigeons gathered at our feet begging for crumbs.

Burano was an Instagramer’s paradise. The whole island was composed of brightly coloured houses with flowerpots and hanging laundry blowing in the breeze. We had an absolutely hoot wandering around the village. There was a photo opportunity in every nook and cranny of this island! We were very happy here with our camera.

There were lots of for sale signs on the buildings. Most of the people coming in and out of the houses were seniors hunched over with walking canes. No one looked very happy – but who would with tourists running around everywhere!

We had an espresso at the bar of a cafe, purchasing two cannolis to enjoy later. We bought two watercolour prints from an old lady and made our way back to the ferry dock. We sat on a wood bench under the trees and enjoyed our cannolis before hopping on the ferry to Torcello.


We took the Number 9 boat to Torcello. There was hardly anyone on the ferry which was a relief after the crowds everywhere else! It was a very short ferry ride – just five minutes!

There was an accordion player along the canal was we walked up the path from the ferry dock. Most of the restaurants appeared to be closed and the museum was quiet, but there were a couple vendors selling goods along the path. We found some beautiful postcards being sold for half the price they were going for in Venice, so bought a whole bunch! The old man manning the station was very nice too.

We walked around the church grounds that was now a museum, looking at the various stone statues. There was a small old vineyard and a bridge without a parapet like the one in central Venice, minus all the people!

Taverna Tipica Veneziana

We stopped in a intriguing family restaurant on our way back to the ferry dock. It had a playground and a petting zoo for kids with two sheep and gigantic brown goats with horns. Wooden and tables were lined up beneath orchard trees and canopies, making a lovely simple setting to enjoy one’s dinner. They even had bat houses! It was a fun place.

We split a slice of fish lasagna between us. I got a bergamot soda and Matt had a beer. It came to 19.50€, but was so far the best food we’d had in Venice. The lasagna was even served in an edible bowl made out of crackers!

The sheep and goats bleated away as we ate, a dog barked in the distance, chickens clucked, and birds sang in the dying light of the day. As we strolled down to the dock, doves cooed as the sky turned pink with the setting sun. Torcello was a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Venice!

Boat ride back to Venice

We caught the Number 9 back to Burano, then transferred to the Number 12 home. You could see the coloured houses of Burano from the ferry dock or Torcello, so vivid even from a distance!

The ferry dock at Burano was packed full of rowdy people waiting for the ferry back to Fondamente Nova. They entertained themselves clapping and chanting as if they were at a soccer match. I was amazed everyone could fit on the ferry! We didn’t get a seat this time. It was a balancing act until we got to Murano when a bunch of school kids disembarked.

We passed a curious ruin sinking into the sea. It’s only inhabitant was a seagull. I wondered what its tale was. We could see the leaning tower of Burano in the distance, it’s tilt more apparent against the sky, without the distraction of the buildings all around it. The sun shone a long peach beam across the rippled water, following us all the way home.

Dinner at Home

We dropped our bags at home, then went out to the grocery store to buy fresh pasta for dinner. The city was dark now but for the rare lamplight shining over the still and silent canals.

We decided to take an alternative route this evening, which ended up involving a couple dead ends and a totally different grocery store! This grocery store was even better and we had a grand time looking at all the yummy things you could buy there!

We bought fresh pasta and gelato for dessert. Back home we had an absolute feast! We had the pesto and Parmesan we’d bought the day before with our new grocery store scores. Matt had a glass of wine and we sat listening to classical music while enjoying our meal.

After we washed up, we packed for our departure from Venice tomorrow. I reviewed my photos from the day and Matt watched what news he could when the wifi was behaving (the wifi is two bars at most). Now we lay in bed listening to the put-put of the space heater. It sounds like the engine of a boat!

Photo of a lemon growing on a tree
Lemon tree in Burano, Italy