Venice Lagoon is the largest in Italy: it covers a size of 550 km², of which 67% is water. Inside the ecosystem there are a lot of islands, smaller and bigger, among which, nearby Venice, we can quote Burano, Murano and Torcello.
From Garden Paradiso you can easily reach them coming aboard of the boat leaving from Punta Sabbioni or Treporti, destination the Northern Lagoon!
You can notice Burano from far away: it is a colorful explosion, each single house is lit by a different hade, from yellow to red, from violet to blue. Among all stands out “Bepi Suà” House, decorated by colorful geometric pattern, worth background to take a picture. If you get close to the walls of the houses you will realize that in certain parts the plasterwork is scraped off and under it another color and another one again! Sometimes inhabitants like to change painting. At the first baker stop and buy the typical biscuits, the compass shape “buranei” (donut) or “S” shape, made of flour, butter and egg yolks. Just get lost hanging around little streets and houses and then head to the San Martino Church, look up to the bell tower and you will notice that it is more crooked than Pisa Tower! It is one of the island symbol together with “merletti” (lace-making), whose tradition has been handed down for centuries among Burano women. These Merletti coming from the Island boasted an international renown and were the must-have accessory for cloaks, collars and wristband belonging to noble ladies of fifteenth-century courts. At the end of XVIII century this art was about to disappear, just one person in the island knew the technique: Vincenza Memo, also called “Cencia Scarpariola”. She was the first and the only teacher of Merletto School, unveiled in the year 1872, which made the trade to bloom again.
This and other stories are stored in the Merletto Musuem, which keeps the most fine and precious samples, real masterpieces realized by the skilled hands of Burano women.
The second must-have hotspot is Murano, composed by seven little islands crossed by a channel and where stands the lighthouse, which lights up Lido of Venice harbor. This Island has been for centuries the dependence of glass production controlled by Serenissima Republic, which built here its kilns. In Murano master glassmakers realize also nowadays their brittle and precious blown glass masterpieces: very well known are the leaf shapes chandeliers, clear and colorful (an impressive one is stored in Ca’ Rezzonico palace in Venice) or the elegant pots coming from Venini and Pauly kilns. There are also shops where to buy little knick knacks by various shapes or boutiques with rings and necklaces.
Go for a tour to Glass Museum to discover the extraordinary history of this technique and ask to attend a glass-blowing session in one of island workshop: you will amazed by watching artisans working with fire and shaping liquid glass in sinuous forms.
Torcello is an almost uninhabited island, where once was an important monastic settlement, so much that the Santa Maria Assunta Basilica has been built, in venetian-byzantine style, and still nowadays you can visit the ancient mosaics. You will coast a channel to reach the archeological centre: here there is a stone bridge without balustrades: it is the “Devil Bridge”, inducing you to the way leading to the Basilica.
The legend says that every December 24th the Devil appears on the bridge looking like a black cat in order to claim an old debit with a witch, who owns him seven children souls, but she never shows up.