Unique New Stays in Venice: Casa Burano

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Dream of Italy. Find the main article here.

Those who have visited the quaint fishing island of Burano in the northern lagoon of Venice will easily remember the facades in every color under the rainbow together with hordes of visitors. Burano is usually only a day-trip destination for visitors, but the real magic happens as the sun comes up in the early morning and again in the evenings when the island’s small canals are more mirror-like than water-filled.

The island is indeed full of residents which is hard to imagine in the middle of the day as visitors flock to any of the numerous lace stores. However, Casa Burano offers a unique opportunity to stay on the island and live among the locals in their albergo diffuso, a dispersed hotel.

This is an innovative hospitality concept that started in Italy in the 1980s as a means of reviving small, historic Italian town centers. The hotel is not a single block, which makes sense in Burano, where every building on the island is modest in size. Rather, the hotel is composed of a series of historic buildings in the small community run like a hotel.

The owners of the nearby Venissa vineyards (and Michelin-starred restaurant) on the connecting island of Mazzorbo purchased five properties and meticulously restored them in collaboration with local suppliers and artisans so as to offer a total of 15 rooms on the island.

The entryway pavements and bathroom tiles are all from Orsoni, just across the lagoon in Cannaregio, which has been producing hand cut artisanal mosaics since 1888. Breakfast is delivered daily to each building’s ground floor breakfast room, and each room in the house receives their own basket of freshly baked breads, yogurt, fruit and jams.

It is a wonderful experience to throw open the windows and watch the local residents stroll their island, chat over morning coffee and soak in the start to the day. The morning light and empty streets are a photographer’s dream as are the early evenings and quiet nights. Burano is a place where many people still leave their doors unlocked, most bicycles are left leaning against a wall without a lock, and the pace of life is simple.

Casa Burano
F.ta S. Caterina, 3
(39) 041 5272281
Rates: Start at 100€ per night for a comfort room and 150€ for a suite. All include breakfast.

–Jill S. Weinreich

A love of exploring new places brought Jill Weinreich to Venice in 1996 and she has never looked back. Being a freelance translator, English teacher and event organizer still leaves her with time to marvel at Venice’s beauty, which never gets old!