Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Burano (Rainbow) Island

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The last time André and I came to Venice, we didn’t take the time to go to any of the many islands that surround Venice.  Of course, as Wiki reminds me, Venice itself is not just one island but an archipelago connected by bridges– so, in fact, we really had seen lots of islands already! 

Nonetheless, this time, I wanted to visit an island that was a bit further away.  Since we had already taken the time to see glassblowing the day before, we opted to skip Murano and go straight to Burano.  This smaller island in the Venetian lagoon is known for two things: lace and colorful buildings.  I told the kids the place had rainbow colored houses and they started calling it Rainbow Island.  It was about a 40 minute boat ride to get out there, and we passed the Isle of the Dead on the way.  This is the dedicated cemetery for Venetians, created by decree in 1837 to end burials in the city limits.   Of course, space is limited so each corpse gets only about a decade of internment before being transferred into a much smaller resting place that can be stacked up – unless you are very rich or famous (of course).  I would love to wander around in there another day.  The wind was strong on the back deck where we went to hang out and I lost my hat to the lagoon on the way over.  It was very interesting to see the many small islands and marsh lands all around in the water and the rain luckily stopped soon before we docked.

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What an amazing place.  I want to transform Mt. Airy into a rainbow city as well!

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We spent a pleasant hour or so wandering around and soaking in the scenery.   I can’t really explain how wonderful this place was for Callie and I.  We kept seeing new colors and squealing with joy.  I had an idiotic grin on my face the entire time we were there.  I wrote, a long time ago, that waterfalls make people happy, and that is why we seek them out.  What I discovered in Burano was that colors also make people happy – and the town filled me with joy.   I also appreciated the size of the place.  Venice is so very huge and overwhelming – I always feel like I’m about to get lost.  Burano was so accessible and friendly – there was even a wedding going on in the local church

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The center had a campanile (or bell tower) that leaned a bit.  It made me get excited for our upcoming visit to Pisa. 


Whoever made the decision to use these colors was, frankly, a genius.  “The colors of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development; if someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colors permitted for that lot. This practice has resulted in the myriad of warm, vibrant colors that characterizes the island today.”  OK, I admit, it smacks a bit of Big Brother. If I really want a drab house, shouldn’t that be my right?  I guess not, if you choose to live in Burano!

We found this plaque that said it all:

Color is like Music

It uses a shorter way to reach our senses and evoke our emotions…

AnnaMaria Gimbal

If I ever become independently wealthy – I may purchase a vacation home here – but only if I am allowed to paint it purple!  But hey, why wait? Watch out Gowen Circle – a purple house may be in your future.


Alain said...

Wow, looks like a cool place to visit! Europe, I'll be back... soon!

Shana said...

Wow this sounds, and looks, wonderful!! I've never really been anywhere in Italy before and I'll have to put this on my must-see-someday list. Or maybe you'll get Mt. Airy organized before then?


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