Burano’s Brightly Coloured Houses are a Photographer’s – and Dulux’s – Dream
Burano’s No.1 tourist attraction is the eye-dazzling, brightly coloured terraced houses lining its canals, but its mask and lace shops, not to mention its restaurants, also draw the visitors in; Tony and Helen Page braved the crowds to see whether it was all it is cracked up to be…
“I’ve now shifted over to Burano (from Murano), and here is the clock tower which when you see it from a distance looks crooked. But unfortunately although it looks crooked to me it is absolutely impossible with the lenses I’ve got to make it look crooked for you. The funny thing is that with a wide-angle lens, it makes it look straight. But still, as you can see.
Multi-coloured Houses – A Dulux Dream!
“This is the island of coloured houses – they do seem to have gone a bit mad this year. They did use to be faded but now they have to be painted every two years. You’re not allowed to have the same colour as the person next to you and of course there is a limited range of colours. I’ve been wandering around the back streets of Burano and they’ve even painted the buildings in the yards so it’s much brighter than it used to be, it used to be really quite faded in parts.
Beware Marauding Tourists
“Well, I’m walking up into the main street of Burano and I’m being terrorised by young people on bicycles. Now this is the main tourist street and as you can see, there are quite a few tourists – there’s Helen standing there – if I turn around, you’ll see what I mean.
“Yep, this is a sudden influx, a veritable army of tourists. Hordes of them from the ferry. They come in spasms as you’ll see. Now the next moment there are relatively few; it’s really very variable.
Masks and Lace Are Specialities
“Masks and above all Lace are the speciality of Burano – Helen’s checking out a bit here. There is a lace museum, but you aren’t allowed to take photos in it so I’m afraid I couldn’t show you much in there. But there are lots of lace shops on the main street.
“This was one of our favourite restaurants, well it still is really. We had an evening meal here – it’s called Da Romano Trattoria – Helen’s just been checking it out. It was packed solid at lunchtime, but they’ve whipped away all the tables as soon as the lunchtime trade has gone. It’s quite surprising really. Very nice fish we had there. Not all businesses seem to have prospered though.
“Well, we’ll continue down the main street. This isn’t actually the most picturesque part of Burano and I’ll move on to the canal further on so that you understand why people think this place is so attractive.
A Colourful View Over The Canals
“Okay, I’ve nipped through a back street and am now at a bridge that’s at the intersection of two canals. You can see where the clock tower – not the clock tower – the campanile, the crooked one is and if I sweep slowly to the left here we have a chance to see some of the colours – the light’s pretty good at the moment – that people come to Burano to see. It’s really quite attractive. And these colours really are real. I mean I must admit some of the still shots I took, even without the polarizer, the colours are really astonishing. Even in the shade, you’ll see what I mean.
No Polarizer Required, Even In The Shade
“Let’s pull back slowly and you can see the different colours as they alternate along the street. They also seem to have very colourful boats too, whether they are moored there permanently, I don’t know. If I simply pan round, you’ll see the other canal and then if I go into the sun you’ll see the open lagoon.
“Okay, let’s do a 360. It’s a picturesque place. The business here is essentially tourism. They do do lace, but tourism is really the name of the game. Okay, that’s about all. I’m waiting for the bell of the campanile to strike but unfortunately it is not being too cooperative. Never mind, I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief view of Burano.”
Map of Burano