9 August 2019
Venice by day: the islands and the lagoon

It is 8.30 am, after a good breakfast with croissants and cappuccino we are excited and ready to start the wonderful day that awaits us: today we will explore the islands overlooking the lagoon of Venice and finish our tour with a stop in this unique city of the world.

The camera in one hand and the mobile phone in the other, we board on the New Pirate: the boat that will accompany us during our tour. The day promises to be beautiful, the sun is already shining and a light breeze gives us a funny stormy hairstyle as we cross the canals that will gently lead us from Cavallino-Treporti to the first island: Burano.

Burano is known for its lace fabrics and colourful, lively fishermen’s houses and is by far the most picturesque of these islands. Upon our arrival we are welcomed by small shops offering all kinds of fabrics and clothing, all of which are strictly handmade embroidered with the great experience of local seamstresses. We also notice the variety of colours that distinguish the houses from each other: from blue and yellow to red, green and pink. This makes us happy and gives us a good mood. We decide to get lost in the “calli” for a while and get an insight into the daily life of the islanders: the ladies talking in venetian dialect, the fishermen returning by boat, and a greengrocer greeting us from his floating shop, a boat with seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Time passes quickly and we return to the boat to get to the next destination: Torcello. Nature is the real attraction of this island and the guide explains that there are only 14 inhabitants. We are warmly welcomed by the managers of the small restaurants that offer seafood and specialties of the lagoon. We go to the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and first cross the Devil’s Bridge, whose history fascinates us: the legend tells that a young virgin made a pact with the devil to get her lover back.  But the pact didn’t end well and every year since then the devil returns to the bridge in the form of a black cat to collect his reward in the night of December 24th.

Still fascinated by the magic of the legend, we continue our tour until we reach the throne of Attila, a seat carved into the stone that has become an attraction for young and old. There is at least enough time to take a picture and we return by boat to the last of the three islands in the programme: Murano.

Thanks to the long tradition of glass processing, Murano is probably the most famous of these three islands and welcomes us amidst the liveliness of tourists and shops offering jewellery, ornaments and objects of all kinds: all handmade by glassmakers. In the workshop of one of the shops we sit down, watch everything very closely and are almost hypnotized by the spectacle of glass-making. The master explains that the glass is processed at high temperatures and that in order to solidify it, it is needed an oven that gradually lowers the temperature so that the glass does not burst due to the excessive temperature shock.

The demonstration ends with the production of a beautiful glass swan, and after a few purchases in the shop we continue with the last stop: Venice.

The historical centre of the city is always imposing and majestic, especially when you reach it from the sea, as we did. The historical buildings appear one after the other, until one can finally see Piazza San Marco, the Basilica and the famous bell tower. We spend a few hours strolling between bridges and alleys: the charm of Venice always manages to amaze you and the beauty of this city is, that each time it is able to give you new insights and unique emotions.

Translation into English by Teresa Uhlig