The colours of Burano are what define the Italian island, at least to outsiders. It may sound strange considering my penchant for all neutral shades, but on reflection, I think it was colours that made me fall in love with Europe all those years ago. Winnipeg is beige. I remember that from my childhood, but it strikes me again on a daily basis now that I live here. The vintage architecture of the city I call home is beautiful, but it is utterly devoid of colour.
But I digress, because this isn’t about Winnipeg, it’s about Burano. And the word Burano is synonymous with colour. The buildings on the island are all vibrant, the hue of each one in contrast with the next. At first glance, the streets look like they were drawn by an enthusiastic six-year-old with a new 64 pack of crayons. And yet, when you look closer, it becomes clear that nothing about the local colour is haphazard. No two houses of the same colour stand next to each other. Each street works with a specific set of shades that differs from the shades on the street next to it. In reality, it seems, someone with a keen artistic eye chose the colours of Burano.
Taking a walk in Italy is a bit like walking through an artist’s tableau. Every city is different – Rome is glamourous and steeped in history, while Venice is palatial. Burano is more rustic; the construction of the buildings is simple, and fresh laundry often hangs from them so it can dry in the warm air. The colours give the town an air of warmth that makes it feel like the sort of place where you could, concievably, just knock on a door without knowing who lived inside.
My favourite part of visiting Venice was seeing the colours of Burano, without a doubt. The island is well worth a detour if you’re in the region – and worth a full trip, if you aren’t.