Burano is an Island
Although earlier Roman remains have been found on Burano, the island was permanently settled in the 6th century by people fleeing hostile invaders on the mainland. Burano was and is a fishing village whose residents have always relied on the lagoon for sustenance. The neighboring island of Torcello was politically and strategically more important (now it's nearly abandoned), but Burano rose to prominence in the 1500s, when its lacemaking traditions were born. For centuries, women made the intricate handmade lace, which was in high demand across Europe.
Lacemaking waned in the 1700s but was revived in the late 1800s. Today, while Burano is famous for its lace, there are only a handful of traditional lacemakers remaining on the island (see below).
Burano's brightly colored houses line its boat-filled canals. The tradition of painting houses in this manner is said to relate to the island's heritage as a fishing village—the bright colors made it easier for returning fishermen to find their homes in the thick fog of the lagoon. It is also said that the Burano residents favor the bright paint as a well of marking where one property ends and another begins.
Today, Burano is still a quiet village of about 2,000 full-time residents. Its main industry is tourism, with day trippers from Venice coming to buy lace and photograph the colorful and picturesque canals.