"" Writer's Wanderings: 18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Murano and Burano

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Murano and Burano

[Summer, 2004]

When the last piece of corn was consumed by a greedy pigeon who flew off immediately to the next hand full of corn, we went back to the vaporetto docks and found the line ( #42 or 43) that would take us to Murano and Burano. It took about an hour to reach Murano but it was a pleasant ride. We disembarked at the first stop and found ourselves immediately greeted by salesmen from the glass factories. They welcomed us into a demonstration room where we watched with fascination as a red vase was formed at the end of the blow pipe and then speckles of color were added.
Next a horse came to life from a blob of molten red glass. There were beautiful pieces of colorful glass in all sorts of shapes and sizes on the shelves in the showroom. Prices ranged from 6 euros to...well some chandeliers I understand go for thousands of dollars.

Glass factories are all over the island. This is the place where the glass manufacturers were sent when the citizens of Venice worried that they might accidentally burn the city to the ground. Lots of shops and little cafes line the canals that criss-cross the island. We enjoyed a delightful pizza lunch along one of the canals.

Our next stop was Burano. We found the correct place to catch the vaporetta from Murano. It doesn't run as frequently so we had to be careful of our time. Burano was an even smaller place than Murano. It is known for it's handmade lace. As you exit the vaporetto and walk into the little town, there are a few places along the way were women sit in the lace shops and demonstrate the lace making. Their hands whip through the knots and stitches as the delicate pattern begins to take shape. Not everything in the shops is made there. You need to be sure to ask for the Burano patterned lace. They sell small pieces for about 15 euros.

We caught a vaporetto back to Venice, managing to arrive in time to have a nice dinner before our scheduled gondola ride. Near the famous Rialto bridge was a pretty area full of tables topped with white linen and decorated with small colorful lights. It sat right on the canal. After our $15 coffees, we knew it would probably be expensive but we would only be in Venice once and how bad could it be?
The waiter spoke English mixed with a heavy Italian accent that was fairly understandable. He was also a great salesman. He described the specials. One was a seafood dish with pasta and three sauces. We assumed that he meant there were three sauces to put on the pasta along with little pieces of seafood. Well, no matter. Bob and I knew we were in trouble when he placed a huge tiered bowl of ice with various pieces of seafood, including two half lobsters, crabs and oysters. The sauces were for the seafood. I don't even remember the pasta. The whole thing was somewhere around $200 by the time we added drinks. It was delicious. The view was great. And next time we'll ask the price even though it's a "special".
Now we were truly ready for our gondola ride.

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