The island was probably settled by the Romans, and in the 6th century was occupied by people from Altino, who named it for one of the gates of their former city. Two stories are attributed to how the city obtained its name. One is that it was initially founded by the Buriana family, and another is that the first settlers of Burano came from the small island of Buranello, five miles to the south.
Although the island soon became a thriving settlement, it was administered from Torcello and had none of the privileges of that island or of Murano. It rose in importance only in the 16th century, when women on the island began making lace with needles. The lace was soon exported across Europe, but decline began in the 18th century and the industry did not revive until 1872, when a school of lacemaking was opened. Lacemaking on the island boomed again, but few now make lace in the traditional manner as it is extremely time-
Culture and main sights
Burano is also known for its small, brightly-
The Venetian Lagoon -
Last Judgement. 12th-
Ponte del Diavolo, circa 2002.Torcello is a quiet and sparsely populated island at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. It is considered the oldest continuously populated region of Venice, and once held the largest population of the Republic of Venice.
After the downfall of the Roman Empire, Torcello was one of the first lagoon islands to be successively populated by those Veneti who fled the terra firma (mainland) to take shelter from the recurring barbarian invasions, especially after Attila the Hun had destroyed the city of Altinum and all of the surrounding settlements in 452. Although the hard-
Torcello benefited from and maintaining close cultural and trading ties with Constantinople, after the fall of the western Roman Empire, but as a rather distant outpost of the Byzantine Empire it could establish de facto autonomy from the eastern capital.
Torcello rapidly grew in importance as a political and trading centre: In the 10th century it had a population of at least 10,000 people and was much more powerful than Venice. Thanks to the lagoon’s salt marshes, the salines became Torcello’s economic backbone and its harbour developed quickly into an important re-