There are a few islands around the Venetian lagoon in which you could visit, depending on the time that you have and on what you prefer to do. We were short on time, so the family decided to split up and find their own destination. The choices:
1) Murano – famous for glass making (albeit expensive).
2) Burano – famous for the Pantone coloured buildings and lace (also expensive).
3) Torcello – its church.
4) Lido – for the sun and fun at the beach.
“We’re going to Burano!” exclaimed the wife.
For Murano, Burano and Torcello, we need to depart from Fondamenta Nuove which was just around the corner (sort of) from where we are staying. Knowing the fact that it is pretty easy to get lost along the way, please give yourself ample time to get to anywhere that you’re headed to. We gave ourselves a half-hour headstart and found the place with about 5 minutes to spare.
Tip: In order to lose the crowds, it might be better that you visit Burano first then followed by Murano. Since everyone will be heading for the nearest (Murano) island usually.
The boat was packed with tourists, but we were able to snag a couple of seats next to the window. We were seated opposite a elderly French couple who was eyeing at my equipment. I was setting up my slider for the trip, so there were plenty of screwing and knobbing in front of them. They were curious. So after I had it all done up, I did a slider video of their shoes and showed it to them. Voila! Instant relief! I guess they thought I was fixing up some weapon of some sort.
Burano was exactly like in the pictures shown throughout the world, full of Pantone-coloured buildings and it’s own leaning bell tower of Chiesa di San Martino. Although I would say that those photos were touched up post-production.
“Look at them! It’s like Venice but with the paint still on!” I told my wife.
Burano is also made up of narrow alleyways and cobblestones paths. It is easy to get around the island if you’re on foot. You won’t get lost although be sure to memorize the location of the bell tower rather than the coloured buildings.
“Maybe they have a law to make sure that neighbours don’t paint the same colours,” said the wife
I purposely placed both the above photos to show the differences in post-production, the bottom one appears to be ‘brighter’ than the initial photo, which was the ‘real’ colour.
“Actually, the word Burano means breeze,” mumbled the wife.
“No wonder they hang their laundry outside,” I said.
Burano is a good spot for street photographers
“This is a good spot for those street photographers, there is inspiration almost everywhere,” I continued.
“Oh, what was that again?” the wife asked as she took photos after photos of every single house along the way towards the main drag.
Burano is also famous for its lace, but unfortunately we were here on Labour Day, so the museum was closed. But there are still plenty of shops around publicly displaying their wares.
Tip: Make sure you want the handmade ones, which would also be the expensive choice.
Trattoria Da Romano
This place was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s famous No Reservations series, now we neither knew of this person nor his show prior to researching for food to eat, but apparently it is all the fad for anyone traveling to Europe.
Find one of Anthony Bourdain’s suggestions at Trattoria Da Romano — risotto
Most of the tourist crowd prefer to sit outside, probably trying to get a tan or some smokes, we prefer to dine inside, away from the sun. Too much of something could be bad. In case you were wondering, there is a photo of Anthony Bourdain together with a couple of other celebrities who has had a meal here. So we were in good company, off to a good start, I would say.
“What shall we order?” I asked.
“Duh, obviously the risotto,” answered the wife.
“But, we have never had risotto before, how would we know it’s the best?”
“Who cares? We are here for the risotto.”
The risotto is made for two and we ordered a side dish of fried calamari to complement it. As you can see for yourself, the risotto was made to perfection, and according to Gordon Ramsay (of Hell’s Kitchen fame), as long as it’s not too sticky, it is good risotto. There is a bit of a fishy taste to the risotto and I think it comes from the Gó fish, although you won’t be having parts of the fish, it is said that only the broth of the fish is used for the risotto.
We needed something dry to mix with the softness of the risotto, so we ordered the fried calamari. It appears fresh, although I have no way of knowing so, other than to ask the cook myself. Together with the risotto, this made for a pretty simple lunch.
Price-wise this was an expensive meal, I guess because it was made popular by Anthony Bourdain. The risotto came up to €36, the calamari €15 and €6 for the drinks. Not to mention the ‘coperto’ charge. From what I understand, ‘coperto’ is much like the service charge although there could be both of them on the same bill. It is for the plain water they serve, the bread on the table and maybe for refills of some sort. For Trattoria Da Romano, the coperto came up to €3 per person.
Considering the fact that we would never had been able to try the real risotto back home and for the fact that we had one at a recommended restaurant, the €70 for 2 was probably justified. The food was also good, so we have no complaints.
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(to be continued)