Before I visited Venice I had no idea that the whole city is actually an archipelago of 118 small islands separated by canals and waterways.
Obviously Venice itself is the most popular tourist destination to visit on the Venetian lagoon- it was once of the most powerful capitals in Medieval Europe and today it is one extraordinary outdoor museum. But once you’ve taken a gondola ride down the Grand Canal, eaten lunch overlooking the Rialto Bridge, explored the hidden passageways of the Doge’s Palace and gazed at the glittering gold ceiling of Saint Mark’s Basilica, there are some other fantastic islands worth your time.
Welcome to the other islands of Venice…stay a while, and make sure you visit one of these islands on your trip. If you want to book hotels, B&Bs or apartments in Venice, sites like this are great for finding what you’re looking for. Burano, Murano and Torcello are the most-visited of the other islands and they are all different in character.
Burano is famous for its multi-coloured houses, which are a photographer’s dream. This picturesque island is also known for lace-making, so this would be a great thing to buy if you are looking for a traditional souvenir. You can visit one of the many shops, or visit the Venice Lace Museum to learn more about how it is made. Other than the houses, Burano’s most recognisable landmark is the Church of San Martino, with its leaning campanile.
Murano is known renowned for its glass-making and there are many gift shops, factories and showrooms where you can buy glass creations. In 1291 all of Venice’s glassmakers had to move to the island due to the risk of fires, and Murano became world-famous for its glass. You can learn about the history of glass making in the Murano Glass Museum, then have lunch in one of the sidewalk cafés. There are also two churches to visit- Basilica dei Santa Maria e Donato, and San Pietro Martire.
If you’re fed up of fighting your way through hoards of tourists, then you might want to take a visit to Torcello. This peaceful, green island is a great place to get away from it all. It is now mainly field and marsh, but was once a bustling and important town. Take a stroll to the piazza and visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta to see the Byzantine mosaics. It’s worth doing the steep climb up to the top of the bell tower, where you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views over the island. If you have the cash to splash you can dine at the famous Locanda Cipriani, or you can take the boat to neighbouring Burano for lunch.