EuroAdventure Day 23: Island Hopping - Murano & Burano

(posted by Emily)

Friday 18 July
Daily Step Count: 29,448

On our first morning in Venice, we got up reasonably early to get breakfast in the hotel's breakfast room. There weren't a whole lot of options for us, but we enjoyed toast, fresh fruit, coffee, bread and oil for Rick, and orange/carrot/lemon juice.


Up first on the agenda was the famous Rialto Market. In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, tons of seafood is available at the market as well. We have definitely noticed that Venice is a great destination for seafood lovers--you could eat freshly caught seafood at every meal, and try things you've never had before like spaghetti with squid ink, softshell crabs, and sea snails.






We wandered the narrow streets for a bit, takingin the local neighborhoods and finding less popular areas. Eventually, we ended up back in San Marco Square. The line to get in to the basilica was just too long at this point in the day.

wandering a less busy street

After a quick stop at the hotel to change and drop off scarves and the sun dried tomatoes we bought, it was off to the vaporetto, or waterbus, to go to lunch. We bought a 36 hour pass, which allowed us unlimited access to any of the vaporetto lines and destinations. You wait in a small floating terminal, and then board the boat when it arrives. 

waiting to board
looking out to the dock where the boat pulls up
Lunch was at a Jewish Kosher restaurant in the oldest ghetto in the world. Gam Gam offers Isreali foods, with no milk or dairy at all. They do offer some meat and fish, but had plenty to offer vegans/vegetarians.


We started with some white wine.


Lunch was the house specialty--a variety of Isreali appetizers with falafel, fried artichokes with a tahini herb sauce, and potato latkes with applesauce. As one who was very pasta-ed out, it was a refreshing site to see (and eat!) all of these veggies!


latkes
fried artichokes


We had a great spot, right next to the Grand Canal, and even spotted my boat! :) 



After lunch, we decided to go to Murano. Murano is one of the islands of Venice, traditionally where beautiful glass products are blown and made. We took the vaporetto over and enjoyed watching all of the sights out of the window. 


inside the vaporetto


When we got to the island, we were immediately surrounded by shops selling all sorts of glasswares--jewelry, vases, pitchers, glasses, art, you name it. We were hoping to see a glass blowing demonstration, as these are typically free to visitors.



a little blue and blue pride!
We wandered in to a local fornace (furnace) and showroom. Not really sure if the demo was supposed to be free, but no one stopped us and we didn't have to pay! The master made a pitcher and a small horse statue while another gentleman explained what was happening. 








At some point, they called for volunteers from the audience to blow the glass. Initially, we thought the master was asking Rick to come up, but apparently he was asking me to give it a try! I quickly learned that in glass blowing, similar to brass playing, more pressure is not the answer :) It took a minute, but I finally blew a large glass bubble. 



The master broke open the bubble, and it almost felt like plastic, the glass was so thin. A very fun experience!

We enjoyed wandering through the shops, and I picked up a pair of glass earrings. One the way to the vaporetto, we saw some more fun glass sculpture.


The next island we visited was Burano. Rick had mentioned it in passing earlier in the morning, with a comment about "houses that look like a Crayola box" I didn't really understand what he meant until we got to the island. 

Every single house in Burano is painted a different, bright color. It is fascinating to see them all in a row, and everywhere you turn there are more and more colors. If you know me, you know this place was right up my alley. It was beautiful.






We headed back to the main island after Burano, and it was spritz time again! Delicious once again!



We headed over to the Campo Santa Margherita area for dinner. Rick had been craving pesto, and I managed to find a restaurant with cheese-less pesto, no service charge (somewhat of a rarity here--most places charge 2 to 3 euro per person for table service), and affordable wine. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, with what I think was the best pizza we've had (marinara with garlic), great pasta, and decent wine. It was nice to relax and enjoy good company!





After dinner, we managed to wander ourselves lost, ending up at the southern-most part of the island. We found our way home eventually, passing the Venetian Guggenheim collection along the way.  


No gelato tonight, as we were too full and a little too focused on going the right way :) 

Overall, a wonderful day in Venice!
--E&R

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