Italy Discovery #3: The Islands of Burano and Murano

Friday we all woke up and had a typical Venetian breakfast at our hotel – pastries and coffee. They even had orange juice that wasn’t in fact orange – it was purple! The teens were skeptical at first, but after they tried it they loved it. Then we walked out of our hotel to a boat that would take us through Venice via the grand canal to the islands of Burano and Murano to see some lace and glass blowing.


During the boat ride, our tour guide Gregor spoke of the history of Venice and pointed out some historical buildings and how some taller bell towers and churches are tilted due to them being built on soft soil. Burano was very quaint, offering stores of glass, lace and gelato. We walked around for an hour taking in all the sites of the town including their very colorfully painted buildings.


Next up was Murano, where we saw a glass blowing factory. One of our teens even got to work with the master and make a glass fish. The group shopped a bit afterwards to get some original, genuine glass pieces as souvenirs. Then we took our boat to Lido! Once we arrived we were guided straight down to the beach. We had about 4 hours to play in the water, lay out, and grab lunch. Then we took our boat back to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat.


When it came time for services, some of us went to the orthodox synagogue in the Jewish quarter, while the rest of us led our own alternative service and discussion outside in the square by the Jewish Museum. After both were done, we met up for dinner at a lovely kosher restaurant where we were served a 4 course meal. Then we walked back through the lively streets of Venice to the hotel where there was some free time before bed.

Saturday we did some Shabbat programming in the park. We discussed the Jewish history of Italy, and had a great and respectful discussion about walls/ghettos. We also discussed the author Hershel and his views on what Shabbat is and means. We then played a game where someone would be in the middle of the circle and would say something they like and if you agree, you’d have to cross the circle and fill in a persons gap. If you’re the last one, it’s you’re turn in the center of the circle. It was a lot of fun! We learned a lot about each other and bonded as a group.

Then we went back to the kosher restaurant in the Jewish ghetto for lunch. From there, we went to Saint Marc’s square which is so pretty!! Our tour guide Gregor spoke to us about the history of all the buildings in the piazzo. We got some free time to shop around for souvenirs and snacks. There were a lot of Murano glass places and of course, gelato. We went to a self serve Italian restaurant for dinner which was delicious. After a busy and fun-filled day, we returned to the hotel and relaxed until curfew.
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