We arrived on a hot, sweaty, summer day in August. We had taken the water bus from Venice, crowded and suffocating inside, breezy and close on the decks, and were ready for something to eat and something to drink from the second we disembarked.
The colors of the island grew out of the green water in a rush, rising between the swells and bounces of the bus. The string of brightly painted buildings wrapped itself around the islands in an intricate pattern of canals and bridges, mirroring, in a way, the lace the island is famous for.
Legend has it that the colors helped fishermen to see their houses from the decks of their boats, giving them a sense of comfort and security as they went about their tasks. Walking amidst the houses and shops, this one green, this one pink, that one pale blue, a visitor can imagine the tranquility available in such a place. The island is quiet and relaxed and completely over-run by tourism.
All the shops sell lace, most of which is no longer made on the island, and far too much of which is designed as souveniers rather than material for pillows or trim or curtains. And far too many of the shops contain no public restrooms, nor decently priced, decently edible food.
However, the atmosphere, the photogenic nature of the island more than makes up for these deficiencies; the park that fronts the landing docks makes a pleasant place to relax and to take an afternoon out from a busy tour schedule or rush to sightsee.
(As a side note, one of the more interesting sights is the nearly flat island across the canal from Burano proper, on which stands the ruins of an old church, the spire of which can be seen from the bus stop.)
We arrived, we walked around, shutters clicking and euros jingling in pockets. We ate and laughed and bought postcards to be sent to friends across the globe. We wondered and read in our tourbooks, we wandered and guessed at meanings. We relaxed and wished we could stay.