Venice is always a buzz with tourists from all over the world and their selfie sticks, but when you’ve had a ride on a gondola on the Grand Canal and taken in Piazza San Marco, what else is there to see? I suggest using the water bus and getting out on the water and exploring some of Venice’s lagoon islands. Whilst you won’t escape the tourists entirely, it can be a more relaxing and peaceful experience on the whole.
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Murano is a collection of 7 islands connected by bridges and known as the island of glass after all Venice’s glassmakers were forced to move their in 1291 due to fears of their foundries causing fires amongst the wooden buildings on the city. Meander through the streets and take a look in the shops selling beautiful hand-crafted glass souvenirs.
This is the stop before Burano and it’s worth getting off here and taking in the tranquillity after the hustle and bustle of Venice proper. If you’re here at lunch time stop at Michelin starred Venissa set amongst a vineyard and gardens. When you’re done, walk over to Burano using the bridge.
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It will take about 40 minutes to reach Burano, an old fishing village, by boat and it’s worth it. This lacemaking island is simply delightful to walk around, with its colourful houses along narrow streets beside the water. Very pretty and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
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This island today has only a handful of residents after thousands of inhabitants moved off the island in the 12th century due to silted waters and malarial mosquitoes. It’s worth a visit and the must-see attractions are the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and the Throne of Attila, an ancient stone chair.
There are additional islands you can visit, like San Michele, the city’s cemetery, but the frequency of ferries can make it difficult to fit in to your itinerary. If you’re looking for a place to stay to explore Venice and the surrounding area Eurocamp have a number of parcs on the Adriatic Coast.
Have you visited any of Venice’s lagoon islands? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.