Venice is full of pigeons and tourists. The two aren’t really all that different. They both are annoying, noisy, smelly, eat whatever you put in front of them, and are always in your way.



The weather threatened to turn nasty all morning so I headed to the vaporetto stop to catch a water-bus to Murano and then Burano, two smaller islands a little ways off of Venice. After getting very lost and seeing more of Venice than I was planning to, I found the stop and jumped on what I hoped was the right boat (it was). Murano — the glassblowing island — was busy despite the threatening weather. I worked my way through tourists and pigeons to see the glass shops (and pick up some presents). Tiring of the crowds, I wandered off the main canal, where all the shops were, and found myself alone with just a distance buzz of the main canal in my ears.

I found myself on a deserted canal, with a view of the water between Murano and Burano. Some seabirds kept me company and the occasional motorboat broke the silence. Venice and the surrounding area contains a lot of natural beauty but it is hard to find. Venice and Murano don’t have trees or lawns like most cities — everything on the islands is paved over. But a bit off of the beaten path and the natural beauty of the island surprises you. Marshes, seabirds, open ocean, and an island dotted horizon makes me wonder what the area looked like before people paved over the islands.



By the time I reached Burano, the weather had completely cleared up but very few tourists had risked getting rained on and trekked out to Burano. At times it felt like I had the whole place to myself. I found a park to sit and admire the ocean from, wandered in and out of shops, and had an Italian dinner in the main square. Beside the one small cruise ship that dropped off a gaggle of tourists, it was calm, quiet, and beautiful in its sleepiness.