The Island of Burano, in the Venetian lagoon, is made of picturesque canals lined with brightly colored houses. Flowers grow in window boxes and small boats dot the canals. Burano even has a leaning tower, the bell tower of the 15th century San Martino Church. The island is also famous for its artisan lace makers and there's a Lace Museum as well as shops selling lace.
Via Galuppi, the island's main street, is lined with pastry and souvenir shops, stores, bars, and restaurants (see recommended restaurants). If you wander away from that area you'll see fewer tourists and can enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the canals and colorful houses that has long attracted painters to the island.
Getting to Burano Island
Take vaporetto number 12 from Fondament Nove, departing every half hour. It also makes one stop on Murano Island so if you reach Murano from another part of Venice, you can transfer to number 12 at the Murano Faro stop. On the scenic 40-minute ride you'll pass the cemetery island of San Michele, Murano, Torcello, and small islands in the lagoon.
In 2012 the cost of a one-way ride is 7 euro or you can buy a 12-hour island pass for 18 euro, good if you plan to visit more than one island. There are also passes valid for longer periods of time.
See more photos of Burano's colorful houses in Europe Travel's Colors of Burano.
Tip: For good views of Burano, get off at the small island of Mazzorbo, the stop just before Burano. Walk across the island from to the pathway where you'll see Burano and then cross at the foot bridge connecting the two islands. On Mazzorbo you can visit the 14th century church of Santa Caterina and there are a couple of restaurants.
From Burano it's a short boat ride on vaporetto line 9 to Torcello, a peaceful island whose cathedral has stunning Byzantine mosaics.