NoeHill: Venice to Malta in 2002

Monday 27 May: Burano e un Manifestazione dei Venditori

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Mediterranean 2002: Venezia


Today is Memorial Day in America. For the past several days, President Bush has been in Europe: Germany, Russia, and France. Today he'll visit Normandy Beach. On Italian television yesterday, he seemed testy and not too bright in a press conference with France's Chirac. Did he appear that way to the folks back home? How embarrassing for us.


Burano Canal Burano Canal
Ristorante al Gatto Nero Ristorante al Gatto Nero
On this overcast morning, we set off to explore the islands of Burano and Murano. Our first stop was Burano, once famous for its lace making. By the mid-17th century, Burano's lace was known worldwide, but foreign competition and the general decline of Venice brought the industry almost to extinction by 1800. Various attempts have been made from time to time to revive the trade, with varied results. Today, real Burano lace is a very time-consuming labor intensive art and thus quite expensive. Much of what is sold on the island is made commercially and of an inferior quality.

What is definitely not inferior is the look of the island. Burano differs from the other islands in the lagoon in that there are no great palaces or churches, just a low skyline of small one- or two-story houses looking very much alike except for their colors. Bright, vivid and intense colors. Reds, blues, yellows, greens, pinks. But whatever bright color the house is painted, its door and window trim is painted white. Story has it that the women of the island painted their homes while the men were at sea so that a sailor could recognize his home from afar by its color. Today, fishing nets still hang drying in yards, with small fishing boats tied up along the banks of the canals. And in the public park near the vaporetto stop, an old lady hung her wash to dry between two trees. It is an extremely photogenic island. So much so that Al used up his entire digital memory in Burano alone. So we had to put off for another day our visit to Murano.


Berkeley Lady Takes on the Hegemony of Gondolieri Berkeley Lady Takes on the Hegemony of Gondolieri
We returned to the hotel and, after downloading his pictures into the laptop, Al ventured out to take more.

He came across a demonstration at City Hall. Street vendors and many of their supporters were demonstrating, for or against what, Al didn't know.

Many of the women looked as if they had just arrived from Berkeley.

Do Berkeley ladies travel about the world joining every demonstration protesting "the establishment"?

We each picked up some wine and cheese for nibbling in the room. About dinner time, the skies opened and poured buckets. So we darted next door to Cantinome Storico, highly recommended by friends but, again, a so-so meal at chi-chi prices.


Burano Photo Album

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