Venice and islands: Murano, Burano, Torcello, Lido

Venice is world-famous for its canals, museums and churchs. It is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by about 150 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges. In the old center, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot.The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands. The sestieri are the primary traditional divisions of Venice. The city is divided into the six districts (sestieri) of Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca), Santa Croce, San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore), and Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena). Murano Murano is usually described as an island in the Venetian Lagoon, although like Venice itself it is actually an archipelago of islands linked by bridges. It lies about a mile north of Venice and is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. Burano Burano is situated 7 kilometers from Venice, a short 40 minute trip by Venetian boats, and is known for its lacework. Burano is also known for its small, brightly-painted houses, popular with artists. The designer Philippe Starck owns three houses. Other attractions include the Church of San Martino with a campanile, the Oratorio Santa Barbara and the Museum and School of Lacemaking. The colours of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development; This practice has resulted in the myriad of warm, pastelly colours that characterises the island today. Torcello 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. Main attraction is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in 639 and with much eleventh and twelfth century Byzantine work, including mosaics , surviving. Other attractions include the eleventh and twelfth century Church of Santa Fosca, which is surrounded by a porticus in form of a Greek cross, and a museum housed in two fourteenth century palaces, the Palazzo dell’Archivio and the Palazzo del Consiglio, which was once the seat of the communal government. Lido The island is home to three settlements. The Lido itself, in the north, is home to the Film Festival, the Grand Hotel des Bains, the Venice Casino and the Grand Hotel Excelsior. Malamocco, in the centre, is the first and for a long time the only settlement. It was at one time home to the Doge of Venice. Alberoni at the southern end is home to the Fort San Nicolo and a golf course. At least half the Adriatic side of the island is constituted by a sandy beach, much of which belongs to the various hotels that house the summer tourists.