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Monday, September 13, 2010

Burano, Murano and Venice at Night: A Day on the Water in a Vaporettis

Burano, a very colorful town

I woke up early and headed out with my camera and tripod leaving MA to dream about Italian coffee and gondolas. Got some great photos, then back to the Abazzia for another all you can eat breakfast European style.  The only thing I miss are the eggs over easy with bacon.  

Today's journey is courtesy of Jay Mangum.  He and his wife Jan visited here last month and he told me not to miss the Island of Burano.  So we gathered our gear and headed to the water bus, called the vaporetto.  It is a long slender boat with a stated capacity of 220 but they usually pack in about 300 in peak hours.

Learning the vaporetto system (I call it the Venice subway on water) will get you anyplace you want to go by boat.  Everything, and I mean everything and everybody moves around Venice on the water.  That includes the garbage boat, ambulance, even the cops are in boats.  We bought two 24 hr passes and hopped on the first vaporetto headed for Burano.  We met a couple from Australia who taught us how to navigate the system and how to get to the cruise terminal tomorrow when we leave. Anyhow we arrived on Baruno and it is one colorful place.  See photo above.

On the boat I noticed a Japanese man carrying a Nikon D3, similar to mine.  He spoke English and we quickly got to comparing notes about D3s.  His name is Sako Kazuo and he lives and works in Germany not far from Luxembourg.   

I carry a Canon G9 digital camera as a backup but today I set it up for MA to take her own photos.  She has a good eye and now she doesn't have to get me to take photos of things she spots, she does her own.  They are very good so I will put them in her own Smugmug gallery.

Our self-guided tour started toward the east and south to put the sun behind us for photo purposes.  This little town is just stunningly beautiful.  Every house is painted a different pastel color.  We had already noticed a tall bell tower that was definitely leaning like the Tower of Pisa.  Needless to say, it's part of the Burano photo gallery.

MA ducked into a shop to get the some family souvenirs. The Italian lady didn't speak English but they quickly got accquainted in French. (Yes, we're still in Italy!) 

I spotted two Italian police officers, introduced myself and showed them my retiree badge. I told them they were much appreciated.  They smiled and introduced themselves as Roberto and Frank.  There were both corporals and I said I was a sergeant and I outranked them.  We all had a good laugh. Cops everywhere in the world have a bond that unites us all.

After two hours of exploring Burano and photographing practically every house, window and laundry line there, we hopped on the next boat to the Island of Murano, famous for its glass making. You'll see signs in the shop windows that say "not made in China!" 

We were ready for lunch so we stopped at the Ristorante dela Mora on the canal and ordered salads and pasta.  It was very good.  At the next table we met two ladies from Quebec, Canada who as it turns out were both accountants and both traveling on the Ruby Princess.  Right away MA resumes her French lessons.  She tells everybody her teachers Pasqale and Valerie gave her homework assignments to speak French whenever the opportunity arises. This usually brings a nice smile of understanding when she accidentally slips into Spanish.

From Murano we boated over to St. Mark's Square. We were hoping to get into the Doge's Palace and the cathedral but there were thousands of people in the square and hundreds waiting in lines so we decided to do some more walking instead and headed to the Rialto Bridge.  Along the way we had a $10 coffee and ice cream (Did I mention it's expensive here?), hopped aboard vaporetto #1, took a water cruise and eventually ended up back at the Abazzia.

We weren't there long before we decided to have supper and split a pizza. (One pizza, two beverages, $48!  But I digress!) MA was up for taking night photos in particular because of a beautiful quarter moon hanging in the sky.  We hopped aboard another boat back to the Rialto Bridge, I shot more pics and MA got busy taking pictures for other couples there on the bridge.  It's a courtesy thing many travelers do, just don't hand your camera to a pick pocket type, only to another obvious tourist.

 On the way back, I started talking to a young couple in the seats in front of us and we learned they were from Brazil.  MA now had someone to practice her Portuguese with.    WW (2 Pics below)

Gondolas on the Grand Canal

   Rialto Bridge at Night 


  1. Wayne/MA,

    Thanks for the update. See you are still not going hungry.

    This country is so colorful - great photo ops everywhere!! Talking about not handing your camera to a thief by mistake - bet you haven't handed the D3S to anyone period.

    Keep the updates and photo coming - I look forward to them every morning.

    Have a God blessed day - dave b.

  2. Hi Wayne!
    I wish we were there with you and M.A.! Your writing puts me RIGHT THERE with you both. I'm blown away by the prices you quoted - I had no idea it was that 'cher'. Venice and its surrounding islands sound delightful. I can feel your excitement as you describe them. Keep up the blogs, we both love them!
    Nola and Randy in France


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