Venice, Italy Day 47

Today I was out the door as early as I seem to be able to make it these days, 10:00 and headed for Burano. Burano is the the island known for its lace making and biscotti. It’s very small and quaint and quite charming.  According to Ivan, one of the owner’s of the hotel I’m staying at, it’s what Venice was like 50 years ago. There are still lots of tourists, it’s just not as touristy. The houses are the most incredible colours! Apparently they are painted like that to be visible to the fisherman in the fog, to help guide them home.
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It was so grossly hot today. Everyone was just staggering around. Gelato sales must have gone through the roof! Today I had Mango and Menta. Not together, that would be a disgusting combination! I was going to do Murano, Burano and Tocello today, but I was stopping so much, and walking so slow from the heat that I ran out of time for Murano. I’m going to try to fit it in tomorrow since it’s only a 10 minute Vaporetto ride. It took a good 45 minutes to get to Burano, and another 10 to get to Torcello.
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On a totally different note, I’ve been attacked by mosquito’s again! And where do they bite me when I have the sheets pulled up to my chin? Yup, my face! I mist have 9 bites on my face, and they look like zits! So not nice.
Burano has canals and a few gondola’s as well.
Some building are freshly painted, and some are well aged.
You cannot tell from this photo, but the tower was like Pisa! It looked like it was about to topple over!
Popping colour! I just love it!
This is one of my favourite shots. It’s such a clean and simple image!
Yes, another gnome.
I googled “Burano Biscotti” this morning, and came across this great blog called Elizabeth Minchili in Rome. She’s an American writer living in Rome and blogging about all kinds of foodie stuff. She recently blogged about Burano and mentioned a little bakery that she liked that was had authentic Burano cookies. I don’t think she mentioned the name of the bakery, but I managed to find it on my own and sample a few for myself. I tried the Essi (S) cookie. I’ll never be able to eat one of those dry, mealy, mass produced ones again! I also got a couple of other cookies, one was chewy with a it of a coconut flavour, and the other was a basic cookie that it took me a while to realise it had corn meal in it. They were simple yet tasty. Thanks for the tip Elizabeth! If anyone wants to check out her blog its in my links to the right.
Burano is the island of lace makers. I only saw one woman actually *making* any lace, and from looking at the prices in the souvenir shops, I’m thinking the majority of this lace isn’t actually made here.
Did you ever think you’d need a tiny lace umbrella? Yeah, me neither…
I went for lunch at the place my parents went when they were here a few years ago. I had Calamari and scampi. It was deep fried, and it was delicious. Again, so simply prepared. Just lemon juice, no sauces or anything, and cooked to perfection.
Next I went to the island of Torcello. There is a beautiful basilica and museum here and a handful of restaurants, and that’s about it. It has some history though. It was the place where the Venetians fled to after the fall of the Roman Empire to escape the barbarian invasions. In the 10th century it had a population of 10,000 people and was more powerful than Venice. Over time the population decreased and it now has about 20 people living here.
Church of Santa Fosca. This is the more basic of the 2 churches in Torcello. It was free to go inside, and there wasn’t much to it.
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you step inside it takes your breath away! It is vast and tall, and each end is flanked by a huge mosaic. My picture of the inside is terrible, but I just wanted to give an idea of the scale, see the people at the bottom?  It was a really different church from others I’ve seen. It had a post and beam roof and it’s walls were mainly brick. It almost had a rustic feel, except for those mosaics… they were almost modern looking compared to the shell of the building.
This church was founded in the year 639, and the surviving mosaics are Byzantine from the 11th and 12th century. I went to the museum after the church, but you weren’t allowed to take photo’s. Mainly it was Roman and pre-Roman artifacts found on and around the island.
I know this is disgusting, but I just had t share the nasty bathroom on the vaparetto. A true pit toilet is I’ve ever seen one!
When I got back to my hotel I was exhausted. From the heat, the greasy food and all that walking… I thought I’d check out some Italian TV. Their infomercials are even better than the American ones. The ones I was enjoying most was some sort of weight loss device. It looked like a spanx garment that you wrap around your middle, and from the demonstrations I saw, it supposed to make you lose weight because it makes you sweat! Um, if that was the secret, I’d weigh like, 2 lbs! (Yes, I sweat, I mean, GLOW!) And the bonus? You get a pearl necklace when you order! OMG, I was laughing out loud watching this! Then there was Italia’s Next Top Model and a Mr. Bean cartoon! Do we have that at home?

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One Response to Venice, Italy Day 47

  1. Michele May 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I love the photo of the white laundry hanging outside the blue building! Much nicer than the photo of the pit toilet, which I’m glad you included because, OMG! that is truly nasty. Yuck! Sorry to hear the weather has been so hot for you there; wish you could send some of that heat our way!

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