One of these days, I will write about our spontaneous weekend trip to Venice - it was magical (not without its ups and down but still an excellent time). One of our favorite parts of the trip was our time visiting the Islands of Venice - there are three of them - Murano, Burano and Torcello. This is one of the highly recommended things to do when visiting Venice. It is a half day trip taking off from Venice (just off Saint Mark Square) in the morning or afternoon. At the time of our visit, it cost about 20 Euro per person - we bought our tickets online but you can get them off the main square as well. If you are planning to go be aware of a few things
There are three towns in total and because this is only a half day tour the tour are very strict on time alloted on each Island. We had about 45 mins in Murano ; an hour in Burano , which is the most famous of the three islands and about 45 mins in Torcello. We missed our boat from Burano to Torcello and had to bargain with the next tour group to take us (we got lost trying to find our way back to the dock); We were lucky to find a boat with space. If that happens to you and you don’t have the luck we did - you can take a public taxi to get to the next stop or back to Venice. Basically, it is NOT the end of the world if you miss your boat.
Murano was the first stop and if you know nothing about Murano - know it is home of glass blowing, crystals and glass making and with our tour we were able to visit a glass blowing factory and seea demonstration. For over a century artisans have lived here molding glass from sand using air and fire to create the most exquisite, intricate pieces and passing that skill down to the next generation. The main street was lined with shops selling the intricate pieces if you want to pick up some as souvenirs. It is extremely hot in the factory but it was very cool to see the process of sculpting from glass. We did not attempt to do much here, we walked around, took some pictures, visited the Church of San Donato and then headed back to the boat. If you have time, you can visit the glass museum.
The colorful Island of Burano was our favorite, there is quite a bit to see/do here and we felt very rushed here. We discovered after our trip, this was actually an archipelago of five Island connected by bridges (never would have guessed that in a million years). It is also the home of the most beautiful hand crafted lace - thankfully, we had restricted ourselves to our budget - I might have returned how with several lace pieces. Burano is also home to the leaning bell tower in the main square - not as distinct as Pisa; yet a wonderful find in Burano.
Torcello was our last stop and we did not do much here at all. We heard of the Devil’s bridge legend based in this city; It was the first thing we saw as we approached the town from the dock - it is about a 7 to 10 minute trek from the dock to the town; once we saw bridge - we called it a day at that point. We just could not be bothered after spending over an hour trying to sort out how to get here after missing our tour (this was before we discovered the public taxies). The Cathedral of the Assumption was also highly recommended but we did not make that far into the town. Instead, we found a restaurant and had an incredible Italian lunch at Ristorante al Torno di Attila. The tiramisu was incredible.
We returned to Venice will a full stomach and full heart.