From now, God willing and the planets being in alignment I’m going to start a new travel blogging series called…. dum de dum…
Which will give you the skinny on places I’ve been to that I think you need to know about. First up is Hidden Italy. My good friend Linaire is being shouted a trip to Italy next week by her fabulous daughters (and clever businesswoman at Monaco Nails & Beauty) It’s a reverse OE thing. Linaire spent most of her early twenties raising two girls as a single Mum so it’s about time that she has a chance to get out there and see the world!
We went to Italy last year around about this time and had the most brilliant time. My Englishman was not well and deciding whether I should take him abroad or not was difficult but I made the call that the change of scenery would do him good.
It did. After all, with all that good food and sun and la bella vita – how could you not feel brilliant in Italy?
We first headed to Venice, which is simply all kinds of fabulous, much of which I write about here and here. But don’t stop at the San Marco or the Grand Canal, grab that Vaporetto and head on out to the Venetian lagoon and take in the sights of the glass making island of Murano and the lesser known (but just as wonderful) island of Burano.
You can get to the islands of Murano and Burano on the Vaporetto, and once you’re out of the canals and out on the open water a tremendous calm sweeps over you. Venice can get hot, sticky and crowded in the summer months and there’s nothing better than to head to sea..or in this case…to the lagoon.
The first stop is of course the island of Murano where the world renown glass making factories are. The shows are interesting if a little sexist, with one bloke claiming only men blow glass because women are too busy nattering! He was a good strong looking Italian guy with a thousand degree hot glass in his hand. I’m five foot two and had swallowed my tongue.
A number of the factories have extensive showrooms of their wares and of course they can organise shipping your newly bought treasures to any part of the world. Just remember to barter and search around for the best deal.
The next stop on the Vaporetto’s loop is the island of Burano which is a quiet little place, more locals than tourists alighted here. Whilst Burano was once acclaimed for the lace-making industry now the attraction is more about the picturesque place itself and its brightly coloured fishing cottages. Apparently there is a local town covenant which determines which colour you can paint your house, but I certainly couldn’t see any rhyme or reason to it.
The little canals were bordered by houses painted in every hue, colour clashing or not.
We enjoyed a quiet amble arm in arm around the gorgeous canals, wondering what it must be like to live in such a beautiful place. Such an old place. Where everything is history; peeling, chipping, fading.
But still standing!
If you’re in Venice, (especially you Linaire!) you need to go and see Burano. And keep your eyes peeled on the Vaporetto trip home for the display of magnificent glass birds at the wharf in Murano.