If you’re looking to add some color to your life, the island of Burano needs to be on your to-do list. A popular daytrip from Venice, Burano has grown in popularity in recent years because of its vibrant houses. The small fishing village looks like a completed coloring book with almost every building in the village a different member of the color palette. It’s a big hit among Instagrammers, as there are endless opportunities for that perfect shot.
While it’s one of the most unique places to visit, few people actually stay on the island because there is just one hotel. Instead of staying in Venice and making a day trip out of it, we did the opposite. We stayed at that one hotel in Burano – Casa Burano – and spent a few meals exploring the foodie scene before day-tripping to Venice. If you’re visiting Burano, here’s where to stay and eat.
Casa Burano (Burano House Hotel)
Casa Burano is the only hotel in the small fishing village of Burano. Matteo Bisol, whose family owns nearby Venissa resort and winery on Mazzorbo, has bought up a few of the colorful houses on Burano and converted them from old shacks to chic-looking accommodations. Each has several units per building. There are three buildings in different locations, each with modern units that includes flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and swanky bathrooms.
Considering how old the fishing village is, it’s a pleasure to stay in a spacious and contemporary unit, yet still be able to step out and capture its old school charm.
Finding a good meal in Italy is like finding a nice beach in Hawaii; they’re literally everywhere. Even on the small island of Mazzorbo, with a miniscule population of 350, there is world-class dining.
Venissa Restaurant has earned a Michelin star and while that’s an impressive feat on its own, how it continues to hold the Michelin star makes it one of the most unique restaurants in the world. Typically, the star follows the chef, but Venissa has earned and re-earned the star under four chefs. Each time, as a chef has left to move on or start their own venture, Venissa has found a new prodigy, been reevaluated, and re-earned the star.
It’s easy to see why – at least at the current iteration – as Chiara Pavan executes on par with a chef who will eventually earn a second star. We specifically asked to be wowed by vegetables rather than meat just to see what she could do, and the results were flawless.
If you haven’t heard of any wineries in Venice, it’s because they’re extremely rare. As you can imagine, a city built on water, where real estate is precious and the water levels fluctuate, is not the ideal setting for grape-growing. However, Matteo Bisol’s father discovered that there once was a winery in Venice and that some vines had actually survived. After buying up the forgotten vines and planting them together on Mazzorbo, Venissa was created.
The grape they’re growing and producing wine is the Dorona di Venezia grape, which makes them the only winery in the world producing wine from that grape. Adding to the unique flare is the one gram of real gold used on the bottle to create the label. Each empty bottle becomes a souvenir. And for the first time ever, they’ll be producing something other than wine – Venusa Beer – in 2018.
Mazzorbo is connected to Burano and well-worth the short ten minute walk to hear the story firsthand and taste one of the most exclusive wines in the world.
There are a lot of casual options on Burano and while you won’t go too wrong with any spot, Devil Pizza is a place that's more than right. It’s a no-frills eatery on the inside, but you’re not there for the décor. You’re there for the pies.
Grab a slice or eight (if you’re doing the whole pizza) and get a seat outside. Sit and watch the photographers taking selfies on the bridge while the pizza melts on your tongue. Its thin crust with a delicate tomato sauce support the right balance of cheese. Highly recommended is the simple mushroom but upgrade to add the champignons.
Trattoria Al Gato Nero
If you research restaurants on Burano, you’ll see that El Gato Nero frequently comes up as the highest rated on Yelp and TripAdvisor. It didn’t disappoint in our visit,as they do an excellent job of classic Italian cuisine. There’s an emphasis on the local style, which means you’ll see lots of seafood on the menu like cuttlefish, monkfish, and cod.
Recommended is the shellfish soup. The large seafood stew has a rich tomato broth and a generous portion of clams, mussels and prawns, and is meant to be shared for two.