Visiting The Venetian Islands
During our visit to Italy we stayed on the Lido De Jesolo which was a perfect base for visiting Venice and its surrounding islands. Rather than book excursions through tour companies we decided to travel like the locals and used the public transport and visit Murano, Burano and Venice. A ticket for the four of us (3 adults, 1 child) cost approx €100 and gave us unlimited use of the buses on the Lido and the boats to and from Venice and the islands.
Getting around was pretty easy, the buses were frequent and the while the vaporettos were slightly complicated there was always a member of staff that spoke enough English to be able to guide us to the correct boat.
Burano was the first island we visited. It's famous for the beautiful lace that is made on the island, but I think most people visit to see how pretty it is. All of the buildings are painted in bright colours - it is the perfect place for Instagrammers! Small canals weave their way through the island and the kids had great fun crossing all the bridges. There is a small area that is populated with shops and restaurants selling mainly lace, glass from neighbouring Murano and masks. As Burano is fairly small it doesn't take long to walk the whole way round, so after a light lunch we caught the ferry to Murano.
Murano is like a mini-Venice. It has older style buildings and like Burano and Venice, there are lots of canals transecting the island. It is much bigger than Burano and we felt like there was a lot we didn't see. Murano is famed for its glass making and everywhere you turn there is a shop selling glass everything, from little figurines to huge chandeliers. We visited a glass factory and saw some amazing (very expensive!) items. We were also able to watch a glass blowing display which was very interesting, but incredibly hot as not only were the furnaces burning but Italy was experiencing a heatwave too!
By late afternoon the kids were flagging in the heat so we decided to head back to the Lido. Unfortunately the ferry took the long route back, stopping at each island on it's way to Punta Sabbioni, which meant we spent over an hour on a very hot and sticky boat!
A couple of tips for using the Vaporettos:
Although you get the best views from the open air upper deck be aware that you will be in direct sunlight with very little shade. In the summer months this means that you run the risk of getting sunburned.
The boats get full up very quickly, but many people use seats for their bags. Don't be afraid to ask them to move!
The Italians are a nation of dog lovers and you will find dogs everywhere - including on public transport. We think it's great, but it's worth knowing in case you are travelling with somebody who is scared of dogs.
There are lots of different places to catch the boats - especially in Murano and Venice and it's easy to get confused. Try and remember where you got off of the Vaporetto as this is normally where you will catch your return boat from.