« Sunday Small Bites: Sun Dried Tomatoes | Main | A few scenes (and a meal) from the Farmer's Market »

Burano cat colony

When I was strolling around the island of Burano looking for shrines, I found a little corte filled with cats.

These two were not that happy to see me. I barely got this photo before they ran off and disappeared.


The other adults pretty much ignored me and continued with their meditations on life.



This beauty seems to be sticking her tongue out at me.


But then I was approached by this incredibly friendly and talkative orange kitten. He was chattering away, rubbing against my ankles, trying to climb my leg, and just generally demanding attention and petting (which he got). He was like a cross between my two cats back home - LuLu's looks and Maria's chatty personality.

Italian kitten (Burano)



The answer to the question, "What happened to the cats of Venice?" is that they have moved out to the islands. In addition to these, there were lots of cats in the park close to the Burano vaporetto stop and even more on the island of Torcello.

Speaking of Torcello, I can't believe I still haven't blogged about the day I spent there! I'll get to it one of these days. :)

Share |

Comments (14)

That orange cat is to die for!! Adorable! Hope I will see cats this time. They tend to hide in winter...
Take care,


You know, I was just thinking of making a new beaded cat for my etsy shop! Thanks for this post! :)

Also, thanks for answering the question I had about where all the cats went. When I was in Venice, I pointed out to my friend that I noticed how everyone there has a little dog. She said "Venice used to be the city of cats. Now, it's the city of dogs!" hehe.

And, I loved Burano so much, that I didn't make it to Torcello, but that's okay. It just adds to the long list of reasons I have to return to Venice! :D


Annie, these photos are absolutely delightful!

I'm sorry to say that these cats mostly look rather scornful (possibly because you're not from the islands) EXCEPT the ferociously friendly orange kitten. What a chatterbox!! Maybe he was gossiping about the others ("Ignore them, bella, stick with me!")

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, wonderful post and photos. You always have a way of finding special surprises on your explorations...or maybe they find you. I don't remember seeing any cats when I was on the island. I did see a turkey on the island of Torcello though.

I forgot how many beautiful shrines there are in Burano too and that one in your link is really cool. Thank you, your post is bringing back some great memories of my visit there.

I would have liked to have stumbled onto this group. And "Ms. Chatty" does remind me of a cross between your Lulu and Maria! So cute!

I look forward to your post on your day in Torcello. I thought that island was really interesting.

Thanks for this wonderful post. Have a great day today.

AnnaLivia, I wanted to scoop the little orange one up and put him in my bag to bring home. :)

I hope you see lots of cats too. Have a great trip - I'm sure you are so excited!

LB, a few years ago my friend and I were joking about how Venice has "gone to the dogs" (and there are some very cute little lap dogs all over that city). Glad you had a good time in Venice and are already thinking about returning!

Sandra, I like your translation of what he might have been saying! Sometimes I wish I could speak "cat" because I would love to know what Maria is saying when she sits on the kitchen counter and talks to me.

Kathy, thanks! And Happy Birthday to you!

This crowd of cats was a nice surprise for sure, along with the cool shrines. I want to spend more time on Burano next trip.

You saw a turkey on Torcello? That is cool! I saw many cats and goats but no turkeys. :) I met some very nice cats there.

Cute photos! The kittens are adorable even if they weren’t very friendly and welcoming. The orange is a cutie! Love his little face with his tiny baby teeth. LOL at the one sticking the tongue out. Spice used to sleep with the tip of his tongue out.

I put Homer's book in my Amazon shopping cart along with another cat book I’d like to tell you about. This morning I had one of those "NPR driveway moments", where you can’t simply turn off you car because there's something very interesting on NPR. They were talking about a book written by Andy Warhol's nephew, titled Uncle Andy's Cats. I think it is a children's book but from the excerpt read on air, I know it will be liked by cat people of any age. Here's the link to the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112779118&ft=1&f=7

If you have time, listen to it. I know you are going to love the story.

I can't wait to read your entry on Torcello. The island is #1 on my list of must-see for next time.


What a wonderful collection of cats, all so gorgeous. We saw lots on Burano too, including one incredible friendly kitty that M had a hard time leaving behind (wonder if was the same one?)

Wonderful photos! I don't remember seeing cats on Burano, or at least lots of cats. Maybe they were on the other side of the island. At first, I thought the two photos of the black cats were the same cat. I wonder if they have had bad experiences with some people and that is why many of them were not that friendly. Looking forward to your Torcello post.

Girasoli, some cats are just wary of strangers. Even my Maria runs and hides under the bed when someone she doesn't know comes to my house. Then once she gets to know them, she's okay.


I love all of the kitties!

It reminds me that I miss having a cat at home. Maybe it's time for an adoption?

G F Mueden:

You said:
The answer to the question, "What happened to the cats of Venice?" is that they have moved out to the islands.

My friend in Venice said "they were all neutered and now we have rats".
Privately owned cats wear little medalians hanging from their collars. I have seen one.

Hi GF, thanks for your comment. I've heard several Venetians complain about the rat problem since the cat population has been controlled. I bet they don't have many rats on Torcello because there were so many cats there!


The famous Venetian cats are protected by a more than 40 years old local organization, Dingo Venezia. Check out www.dingovenezia.it
They collect and spend every year arround 160.000 Euro and a lot of work to help all wild Venetian cats.

The Venetian cats have to be neutered to keep the population of wild cats constant. In Venice center & islands there live about 2000 wild cats.

Although these cats are "wild" they are protected by an Italian law. The Venetian cats are a "cultural heritage of Italy". If you would take a Venetian stray cat home you can get in serious trouble, and this can cost you up to 15.000 Euro. So please don't catch wild cats, many Venetian cat lovers care every day for these animals. Also a wild born cat never never would stay in a house. They always will try to escape. It is better to leave wild cats just where they decided to live.

It is very sad that sometimes tourists steal stray cats, and also "normal" private cats.

But you can adopt an original Venetian cat from the local Gattile (cattery) in Malamocco (Lido). It costs about the same money like in any cattery in Europe. There you can have an original Venice cat, adult or kitten and the best: it is totally legal.

The "true" old Venetian cat is the "Soriano".

About the Venice rat problem: It is true, in areas where the cats are present almost no rats live there.

Thanks you for your comment, Thomas. I would love to visit the gattile on Malamocco someday; I've seen photos of it. I didn't know that tourists sometimes steal Venetian cats!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 21, 2009 1:50 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Sunday Small Bites: Sun Dried Tomatoes.

The next post in this blog is A few scenes (and a meal) from the Farmer's Market.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


Powered by
Movable Type 3.33
© 2007 -2014 Slow Travel


Technorati search

» Blogs that link here