Burano is a tiny island -- a series of 4 islands connected by bridges, actually -- located 4 miles north/northwest of Venice. For budget travelers like us, that makes it a 40-minute, one-way ride by vaporetto (bus-boat).
According to Wikipedia, the population go Burano is 2800. While strolling around the island, we guessed less than 1,000.
On some of the shabbier-looking streets, not shared with you here, some of the houses look long unoccupied and "VENDESI", for sale, signs are commonly seen.
For the most part, it's a charming place to escape the crowds of Venice. (And as to why the tower leans, I'm still looking for a definitive answer.)
Why the use of bold colors? According to one source I found, there's a legend that fisherman found them useful for finding their way home in the fog. But then sometimes legend is synonymous with fish story.