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What Makes This Italian Fishing Village So Unique?

Burano, Italy (Flickr)

It’s an Italian fishing village on the island of Burano, about a 40-minute boat ride from Venice. Fishing is the major source of income for the villagers and has been since back to the days of the Romans. The village isn’t much different from other Italian fishing villages except for two things.

Burano is famous for the beautiful lace that’s been made there for centuries. While the men were out to sea the women used needles to create some of the finest lace in the world. King Louis XIV wore Burano lace at his coronation. Some of the most famous churches in the world use Burano lace on their altars.

But there’s something else about Burano that’s very unique. Every house on the island is painted a different color – very bright, vivid colors. Legend says the reason for the different colors is that when the fishermen were returning home in the fog they could easily tell which house was their’s. And those colors have stayed in families for centuries. When the house needs a paint job families always paint it the same color because it’s quite a process if you want to change it. You have to send in a request to the government explaining why you want to change it, what color you intend to change it to and then you have to wait for the ok – if you get it.

SOURCE: smithsonianjourneys.org

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