Day two in Venice and we are off to do an island tour of Venice, St Michele, Murano and Burano. It’s sort of a island tour of Venice.(Vaporetto style lol).
After reaching Piazza Roma by bus we caught Vaporetto No 2 towards San Marco where we soon were heading towards the island of Saint Michele.
St Michele island is the city grave yard which was started by Napoleon. He supposedly wasn’t happy with the churches burying everyone around the churches in Venice so he had them all moved out to St Michele. The cemetery, although not as grand as the Staglieno we saw in Genoa Italy, really reflects the family connection that Italians have. Looking around an Italian graveyard the first thing that is most noticeable is the colour. Fresh flowers are everywhere throughout their cemeteries. Just watching the way that people interact with those dear departed really brings it home that for some death is a part of life. You’re probably wondering what I mean by this. As I was watching, a middle aged man arrived at the family tomb with fresh flowers. He then proceeded to kiss all the portraits of people on the tomb. Then he replaced the old flowers with fresh ones whilst happily chatting away to his dear departed.
Was his actions strange? Well it didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows as most people were doing the same thing.
In the graveyard a rubber gloved old lady was busily scrubbing her husbands grave whilst chatting away. Afterwards everything went back in the bucket for the trip home on the Vaporetto.
It made me ponder whether in our modern country which is a multicultural melting pot of cultures we’ve lost something and look at death as a finality rather than a part of life.
The next ferry was to take us to the island of Murano. After lunch at a small locals bar we set out to explore the island. Murano is the home of master glass makers. They produce all sorts of glass items from multi coloured beads through to enormous art pieces.
Walking around the island there’s no shortage of shops selling high quality glass products. There’s also some unscrupulous ones passing off cheap Chinese glass products as locally made Murano glass, which those who are authentic are quick to point out. For the next few hours we wandered from one shop or showroom to another. The beauty of the glassware has to be seen to be believed.
Michele even picked up a new necklace from one of the shops where an artist was busy making glass objects. The island is quite beautiful with colourful old buildings lining canals just like Venice. We even met a school teacher from Bavaria who invited us to stay whenever we get there. Isn’t that great.
Our next ferry took us to the island of Burano, which was cloaked in fog. Burano is famous for its priceless laces and brightly coloured houses. Looking at some of the work it’s reminds me of a time long ago when people had lace work protecting furniture. Some of the dresses and children’s clothes trimmed with lace were just amazing. Supposedly there’s been a big push lately by the island group to keep the lacework traditions alive.
As for the houses on Burano well on the island they look fabulous but I’m not sure the neighbours at home would approve if we painted our house like some of these houses.
Dark had well and truly fallen by the time we made it back to the wharf and the ferry trip back seemed pretty confusing. Instead of heading back to Burano, the Vaporetto took us to Treporti where we changed. The next Vaporetto took us to Lido where we once again changed. With all the changes we wondered whether we were actually going to make it back to Venice. The big crowd of passengers all had that worried look on their faces as we were shunted off at each stop in the middle of nowhere. Soon however, we saw the lights of Venice and the Vaporetto terminal at San Marco. Once again we changed for the all stops Vaporetto back to Piazza Roma, where we caught the bus back to the B&B. Tonight for a change we’re having a homemade meal with bits and pieces bought from the local Lidl.
Tomorrow we hope to check out a bit more of the islands.
If you do not feel like exploring yourself Viator does a variety of Island Tours of Venice which you can book here