, , , ,

Today was highly anticipated since Burano was high on the list of things to see in Venice. The weather has been unseasonally hot, and today was no exception. We arose early to eat in the elegant breakfast room here in Ca’Angeli, a small but stylish B & B, situated on the Grand Canal. We stayed here on our previous visit in 2012 and we are glad we chose to revisit. The breakfasts are especially good, with plenty of cereals, fresh fruit, meats, cheese, breads, pastries and a freshly baked cake of some kind.

Being well satisfied after our breakfast,  we headed off to the Riva degli Schiavone, (the promenade which runs across the Piazzo San Marco), to find the jetty for the ferry to take us to Burano. The strand was heaving with tourists so we went off in search of coffee in a quieter spot, while we waited for the ferry to depart.

The return trip on the ferry was 15 Euro, and turned out to be a bargain since we saw so much of the lagoon and islands while the ferry wends it way to Burano, calling in at The Lido, Punti Sabbiani and Treporti on the hour long trip.

Burano is a stunning place, with so many of the houses being painted vivid colours,  making for a lot of “oohs and aahs” as you wander past. We stopped for a bite to eat at a very pretty canal-side ristorante, only to discover the meals were enormous! The mezzalune-shaped calzone was delicious but oh so big, and the prosciutto and melon was too. Needless to say, some food remained on the plate.

Refreshed from sitting in the shade, we set off to explore the pretty island town, which seems to thrive on tourism – it was much busier than we expected but nothing like the crush on the main island. Burano is famous for lace-making and certainly there is plenty on show for the tourist, but regrettably we did not see any of the elderly women who apparently sit and demonstrate how the lace is made. It would have been easy to succumb to purchasing a beautiful table cloth or the like, but I satisfied myself with a beautiful initialled white hankie.

Due to the length of the ferry ride we caught the 2.25pm ferry back, calling in at the same places we had seen on the way – the ride is leisurely and comfortable, and makes for some good photographic opportunities.  The island of Torcello is visible as it is directly opposite ferry wharf. It can be reached by ferry too, but that will have to wait for another time.

As we fought our way back to the hotel through the tourists throngs, we spied a very nice bistrot, Chat qui Rit, where we booked for dinner after our drinks at the famous Harry’s Bar.

With the boys’ suitably attired we wove our way back through calle still packed with tourists and eventually arrived at Harry’s – what a total let down! We had been told to book the previous day when the boys were turned away because they were in shorts, though we could have gone to “the room upstairs” had it not been full. A “waiter” met us and seemed surprised we had a booking, but led us to a long table, situated right against the wall near the bar.

First impression of the tiny room was that it is quite unprepossessing. Once seated, we reviewed the drinks menus and saw how overpriced it was, so we chose conservatively. The pompous “greeter” and his wait staff (all in ill-fitting white dinner jackets) proceeded to ignore us, so eventually we asked to be served. The “greeter” seem utterly horrified that we would have the nerve to ask him for service (the look on his face was priceless), and he motioned to a large, balding waiter who reluctantly took our order. To be honest we couldn’t wait to get out of the place. We felt disappointed and unwelcome, so we finished our drinks and left. It had been a highly anticipated visit but sadly, it was less than memorable.

Happily our experience at Chat qui Rit was completely the opposite – the ambience, the wait staff, the menu and wine list where all top notch. It is a modern Italian Bistrot and was a delight to be in after Harry’s. It was great way to end the day on a high….

Tomorrow, we plan to visit Santa Maria della Salute Church, our first excursion across to the Dorsoduro district – but here are photos of today’s adventure.