Burano (not to be confused with nearby glass producing Murano) is a small island in Venice’s lagoon easily accessible by vaporetto service from Fondamente Nuove. The Laguna Nord (LN) line leaves every 30 minutes and the trip takes 40 minutes. The boat stops at Murano, Mazzorbo, and Burano. Its proximity to Venice and its unique ambiance make it a worthwhile day-trip, especially for checking out some out of the way fish restaurants.
I recommend disembarking at Mazzorbo, a half deserted little island that is connected to Burano by a bridge. The walk from the Marzzorbo vaporetto stop to Burano takes around 5 minutes, but I stop along the way to admire the 13th century church of Santa Caterina, now enclosed in the walls of a public park.
Once you cross the bridge to Burano, you are free to meander the streets populated with brightly colored houses in varying states of repair. There are a few canals and bridges that criss-cross through the pleasant fishing village. Burano has few major sites-the Church of San Martino and the Lace Museum are the major ones-so the real reason to come here is to get lost in the island life with its Technicolor buildings and, of course, to eat. This dreamy island makes a good backdrop for a food coma induced at restaurants like Trattoria al Gatto Nero, where classic lagoon fish are prepared with care.
Kick off the meal with an antipasto misto for a sampling of marinated and broiled fish. There is an ample selection of primi; especially good are the pasta con canocchie e scampi (with sweet crustaceans) and favolli fritti (fried local crabs). Ask for pesce particolare della laguna to get fish you are unlikely to find beyond Venice’s lagoon. This is definitely the kind of place that inspires ordering antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno and dolce. Walk it all off while wandering the streets of this most surreal island.
Trattoria al Gatto Nero da Ruggero
Via Giudecca, 88
30142 Burano (VE)
Tel. 041 730120