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Journeys : Jun Jul 2011
It’s easy to spend hours wander ing the rows of tiny shops, each as enticing as the next, along Via Galuppi, Burano’s main street, to buy glass ornaments or an assortment of intricate Venetian masks. Carefully studying each of the painted ceramic masks, lavishly decorated with glitter, braid, sequins and feathers, I can imagine how beautiful guests would look when wearing them at a traditional masquerade ball. The shopping strip is abuzz with locals loading fruit and vegies into string shopping bags and tourists bargaining for a good price on souvenirs. Many of the masks and lacewear on sale are cheap impor ts, although they are still undeniably pretty. But look closely and there are still locally-made wares on offer – local ladies can sometimes be seen making the lace from their front doorsteps. There are three things that must be included in any Italian itinerary – pizza, pasta, and gelati – and Burano’s main strip features plenty of cafes and restaurants. Dining alfresco, I enjoy the ever-changing scenery and the sweet smell of the island's traditional cake, the Bussolà, wafting from the bakeries. This tasty, circle-shaped morsel is made from sweet, hard dough – a var iant of the Bussolà is the Esse, which tastes the same but is made typically in an S-shape. But for a true taste of Burano, I wander the vibrant back alleys to gain an appreciation of how the locals live. Watching the residents go about their daily duties seems strange and slightly intrusive at first – in Australia neighbours would probably call the police if they spotted strangers wandering their yards and driveways. But Burano residents are used to living in close proximity, and offer me friendly glances and waves. Smiling neighbours armed w ith brooms chat as they sweep the cobbled pavement in front of their picturesque houses while others nimbly unpeg and fold clean sheets that have flapped dry in the breeze. Local ‘road workers’ dressed in fluoro vests hammer and dig – since the island has canals instead of roads, they spend their days excavating dirt and unblocking drains rather than laying tar and repairing traffic lights. Burano’s buildings may be bright, but watching the ever yday happenings on the island, like the busy roadworkers and tinkering boat builders, I find that it is the local residents, not just the colourful homes, that make Burano a vibrant and intr iguing place to visit. LindaSmithLindaSmithLindaSmithLindaSmithLindaSmithLindaSmithLindaSmith Destinations June / July 2011 15
Apr May 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011