20 Great Things to do in Venice 9/20 – Tour the Lagoon

If you're spending more than a few days in Venice, take time to visit the islands of the Venetian Lagoon. Explore the famous islands of  - Murano, Burano and Torcello - on a half-day or full day excursion. You'll see  glass-blowing display on Murano, shop for lace on Burano, be lost in the wonderful colours of Burano and visit Venice's first church on the tranquil island of Torcello. This tour is a great introduction to the magical islands of the Venetian lagoon Burano Venice  Colours and lights of Burano...HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

You'll reach the islands on water buses operated by ACTV, the Venice public-transportation company best place will be from Fte Nove. Allow a full day for the entire excursion, or half a day if you skip one of them.

ACTV's lagoon water buses can be crowded during peak season, on weekends, or if local groups of senior citizens or schoolchildren are travelling between the islands. If crowds bother you, or if you're unwilling to stand on a moving boat when seats aren't available, consider one of these alternatives:

  • Take an escorted tour of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. This half-day tour is more expensive than a tour by public transportation, but it's worth considering if your schedule is tighter than your budget. The trip is offered by Viator, our sightseeing-tour partner.
  • Hire a water taxi by the half-day or day, which could easily cost several hundred euros. If you want the services of a private guide, try a customized lagoon itinerary from WalksInsideVenice or the Venice Tourist Guides Association and let the guide arrange transportation.

Tips:

  • Organized tours don't give you much time on the islands, so we'd recommend traveling independently unless you're in a hurry or have limited mobility.
  • Instead of buying individual tickets for the boat trips between the islands, buy a 12-hour to 7-day  tourist card at any Hellovenezia or ACTV ticket booth. (See our Vaporetto Fares article.) Or order the tourist office's Venice Connected pass before you leave home, if you can figure out the byzantine pricing scheme.
  •  If you have access to the Internet during your trip, you can check boat schedules at the official ACTV Web site.

Islandness

Venice Laguna Nord Murano Burano Torcello, S Ariano San Francesco al Deserto..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi) An island generally comes with a bit of mystery and fascination, probably for being so close between sea and land. You may have discovered it by pure coincidence. Sometime slowly slowly the island grows in you. As the time passes you feel closer, factors such as the island’s remoteness, boundedness, and insularity combine to create a state of “islandness” . Then suddenly one day, when you are not thinking, you discover a sense of belonging. That is where you want to spend the rest of your life.

You did not choose the island, the island finally had chosen you.

Colours Coordination in Burano

Burano is a pretty island in the northern part of the lagoon of Venice, Italy  with a current population of about 2,800 inhabitants. It consists of four individual islands, which are separated by narrow, 10 meters wide, canals, rio Pontinello in the west, rio Zuecca in the south and rio Terranova in the east. Burano is famous for lace-making and for its brightly-colored fishermen’s houses; the island is a photographer’s paradise.  (Marco Secchi)

Frozen Venice Lagoon

Does the Venice lagoon ever freeze?? If you are looking for pictures of the Frozen Venice Lagoon Feb 2012 check here

These days everybody is talking about how cold is in Italy and in Venice. But in 1929 in February to be precise the Venice lagoon froze for few days!

 

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Burano (Colours of the Lagoon)

Burano is a collection of islands linked by bridges and divided by canals, located approximately 9km to the north-east of Venice. Burano Venice  Colours and lights of Burano...HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

Historians are divided as to whether the island acquired its name from the Buriana family, who were amongst the first settlers, or from the smaller neighbouring island of Buranello from whence its first inhabitants originated.

Burano is a densely populated, neat and attractive little town with a population of around 5,000. Visitors usually remark on the brightly painted houses which create a colourful ambiance: a feature which the authorities have attempted to preserve by insisting that residents observe the municipal colour scheme when painting their homes.

Poveglia...Poveglia!

Since moving to Venice, it has been a great desire of mine to visit the mysterious island of Poveglia, with its ruined mental asylum and haunted burial grounds. Finally, yesterday, thanks to two wonderful skippers Luca and Jacopo, and accompanied by fellow journalist and writer Robin Saikia I managed to visit the island. HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

For more images check the Poveglia gallery here or as a slideshow

Robin Saikia writes: "Shortly before we left Poveglia, I forced myself to lie on an iron bed in the ruins of the psychiatric ward, recalling the images of the day: the desecrated chapel with the scabrous remains of its cheerful Tiepolo-blue ceiling, the claustrophobic corridors, the rusting beds and lockers, the quay, the bell-tower, the woods, the bridge. I closed my eyes tightly for a few long seconds. When I opened them, I saw a very clear picture of hell..."

The island of Poveglia, with its ruined hospital and plague burial grounds, is said to be the most haunted location in the world. Though the island is a multi-million dollar piece of real estate, it remains deserted and off limits to the public. Its dark, derelict and forbidding shores are only minutes away from the glamour of the Venice Film Festival on the Lido, but there are few visitors. Very few Venetians are prepared to talk about the island or answer questions. They believe that while the rest of Venice is governed by the Comune di Venezia, Poveglia remains firmly in the Devil’s jurisdiction. They see it as a kind of supernatural penitentiary, an outpost of purgatory and hell. This view is captured in an unnerving local saying: quando muore un cattivo, si sveglia a Poveglia; when an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia. I visited the island in August this year with the photographer Marco Secchi. Our account is a drawing together of truth, half-truth, speculation and urban myth. It is based on conversations with local people and our exploration of the island. It is an attempt to make sense of the fear and revulsion that Poveglia continues to provoke, despite the best attempts of sceptics to exorcise its ghosts with the bell, book and candle of reason. (Robin Saikia)

Robin Saikia is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Venice Lido, recently published by Blue Guides (http://thevenicelido.com). Please contact us to discuss licensing our 4000 word photo documentary of the island, words by Robin Saikia, photography by Marco Secchi. msecchi@gmail.com