It’s 11 April, exactly one month since Drew and I started this “100 Days Left in Italy” project. I have to say, some days are better than others when it comes to having the patience to write and having something worth writing about! Luckily, today was a great day and we have lots to share. Before we begin embellishing on the actual day, let’s just reiterate one thing: the island of Burano is often overlooked by average tourists to Italy, and visiting it is one of the most pleasant experiences you can have in Italy in the Spring.
We began our journey joined by our “Italian Family” award winner, Mike McDaniel. Yes, he decided to visit us again because the read our post about one very special trattoria, Da Romano. He came up last night and this morning we made our way to the Lerino train station, where we can park all day for free. We took the regional train to Venezia Santa Lucia and immediately purchased vaporetto (water bus) day passes, which run at €20 a pop, but are necessary if you want to have the day that we had. Once we had our day passes, we made our way to the vaporetto departing directly to Murano, which is a necessary stop because there is not a direct route to Burano from Ferroviaria (train station vaporetto stop). We got off on the second Murano stop and quickly jumped onto a different vaporetto headed to Burano. We made sure to stay on the boat until we were actually in Burano, something that many tourists unfortunately don’t think to do. All in all, it’s about a 3 hour trip to get to this fantastic little island from our home in Pianezze when you include the driving to the train, train to the boat, to the second boat. Why, you ask, did we bother?
Trattoria Da Romano is one place to write home about. Drew has written about it once before, but I would now like to throw my hat in the ring and reiterate that yes, Da Romano’s risotto is heavenly. And we are glad to point you to this place after having been there a second time, when the experience was just as amazing as the first time. So you can rest assured that it was not a fluke, and that if you choose to make the journey and pay for this pricey place, it will be worth it. Make sure you make a reservation, because the word is getting out that this is a must-eat!
It was 1300 when we arrived, so we were naturally hungry and we couldn’t make our trip a “one plate only” meal. The boys each had their own heaping bowls of mussles in a beautiful sauce, cozze alla marinara. As you may have read, I’m vegetable obsessed so the gentleman was happy to make me a salad for an antipasto. Mussles is not something that we previously tried here, and Drew was quick to label Da Romano’s take on this classic dish as “perfection.”
After our primi, along with a litre of sfuso white wine, we were happy to move on to the main event, in keeping with the line of perfection. Risotto Alla Romano is something that you can only dream about. Cooked perfectly al dente: not too soft and not too hard. Essence of the sea exists in this dish since the broth they use to make the risotto is made from tiny little bottom dwellers. The texture is creamy from the way it has been cooked, not because there is cream there. Basically, you HAVE to try this risotto. We first got tipped off to this risotto by the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Venice episode, and took a while to make our way there. But after we did eventually make our way to this glorious establishment, we knew that we had to go back.
Some of you will read the posts about Trattoria Da Romano and you will say, “Well, that’s great, but what’s the point of going all the way to Burano for risotto?” The point is, you are going to Burano for more then just risotto. Sure, you will need to dodge the tourists when you first arrive, and yes, you will be able to see the lace museum and quaint shops selling lace (some of it Chinese, unfortunately). But the main event here, besides risotto, is being in one of the most colorful communities in the world. Most houses are painted brightly, as was the tradition for the fishermen to look towards home and always be able to see it.
If you have the chance to go to Burano and visit Trattoria Da Romano, you will be able to take a deep breath and revel in the quiet. Being in a vaporetto on the water on a Spring day in the sun is glorious and relaxing. When you finally do reach Burano, you can do what I’ve been plugging for the last few posts now: enjoy the people you are with and the locals, share a meal (drink or gelato) together, and enjoy some exercise by walking around and breathing in the ambience of this quaint, colorful, and beautiful place. Learn how to “be” and stop “doing.” You are on vacation, after all! And remember to visit Trattoria Da Romana. It really is “all that” and more!