Colourful row houses by canal, Burano.
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Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Burano, with its cheery pastel-coloured houses, is renowned for its handmade lace, which once graced the decolletage and ruffs of European aristocracy. These days, with a couple of notable exceptions, much of the lace sold in local shops is imported. Still, tourists head here in droves to snap photos of the brightly painted houses reflecting in the canals – clogging up the bridges and driving the locals to distraction in the process. It's a much more peaceful place in the evening.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands attractions

1. Museo del Merletto


Burano's Lace Museum tells the story of a craft that cut across social boundaries, endured for centuries and evoked the epitome of sophistication reached…

2. Chiesa di San Martino

0.13 MILES

Sixteenth-century St Martin's Church, with its worryingly wonky 53m-high campanile (bell tower), is worth a peek for Giambattista Tiepolo’s 1725 La…

3. Chiesa di Santa Caterina

0.56 MILES

Mazzorbo's late 13th-century Romanesque St Catherine's Church is the only one of the island's 10 medieval churches to survive. Call in to see its wooden…

4. Convento di San Francesco del Deserto

0.85 MILES

Franciscan friars offer free tours of their secluded island home, which still retains some of its 13th-century elements, including the first cloister. As…

5. Chiesa di Santa Fosca

0.87 MILES

Literally overshadowed by Torcello's famous basilica, to which it's connected by a colonnaded walkway, this interesting round Byzantine-style church dates…

6. Trono d'Attila

0.88 MILES

This 5th-century marble throne is said to have been used by Attila the Hun when his horde swept south, terrorising the Roman city of Altino. In fact, the…

7. Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

0.88 MILES

Life choices are presented in no uncertain terms in the dazzling mosaics of the Assumption Basilica. Look ahead to a golden afterlife amid saints and a…

8. Torcello

0.88 MILES

Torcello, the republic's original island settlement, was largely abandoned due to malaria and now counts only around 14 permanent residents. Its mosaic…