If you are planning to stay in Venezia for a few days, please consider a visit to the lagoon and the islands. During one day only it is not possible to see much of the islands and the city. I recommend a minimum of two days or more, especially if you like wildlife watching.
Venezia’s lagoon is a very fragile ecosystem, with countless smaller and larger. From what I have read on a website which is no longer available the islands make up only for 8% of the lagoon's surface, so you can imagine how much is left for marshland and wildlife.
The most important islands for visits are of course Murano for the glass manufacturing, Burano for the coloured houses, Torcello for the ancient past and San Michele for the famous cemeteries. Then there are others, such as Sant’Erasmo, the lagoon's farm island, San Lazaro degli Armeni, a former Mechitarist monastery, Lazaretto Nuovo, the former quarantine island for victims of the Black Death, San Francesco del Deserto, a Franciscan monastery and of course outer islands like Lido and Pellestrina for sunbathing and swimming.
For wildlife lovers, the lagoon is paradise! I was amazed myself to see how abundant flora and fauna are. See here -> The environment of the Venetian lagoon.
In May 2007 I was only on Murano, Torcello, Burano and San Michele If you like to know more about the other islands, check Sandy’s travel list. She has visited almost every island.
Venezia's ACTV boats will bring you to the islands: ACTV Water bus service timetable.
© Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.
San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice - located east of the Giudecca Island and south of the main island group and San Marco.
The main feature of the island is the San Giorgio benedictine monastery. The belltower is open to the public and has fantastic views on San Marco, the Dogana and the Giudecca island.
Murano is the most visited and the most famous of the Venetian Islands, courtesy of the famous glass-works that produce the famous Murano Glass. Like Venice it is an archipelago of individual islands joined by bridges and divided by canals.
During the Middle Ages the glass makers were settled on the island because of fire hazard from their furnaces.
The 16th century was known as the “great age” of Murano glass, when the island supported some 37 glass factories and a population of 30,000. Murano Glass was one of the few Venetian exports and as such, the secret of this skillful craft was tightly guarded.
The glass-factory's showroom full of magnificent glassware. However, the prices are not cheap here. Some items cost several ten-thousands euros! Prices are much more reasonable in the gift shop where you can buy plenty of souvenirs or simply enjoy the island without buying what you don’t need and don’t want.
Fans of Glass should also plan a visit on Fondamenta Giustinian 8, to the Glass Museum, which was the ancient residence of the bishops of Torcello.
Entrance tickets cost €4,00 or €6,00 for a ticket which combines entrance to the Glass Museum and the Lace Museum on Burano.
The nearby Church of San Mary & Donato has a beautiful mosaic pavement from the 12th Century.
The next stop is a 15-minute ride to the lovely fishing island of Burano. The island is the most picturesque of Venetian Islands of the Lagoon. The village is a scaled down version of Venice with small canals, and pastel coloured houses like in Nyhavn - Copenhagen. Burano is well known for its lace making; in the 16th century the industry was at its height and Burano was cited through Europe for having produced the finest lace.
Legend has it that lace-making began when a Venetian sailor, returning after a long voyage, brought his ladylove a gift of exotic seaweed called mermaid's lace. To while away the hours once the sailor was back at sea, the girl tried to re-create the intricate design of the seaweed in lace.
The Lace Museum, which opened in 1981, is situated in the old Lace-School (Piazza Galuppi 187). The only trouble is that few women are left on Burano willing to spend the time to make these fine artworks. Beware, however, of vendors selling items that are not genuine Burano lace.
Public Transportation: There is a direct boat, the DM, from Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma and the railway station (Ferrovia).
Murano's Faro stop is the first halt on the LN (Laguna Nord) ferry from the Fondamenta Nove on Venice's northern shore, which continues to Burano. From Faro, it's a 33-minute trip to Burano.
It lies immediately south of the central islands of Venice, from which it is separated by the Giudecca Canal. San Giorgio Maggiore lies off its eastern tip. Giudecca is a long narrow island shaped like a fishbone located immediately to the south of Venice. It may have been named after the Jews ("guidei") who settled there during the Middle Ages or the condemned nobles (“giudicati”) who were banished there during the ninth century.
If you love glass art, glass blowing, etc. then go to Murano and stroll the numerous glass shops and find yourself a treasure. It all seemed quite pricedy to me but I am not a glass enthusiast. We enjoyed watching the glass makers hard at work. Instead of going to see one of the free tours in the stores we peaked into the back alley door of a glass manufacturer and watched the men hard at work making glass creations.
We didn't stay on Murano long as unless you are into glass there wasn't much else to do. We caught the boat to Burano. It was a surprisingly looooonngggg ride (approx. 45 mins) but worth it. Burano is such a sweet escape. The buildings are oh so colourfully painted. It seems sooooo quiet after having been in Venice. We enjoyed strolling the entire town. We ate our first Italian pizza in Burano and loved it. There are lots of neat stores here too. Most of all it just seemed so peaceful. It was definitely worth the long transit ride here.
there are several islands of the lagoon of venice and it's worth visiting. including where saint giorgio maggiore cathedral and madonna della salute and the ghetto and murano glassmakers are located. separated from saint mark cathedral by the lagoon.
in murano, can be seen the artworkers making beautiful glassware and anykind of glasses souvenirs. such as sweets immitations and gas baloons.
If you have time, a visit to some of the lagoon islands is well worthwhile. Take a vaporetto ride to Tronchetto, Murano or Burano. The vaporetto ride itself is great fun and arrival at each Island shows the diversity of architecture and culture that has grown up in the lagoon environs.
I would suggest that you plan your trip to Venice and make an iternary.
Take the the number 1 vaporatte and do the slow cruise to see a good layout of Venice.
On your first day in Venice start early and do the six sesitera.
If you want to really see Venice go to Torcello, Burano and Murano. Take the whole day for sightseeing all these three and explore them. Keep in mind that going to Torcello will literally take up your day because you are traveling on water buses from Venice to Lido to Burano and then to Torcello.
Torcello is the orginal island and where the first church was and still stands!
Burano is a dream, just make sure you have enough film.
Murano the glass work is beautiful and very expensive so if you don't want to shop and spend a bundle on glass work then when your done seeing a master a work, thank them and venture on the island and explore.
There is not much to say about the islands. I have been in Murano and Burano. Murano is a island to tourists buy glass and that’s it… For me was a lost of time and I bought glass in S.Polo, where was cheaper.
Burano is nice, with their coloured houses. We walked in the streets and bought Burano`s cookies. The only problem is the time you spent to get Burano by boat. For advice I would say: if you have time, try Burano; if you don´t have stay in Venice and forget the islands!
There are over 30 small islands in the lagoon to explore in Venice. So hop on a boat and start island hopping.
Some of the more popular islands are San Michele, Murano, Mazzorbo, Burano, Torcello, Vignole, Sant'Erasmo.
The church on the island of San Giorgio just across the St. Marks square appears to floating on water.
It is hard to imagine the beauty of the sun setting over the City of Venice and its pretty islands and lagoon.
I took this trip on September 21st 2006 and luckily it was a beautifully clear day and I enjoyed the best of it.
The motorboat left the dock which is situated between the Hotels Daniele and Gabrielli and quickly left the city behind. I made the mistake of taking a seat inside and watched the city disappear into the distance very quickly. I managaed to get outside to take a few sunset shots before the famous monuments became mere dots, but I wish I had been ready with the camera out on deck from the beginning.
From then on I moved from place to place around the boat taking shots of the sun setting on the water, the islands, the old shipyard, the Churches on the islands and other such lovely sights. As Dusk turned to dark the lights on top of the poles sunken into the lagoon start to twinkle into life and the entire setting is most romantic.
There was a running commentary by a very knowledgable guide but by this stage I was tired so I switched off and let most of it float over my head.
The cost of the hour long trip was just Euro 11.50 an my opinion is that it represents excellent value for money.
If you're gonna spend somemore days in Venezia, do take a vaporetto and visit Murano island (glas factory) and Burano island. Burano is a bit more remote. has different atmosphere than the 'main' Venezia island and is georgeous.... Getting over there also gives you a wonderful opportunity to enoy the sea landscape. I will upload some photos I have saved (comp *died* and I *have to* be better with backups) for you to see. Images will tell you all!!!
where life goes on without the daily rush and hustle of tourist Venice. home again, for a while anyway. the familiare faces, food and own four walls. home is where the heart is and where we put our feet up.
Don't leave Venice without visiting Murano and Burano (from here you'll get the Murano glass a bit cheaper). Go to the glassware shops in Murano and check out the colorful buildings in Burano. Really beatiful.
The ride was fantastic-seeing all the waterway houses of many colors and the local ways-a great way to take in the area to Murano and Burano. Good place to see the murano jewelry and the lace making art and beautiful wears.