Burano, the lace island with thousand colors

Italy Storytelling

A young fisherman from Burano goes out to sea with his crew, sad to leave his fiancée on the island, but promises her to return soon. On the way, an irresistible song is heard, and the sailors are immediately attracted by these enchanting voices. With their deceptive charm, creatures with a woman’s head and a body of fish bewitch them one after the other. They all drown until he was left alone.

So enamored of his fiancée, he’s the only sailor to have resisted the trap of the tempting mermaids. Unable to seduce him, they decide to reward his loyalty. By disappearing under the water, they emerge a veil of foam that solidifies immediately: the future veil of the bride will be of an incomparable lightness, and supernatural lace.

This is the image of a myth that centuries have already broken into a thousand and one facets since, but the tale of the sirens has also inspired the embroiderers of the island. Indeed, from the fifteenth century, fishing is no longer the center of activity in Burano, and very quickly develops the lace industry under the impetus of the inhabitants. They create the punto in aria, the « point in the air », the only point of embroidery capable of allowing the perfection of work that reminds them of the veil of the legendary bride. Playing on the reliefs and the transparency, the new needle point quickly assures the reputation of the Burano lace which crosses the borders of Veneto to spread throughout Europe. Burano then knows prosperous years …

Today, the work of lace is mostly mechanized but the pocket island still cultivates a keen sense of aesthetics and Italian charm. If we are at the antipodes of the sumptuous facades of Venice, there are charming fishermen’s houses glued to each other along the canals, in an explosion of colors. Regarded as the most colorful village in the world, Burano emerges sad waters with its houses yellow, green, blue, red or ocher … A real painting in front of us, without no half-tone. These are just bright colors repainted every year, as required by law.

Along the canals, boats quiver gently, accosted wisely in front of each house.

We dedicated the afternoon: far from the tourism of Venice, the stroll is almost like a walk in a pencil box of colors. We easily get lost in the narrow streets of the island, only following the colors that punctuate our escape.

Then, on the rainbow island we quickly give in to gluttony. On pastry shelves, Bussolai o Essi, crown-shaped or S-shaped.

Traditionally cooked in a wood oven, the recipe remains unchanged and authentic as the ancient times: today consumed throughout the year, the fresh eggs in good quantity are the symbol of the Resurrection for Easter.

The Venetian biscuits, specialties of Burano, perfect the feast of the eyes.

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