Friday, July 26, 2019

Italy's 'lagoon islands' -- beautiful Burano, Murano, Lido and Torcello

The quaint, colorful fishing village of Burano also boasts some of the world's finest lace and high-end clothing shops.


A master craftsman demonstrates his glass-making skills on Murano.

WHEN IN VENICE, don't miss the opportunity to take a sidetrip to the lovely and nearby lagoon islands of Murano, Burano, Torcello and Lido. We've been happy with over a dozen Viator tours (the word means traveler). The lagoon island tour was delightful.
These languid, colorful islands are a world apart from the hustle and bustle of St. Mark's Square and each has a distinct personality.
Quiet Murano has been a center of glass-making since the 13th century.  It is a fascinating half-day trip, with pleasant cafes and lovely gardens near the boat launch.  Murano has a "villagy" feel, with the main attraction the glass shop, laid-back cafes, and small, simple stores.
BURANO, ON the other hand, seems designed with
The shops of Burano are beautifully designed and high-end.
 tourism in mind. The shops are upscale and offer high-end clothing center  near the Burano is a thriving fishing village with quaint pastel colored homes and a centuries-old lace making tradition.
Newlyweds George and
Amal  Clooney leaving
 Torcello in 2014.
Torcello, once vigorous, is now scarcely populated -- less than 100 people actually live full-time on the island.  But its beauty, charm and a couple of lovely hotels attract celebrities and the rich and famous. Actor George Clooney chose Torcello for his wedding a couple years ago to a British-Lebanese hybrid and successful attorney.
The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is legendary, with gorgeous
 views of Venice proper from the island of Lido.
Lido is mostly about one of the great hotels of the world, the Belmond Cipriani with its stunning views across the water, to the Doge's Palace and beyond.
As one of the most celebrated luxury hotels in southern Europe, this elegant hideaway features exquisite antiques and local artifacts, Michelin-starred gastronomy, gracious help and Venice's only Olympic-sized swimming pool. I've sipped several Campari-with-sodas there.
Elegant shops abound in Burano, famous for its fashion and homemade lace. 

WE HIT all these islands in a single day, visiting Murano first, a world renowned center of glassmaking for over 700 years.
The island was settled by the Romans and was a prosperous fishing port and salt producer until the 11th Century.
Unlike the other islands in the lagoon, Murano minted its own coins and had a well known monastery, suppressed by Napoleon in 1810, with every monk expelled during the next c couple years.
The pretty waterfront of Murano, leads the way to a fine glass shop. 
The island's glassmaking fame came about in 1291 when the glassmakers of Venice were forced to move to Murano because of fire risk.  Thus its fame in glass, bead and mirror making began.
Its quality endures and Murano glass is famous worldwide and still the island's main industry.
WE RECOMMEND a full or half-day tour. Here are our two favorite tour contacts, both offering value, expertise and a pleasant outing:;

The  beautiful Napali coast offers an eyecatching experience on Oahu.
UP NEXT: Hidden Oahu. Come with us to discover the beautiful Na Pali Coast of northern Oahu. Few people take the time to visit this gorgeous part of the Hawaiian Islands, best visited by boat, or helicopter. Hollywood, however, has long known about this breathtaking 15-mile section of Oahu.  Come visit with us, remembering to explore, learn and live.  Catch us Fridays for a novel look at travel, the arts, nature and family, at


  1. Mariners of MonacoJuly 27, 2019 at 6:20 AM

    How lovely to sail along with you.

  2. Wonderful look at some classic, beautiful islands....we know them all well and you painted a vivid, accurate picture.

  3. Excited to see this because we love this part of the world and try to get to the lagoon islands every year. Love the Cipriani and so glad the Belmond group kept its high standard. Lovely photos.