The Island of Murano
Known for its unique glass art, this island features studios, demonstrations & souvenirs for sale. I was already excited to see how the glass was made (although I saw it in videos!!). On our way to Murano, our guide Sofia explained the technique verbally, which made it easy as we witnessed it in the factory. So here we are, in this warm factory where the ovens were fired up to 1500 degree celsius, waiting for the show to begin. It was like witnessing poetry as the worker made a vase out of glass.
Once this was finished, we were shown a store that sells Murano glass articles. I’d suggest you buy your souvenirs here itself as the ones in the main city might not be authentic. After getting myself a small locket and a few other ornaments for family and friends, we got back to the Vaporetti and headed towards Torcello
The Island of Torcello
Torcello was a short journey from Murano and our guide kept us well informed during our journey. We arrived at Torcello and the island felt so peaceful to me. Do not miss out on this island as this is where the habitation of the Venetian lagoon began.
The deserted look of the island is a contrast to its history since Torcello was the home to more than 20000 inhabitants, a number of palaces and monasteries. The Santa Maria Assunta was the first cathedral of Venice. It dates from the 7th century and was built in Veneto-Byzantine style. The Byzantine mosaics, which are the earliest remaining mosaics in the Veneto region, are the most remarkable part of the cathedral. On the main apse, you can see an enormous golden mosaic from the 11th century, which shows Virgin Hodegetria.
Before reaching the cathedral you come across The Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) which is one of the few bridges in Venice without a rail.
There are several legends related to it, but I prefer this version related to Christmas Eve. During the Austrian occupation, a Venetian girl fell in love with one of the Austrian soldiers. Her family didn’t agree with the relationship and soon her lover was murdered. The girl was devastated and turned to a witch to make a pact with the devil. He promised to revive the boy in return for the soul of a dead child on Christmas Eve for the next seven years. When she arrived at the bridge, the devil and the boy were waiting on the other side. The girl crossed the bridge and ran away with her lover. The witch, who was in charge of the payment, died in a fire immediately after this pact. Since then, every year on Christmas Eve, the devil waits for the souls of the children at the Ponte del Diavolo, disguised as a giant black cat.
The whole island has that typical antique look and you almost feel isolated as you continue staring at it!
The next stop was to the Island of Burano.
Island of Burano
While approaching the island of Burano from a distance, you can already see the famous line of coloured houses. This was done to clearly indicate the borders of a property. However, the legend says that the fishermen used it to easily recognize their house from the lagoon when coming back late at night or in a fog. The island is a paradise for photoshoots and your Instagram posts. The island is so picturesque that even an amateur photographer ends up getting beautiful shots over here. One advice from my end would be that you should move away from the crowd and take a walk into the streets and you will find many locations for the photo bug in you.
Burano is also famous for its lace-making and you can find many artisans practising this trade on the main square. Should you need better insight into this, you can visit the lace museum. Buy yourself a piece of this art as it’s worth it. Mine was in the making (watch the video).
And the next day I head to explore the Island of Lido.
The Island of Lido di Venezia
The next day in Venice was to relax, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Lido was the perfect place as it was off-season and the deserted roads with the occasional pedestrian was proof enough of the serenity. I checked in to my hotel which was at a walking distance from the Vaporetto station.
Walking across the 11-kilometre coastline of this barrier island was like eternal bliss. I just sat there, listening to the sound of the waves which was like music to my ears.
La Cucina was a suggestion by one of the locals for my lunch. I tried their Fettuccine Alfredo pasta and it was heavenly. One should come here in the month of October if you want to be all to yourself and at the edge of Italy.