• Photo: EMprize / Shutterstock

Burano

Cheerfully painted houses in a riot of colors—blue, yellow, pink, ocher, and dark red—line the canals of this quiet village where lace making rescued a faltering fishing-based economy centuries ago. Visitors still love to shop here for "Venetian" lace, even though the vast majority of it is machine-made in Asia; visit the island’s Museo del Merletto (Lace Museum) to discover the undeniable difference between the two. As you walk the 100 yards from the dock to Piazza Galuppi, the main square, you pass stall after stall of lace vendors. These good-natured ladies won't press you with a hard sell, but don't expect precise product information or great bargains—authentic, handmade Burano lace costs $1,000 to $2,000 for a 10-inch doily.

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