Thursday, 13 December 2012 4:35 PM
Many people first think of romantic trips on a gondola and winding canals when they have to consider a holiday in Venice. However, the Italian location has plenty more to offer than this, as there are several islands you can visit on a boating trip.
If you decide to hire a boat while in Venice, you'll have plenty of places to choose from. With each island you explore, you'll get to see lots of different things, from quaint shops selling glassware to picturesque canals of brightly-coloured houses.
Here are just a few highlights of a boating holiday to the Venetian islands you can look forward to.
Pretty glass-making island of Murano
One of your first stops on your boating holiday should be Murano. This is a small island that is famous all over the world for one thing – its glass. The reason why it is renowned for its glass-making industry is because all of the top Italians in the profession were sent to the isle in order to make sure the secret to glass-making didn't leak to other nations.
They had to live on the island and, as a result of this, the secret to Murano's beautiful glass has remained here ever since. When you arrive, you'll discover lots of shops selling glass products, from decorations and vases to mirrors. Therefore, if you want to buy some souvenirs or decor for your home, you'll find plenty on Murano.
In addition to these shops, you can also visit glass factories and a glass museum. You can take a tour around to see how the glass is made these days, as the industry is still booming and the island supplies glass gifts to countries all around the world. In the glass museum, you can learn more about the history of glass-making on Murano and discover the secrets behind the isle's beautiful pieces.
Get wrapped up in Burano's lace-making world
Another island that you have to visit in the Venetian lagoon is Burano. Come here and you'll discover lots of stores selling locally-made lace items, from dresses to doyleys. If you are getting married, you might even want to make the most of the opportunity of being in one of the most famous locations around the world for lace.
Just make sure you check it is authentic handmade Burano lace, as you don't want to discover it is machine produced and not from the island! You can also visit the Lace Museum, as this is the ideal place to learn more about the industry and the tradition of producing lace material on the island.
Burano isn't just about lace though and, if you come here, you'll love simply walking around the island. This is because the isle has a distinctive character due to its brightly-coloured houses. As you meander over the small bridges and along the narrow streets, you'll pass homes painted in pink, blue, green, purple, yellow and every other shade you can think of!
It is also an ideal location to stop and eat dinner. While Venice is well-known for its pricey establishments, coming to Burano gives you the opportunity to taste local Venetian recipes without a hefty price tag, which is ideal if you don't want to spend a fortune on your boating holiday. Make sure you try seafood dishes and the likes of risi e bisi (rice and peas), pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) and vermicelli al nero di seppia, which is thin noodles with black squid ink, as the region is famous for these.
Get back to nature on Sant'Erasmo Island
If you want to spend some time in the outdoors on your trip (other than being on the boat), you can head to Sant'Erasmo Island. What the isle lacks in tourist attractions, it makes up with its picturesque natural sights. It is home to a 19th century fort, but otherwise remains rural.
Therefore, it is an ideal place to visit if you want to go for a walk one day or see some pretty birds during your holiday. Known as the Garden of Venice, you can expect lots of greenery and to have some peace and quiet on this island – a huge contrast to Venice itself.
Sant'Erasmo is the largest island in the lagoon, and it is perhaps most famous for its agricultural products like artichokes and asparagus, so take a look at the fruit and vegetables grown here.