burano venice italy

Burano Lace

The Legend of Burano Lace

One of the most famous legends about Burano narrates that an ancient betrothed fisherman, while he was fishing outside the lagoon, in the east sea, hold up to a siren who tried to entice him by her canto. So he received a gift from sirens' queen, enchanted by his faithfulness: the siren thumped the side of the boat by her tall, creating a foam from which a wedding veil developed.

Came back home opportune in the day of marriage, he gave the gift to his fiancée. She was admired and envied from all the young ladies of the island, whereupon they begin to imitate the lace of the wedding veil employing needle-and-thread more and more thin, hoping to create a even more beautiful lace for their wedding dresses.

The Lace of Burano

The first laces date back to 1500 and initially their workmanship taked place in posh houses, employing needle-and-thread without a canvass as prop. Here the "punto in aria" combined with geometrical designs, flowers, animals, and spirals took place.

In the '600 it began to embroider using "punto a crocette", worked by small flying flowers and the "punto controtagliato", used for large and in relief billows in necklines. Soon these embroideries spread in Europe and Burano’s lacemakers were invited even in France to start an important lace production.

France became a terrible contender for the lacemakers of the island, even if it was unable to produce embroideries as refined as Burano’s ones.

Principally the lace workmanship was taking place inside the "Scuola Merletti" (Lace School). Today noteworthy works are exposed in a historical building located in the square of Burano, the Lace Museum.

Unfortunately, after the decline of the Serenissima Republic, lace workmanship fell down.
At the end of the 19th century, thanks to the propaganda of Ms Cencia Scarpariola (a well-known lacemaker of Burano whose name was assigned to a street in the island), a new lace age began and new stitches were introduced, so that the embroideries became out-and-out artworks.

The Lace Museum of Burano

In 1978 the public administrations of Venice composed by the Town Council, the Provincial Authorities, the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourist Boards joined together with the Andriana Marcello Foundation in a "Burano Lace Consortium".

This was the beginning of a campaign to revive and re-evaluate the art of the Burano's lace: the archives of the old School, full of important documents and drawings, were re-ordered and catalogued.
The building was restructured and transformed into an exhibition site. This was the beginning of the Burano Lace Museum.

The museum is located in a historical building in the Burano's Piazza Galuppi, seat of the famous Burano Lace School from 1872 to 1970.

Rare and precious pieces offer a complete overview of the history and artistry of the Venetian and lagoon's laces, from its origins to the present day are on display, in a picturesque setting decorated in the typical colors of the island.

Tickets for the Lace Museum Burano can also be bought online at this page: Burano Lace Museum tickets.

Burano Lace Making.

For the creation of a lace more than five steps were necessary, which are still now made by five persons. Every lacemaker was assigned to the step which she was good at (even if she knew all the stitches), so that the work was as profitable as possible, since that it was a piecework.

There was ladies responsible for the designs, others for the neckline, i.e. the step in which the lace design is fixed on the fabric and paper layers; it acted as woof on which the first lacemaker, after the fabric was attached to the lace pillow, performed the "ghipur" or "punto Burano" (the stitch of Burano) on the whole drawing. Then the other lacemakers carried out the "sbarri", the "punto rete" and in the end the relief which emphasized the trim size. As latest thing the lace was pinched from the paper cutting all the seams and all the superfluous yarns were accurately removed by tweezers.

In the first years of '900, the lace was made by a smaller number of ladies than in the 16th century, because the young girls found work in "Murano’s conterie" and in small venetian sartorial labs, where they gained more money.

Venice Islands Tours

Boat tours to Burano Murano Torcello Venezia

Half day excursion to Murano, Burano and Torcello by boat

Duration: about 210 minutes

This fascinating boat trip in Venice offers you a Murano, Burano and Torcello half-day sightseeing tour without taking too much time away from visiting Venice: this Venice lagoon trip has, in fact, a total duration of four hours and includes short stops on all three islands. A pleasant and economical way to make a trip to Burano, Murano and Torcello.

The Torcello's Basilica and its secret itineraries

Duration: about 30 minutes

A fascinating guided tour of the Torcello's Basilica to discover its priceless mosaics, treasures and two areas that have remained inaccessible for centuries: the crypt and the sacristy.

Excursion around the lagoon islands

Duration: about 180 minutes

A fascinating Venice Lagoon boat trip aboard a Bragozzo or Sampierotta, traditional Venetian boats, to discover the most beautiful islands of Venice and give you a few hours immersed in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. Thanks to this unusual tour of the Venetian islands, you will visit some undiscovered corners of Venice: in addition to the famous Murano, Burano and Torcello, the Venetian lagoon welcomes many other islands, each with its own unique charm!

Week end in Venice

Plan your weekend in Venice: take a ride in our section dedicated to museums, events, tours, attractions and hotels in Venice and lagoon islands.
Compose online your holiday package in Venice, adding to cart individual services and booking them all at once!

All these services are offered by a venetian tour operator.

Local Handicrafts

Murano glass shop

New Arte Fuga

Via Giudecca, 132 - 30142 Burano (Venice Italy)

The New Arte Fuga shop in Burano, which is also a small glass factory, offers exclusively original Murano glass objects of its own manufacture.

Inside this shop it's possible to enjoy for free the "glass lume processing", typical of the area around Murano.

Do you like Burano?

Venice hotels

Looking for a hotel in Venice to stay in the lagoon of Venice and around Burano? Please take a look at the page "Venice hotels". You will find about 617 hotels in Venice! Here are some:
Locanda Poste Vecie Venice

Locanda Poste Vecie

Rialto Pescheria San Polo 1612, Venice

The Locanda Poste Vecie is situated next to the open-air fish market and near Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark's Square. Rooms are furnished in an 18th-ce...

Best Western Hotel Olimpia Venezia Venice

Best Western Hotel Olimpia Venezia

Best Western Hotel Olimpia Venezia 2 Stars Venice

S. Croce 395, Venice

Hotel Olimpia is in Venice’s historic centre, 5 minutes’ walk from Basilica dei Frari, the municipal car par in Piazzale Roma and the Grand Canal. Set...