In recent weeks we have heard a lot about Venice and the endless struggle against high water but, beyond water, we find a boundless world surrounding the big island: Venice lagoon.
Venice is much more than what we are used to seeing, besides St. Mark’s square and the majestic Basilica there are large canals and small islands that are a real jewel of history and tradition. A curiosity that many do not know is that these islands are an integral part of the city, let’s try to make this journey together: leave the tourist Venice and get ready to explore the unspoiled nature and countryside landscapes of the Venice Lagoon. The best season is definitely spring with the blooms and the awakening of the animals from hibernation but the lagoon is magical in every season.
Burano: a palette full of colors
The Isle of Burano is a small island in the Northern Lagoon of the city of Venice and has about 3000 inhabitants. Its name derives from the “Porta Boreana” direction from which the famous bora wind blows. An island rich in history and legends linked to a long maritime tradition. It is precisely this ancient popular belief that explains the colors of the houses and that made the island famous throughout the world: the sailors were for a long time away from the island and thanks to the bright colors they could recognize their home even from a long distance on their return to the Venice Lagoon.
But it is not just the colors that make Burano magical. The lace, the famous yarn processing that gives life to real works of art. One of the many Venetian arts that are kept by the island’s elders. There are no pre-established routes to visit Burano: you will lose yourself in the streets, admire the decorations of the houses and listen to some anecdotes by the elders of the town, they are the ones who will make a day in Burano truly unforgettable.
Murano: the art of glass and a secular tradition
The island of Murano, divided into many small islands, is famous for its blown glass. An ancient tradition that is still carried on today by the great glass masters.
Like the other islands of the Venice Lagoon, you can visit Murano in few hours and on foot. And even here you can find small bridges, colorful houses and shops of artisans who sell glass, the real treasure of the island. In 1295, the Serenissima Republic of Venice decided that all the glass-making furnaces were transferred to the island of Murano which became the largest center in the world for the production of true works of art. An ancient art that is still preserved today by great glass masters who transmit it to new generations.
Torcello: the first Venice
Torcello was the first inhabited island of the Lagoon when the inhabitants of Altino escaped from the invasions and moved to the islands. The island has only ten inhabitants today, despite the 30,000 that were counted about a thousand years ago.
Many wealthy people have lived in these areas, rich in nature and able to get you into a magical atmosphere. The writer Ernest Hemingway spent long periods of his life in Torcello. When you get off the boat and set foot in Torcello you enter a unique atmosphere that takes you back in time, a real leap into the past, into the true history of Venice and its inhabitants.
Mazzorbo, the island of golden wine
No more than a dozen homes, small gardens and precious vegetable gardens characterize the Island of Mazzorbo. After the political and economic center of Torcello, Mazzorbo was the most populated island of the Northern Lagoon. An island with an ancient history, its first inhabitants date back to the Roman Empire. In Mazzorbo, salt was processed, an important and essential commodity for the market of the Republic of Venice.
A small note of respect certainly goes to the Venissa Resort, the pride of the island that boasts a restaurant awarded a star by the Michelin Guide. A little corner of paradise found and recovered by a family of great wine connoisseurs. Here wine that resists high water is produced, ancient and with an authentic flavor. A precious jewel to keep for future generations, looking for small pieces of a city that I am lucky enough to call home.