Venice (Part IV): Burano, “The Island of Painted Houses”

Venice, Italy

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Burano, “The Island of Painted Houses”

Meandering through the little pathways of the tiny island of Burano in Veneto is like walking into a fairytale land. As the nickname “The Island of Painted Houses” suggests, Burano is the picturesque small town known for its brightly-colored houses lining the canals. (Burano is also known for its lace products, which I didn’t even tempt myself with by avoiding the beautiful lace shops). Even with the gloomy weather, Chelsea and I were overcome with little-kid spirit as we joyously ventured through this compact town of colors.

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We had fun losing ourselves in a town too tiny to get lost in 🙂

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Chelsea cartwheeling through the quiet, quaint pathways. There is something about Burano that will bring out the little kid in you.

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Too chilly for boat rides, but it must be beautiful in the spring weather!

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Residents' laundry hanging from windows and lines. The neighborhood was so silent that it was almost spooky--like a ghost town. Perhaps it is simply because of the cold weather. I couldn't help wondering what the lives of these residents are like, though...living in such an incredibly small town that is constantly visited by tourists. I wonder what their sentiments are towards the visitors, and I wonder how much of their time is spent on the island of Burano versus other places in Veneto across the lagoon.

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I could wall-kick my way up some of these pathways 😛

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There is one main street of the city, lined with adorable shops and caffes.

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Many of the window displays and shops were full of masks for Carnevale.

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NEVERLAND! "I will never grow up..."

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Ciao! 😀

Check back for Venice: Part V about the Carnevale.

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Ghetto Laundry-hanging

...our mighty little washing warrior

My six housemates and I have been desperately avoiding the dreaded task of laundry since our arrival in Europe. We’ve lowered our standards and raised our creativity to reuse, mix & match, and conserve the limited amount of clothing we could bring here.

This weekend, we finally reached that point that left us no choice but to inevitably take on the daunting task of doing laundry…all in the same two days…without a dryer.

Our apartment has one small clothes washer in one of the bathrooms. It fits a little over half of what’s a typical load of laundry for me at home, and the wash cycle takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You cannot use the oven during this time, or else the power will go out in our apartment.

While washing is not luxurious, it is perfectly manageable. Drying, however, is where the struggle exists.

Careful not to get clotheslined in our living room / dining room / hallway 😉

If only that light produced heat...

There are two drying racks in our house; there are seven of us. (It is rumored that a third drying rack exists, but we have yet to discover this lost treasure).There may be a clothesline hanging out someone’s window, but fa freddo (it is cold), and we don’t see any neighbors hanging clothes outside from our courtyard window view.

So, we combined out domestic laundry skills with typical Boy Scout survival skills. Never have we had to implement such strategic knot-tying and optimization of spacial resources.

On the downside, we have clothing hanging all over the place–our common room, dining room, bedrooms, hallway lamp posts and dartboard. On the upside, if our apartment were to be entered by burglars, they’d probably be intimidated by what appears to be intricate twine booby-traps all over the place.

While we’re making due with this ghetto laundry-hanging system for the first time around, we do have a few concerns:

  1. How long will these take to dry?
  2. How baggy will stretchy clothes become without a heated dry?
  3. How long can we tolerate having wet laundry hung in every view of our apartment?
  4. How mortifying will it be when we have family visits and guests over?

Desperation at its classiest.

There are two self-service laundry places on our street, which two of my housemates have already used. (Imagine how ghetto we’d get if none of us used it this time around)! Most of us are trying to avoid using a laundromat, because the small but pricy 3,50 Euro dry cycles will add up quickly. But this may be a resource worth allocating for 😮