Burano. I don’t know how we have managed to miss visiting this remarkable place on our previous photography trips to Venice. Well, that’s not strictly true. We’d certainly heard about the island in the Venetian lagoon which is populated by

houses of just about every colour of the rainbow

houses of just about every colour of the rainbow. We’d seen pictures too. But, with only one day available on the tour for a visit to Venice, we just haven’t been able to squeeze Burano in. Until now.

This year, we have organised our itinerary to include two trips to Venice because there’s just too much to see and photograph - and now Burano features big and bold. That goes for the Lakes and Mountains Roadtrip AND the Venice Fly ’n’ Shoot.

So, I’ve been doing a bit of research. People call Burano an island, but it is actually four. As with Venice itself, the islands are linked by a series of bridges. Although the local economy benefits from people like us visiting, local fishermen still make their living from the lagoon and provide fresh fish for the restaurants on Burano. I rather fancy lunch while we’re there because the food is apparently superior to that found in all but the most select eating houses of Venice - and cheaper to boot. The local s-shaped cookies and the risotto are among the local specialities.

stunningly vibrant and a brilliant excuse for getting the camera out

But let’s get back to the main attraction. The story behind the painted houses is as colourful as the buildings. Legend has it that the custom began for two reasons, one practical and the other more romantic. Firstly, the choice of colour marked out the boundaries between your family’s dwelling and that of your neighbours on either side; secondly, it is said that a fishermen returning home with his catch at the end of a long day could look across the waters and distinguish his own cottage from all the others. Whatever the truth of it is, the result is stunningly vibrant and a brilliant excuse for getting the camera out (as if we have ever needed an excuse). Nowadays, you can’t just agree on a colour with the people next door though. You have to get permission from the government. Why are we not surprised?

a great place for some model photography

The more I explore the web, the more interesting I find Burano to be, especially from a photographic perspective. I said that it’s made up of four islands. Well, one of the notable locations for photography is Tre Ponti, the wooden bridge which connects three canals and three of the most colourful streets on Burano. This sounds like a great place for some model photography. Another interesting structure is the leaning tower of St Martin’s Church, which was built in the sixteenth century. Between then and WWII, it gradually toppled further and further until alarm bells got so deafeningly loud that the Venetians had to do something about it. Since 1970, it has apparently remained at the same angle so we should be safe. Might give you a bit of a challenge when checking your verticals but it’s rather quaint.

something of a magnet for photographers

If the food and the quirky constructions make Burano something of a magnet for photographers, there’s scope too in the ancient artisanal crafts for which it is famous. The Museo del Merletto, which used to be a lacemaking school, is situated in the central square. It now holds historical examples made by the hands of Burano’s womenfolk from days gone by but it looks like you can also see lace being made today. This link will give you a flavour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ8mOGdatT4 Perhaps we will have time to watch the fascinating production of Murano glass; there is a small factory on Burano which looks interesting. In any case, you can be sure that there will be plenty of locally made items on sale in the little shops and boutiques which abound.

absolutely stuffed full of local colour

Well, I could go on. OK, don’t say it. The upshot is that I’m really looking forward to checking Burano out. A large part of our photography trips is about taking a group of photographers away to interesting places to learn and develop their craft. The location gives us another important dimension to explore. Burano promises to be something really different and absolutely stuffed full of local colour. Sorry. I couldn’t resist that one.