Venice islands: Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello

This is an excerpt from the book “Venice and the Veneto

Burano – Photo © James Lawson
Burano – Photo © James Lawson

Venice: finding an island for yourself

Another Venice, another tourism, a short distance from the historic city-centre and the itineraries frequented by mass tourism. In an area no less historic, no less genuinely Venetian, lie the islands of the lagoon in a wide expanse of water and marshlands where the quiet creeks change with the ebb and flow of the tide, and the traditional lagoon boats obstinately survive in the face of the aggressively noisy motor craft.

The colors of the water, earth, and sky mix with the red brick of human constructions, and the sandbanks offer shelter to the typical fauna, dwarf herons, herons, seagulls, hawks, and kingfishers… Here is a Venice where nature dominates, but where traces of history tell of the origins of the city itself and its distant past.


A walk with great human, scenic and artistic attraction whose short length is compensated for by an extraordinary concentration of interest, culture and evocative moments. This is the historic, artistic and popular heart of the north lagoon which lays the numerous and contradictory aspects of its modern existence before the eyes of the attentive and motivated visitor.

An experience to be savored for a full day, without rushing and with the mind open to the sense of discovery and amazement aroused by the beauty and the signs of the history which has unfolded in this part of the lagoon.

Burano – Photo © James Lawson
Burano – Photo © James Lawson

Means: on foot
. From the ACTV wharf, on the north-east side of the island you proceed for ‘calli’ and ‘callette’ completing clockwise the circumnavigation .

Mazzorbo. Pass the bridge connecting with Burano, then take the left and complete the circumnavigation of the island passing for the historical church of S. Caterina.

Torcello. From the ACTV landing place follow the uncultivated tourist walk and reach the basilica.

Length: km 6 total Times of distance: the excursion, for the interest of the situations offered, requires an entire day.

Practicability: The distance is carried out entirely on paved docks, with the exception of the short one drawn to Torcello.

Warnings: Burano is reached from the Receiving office of Treporti with the vaporetti of the ACTV public service. Use the same service reach Torcello.

Points of interest:
– From the city landscape to island of Burano, with its chromatics, its limpid light, its glares, the thousand boats moored and the square.
– the private Museum – School of the Lace in Galuppi Public square.
– The landscape discreet hermit and of Mazzorbo, with the wide Lagunari horizons, the beautiful XIV sec Church of S. Caterina. and the public park realized in the old cemetery encircled from one historical wall.
– the Museum of the Matting to Torcello and the splendid religious buildings of the island. The landscape to insular made of siepi, uncultivated and small gardens besieges you from the water.

Other Island in Venice’s Lagoon:

Sant’Erasmo: a lovable island

The island of Pellestrina

Lido beneath the stars

Where to stay in Venice

There are many hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available in Venice, search and make reservations here.