We followed the path along the canal, that leads to the heart of the island. We passed Ponte del Diavolo Devil's Bridge -
A legendy about it said. - it is sow that it has been built in one night ... by the devil.
They're renovating it at the moment..
And how to get to Torcello? Definetely by boat. We rented a boat for the whole day, and visited three beautiful islands: Murano Burano and Torcello. Captain of the boat and his assistant did all the best to have a great time, including italian songs, they sang for us
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the most ancient and precious artistic and religious places of the Venetian Lagoon. Inside there are valuable mosaics, among which "Christ's apotheosis" and "The Universal Judgement"
The original church of Santa Maria Assunta, purported to be the oldest in Venice lagoon, was built in the 7th century; the bell tower was added in 11th century. The tower can be climbed for lovely views over Torcello but unfortunately time ran out for us to do that on our first visit.
The Bell Tower is attached to the Basilica. A sloped walkway , with very few stairs brings you above, from which you have a splendid view. You can buy a combined ticket for the basilica and the bell tower. Almost everyone goes inside the Basilica, so it's a very good idea to do the opposite. This way, you can enjoy the beautiful view all by yourself!
It only takes about 40 mins to reach Torcello by boat - just 10mins further than Burano. During the walk from the boating landing stage, along the Fondamenta dei Borgognoni, to the main square, along Torcello's only navigable canal you will see this bridge without parapet - one of only two of its kind in Venice Lagoon. Unlike the other one in Venice though I didn't care to stand on this one - it looked rather crumbly and I didn't fancy a tumble into the canal!
P.S. during our vist in July 2004 the canal area was being renovated and this path was closed off - a diversion was in place.
In the middle of the open grass just by the Basilica is a stone chair or throne, popularly known as "Attila's chair". This was more realistically the chair that was used by the tribunes of the island for administer Justice and not for tourists to sit in! Legend says that anyone occupying the chair will be married within a year!
From the outside, the church has an octagonal frame with three apses. The central apse has two rows of arcades. The interior of the church is mainly Greek. On the altar you can admire a beautiful sculpture from the XV century which represents Santa Fosca.
The Basilica of Santa Assunta was built in VII century.The interior has three naves and aisles divided by pillars. One of the walls is completely covered with a wonderful Byzantine mosaic. Attached to the Basilica is the Bell Tower. From here on, you have a magnificent view over the lagoon and Torcello. ( see next tip)
Torcello is one of the islands that can be visited in the Venice Lagoon. Its often overlooked for visits to Burano and Murano instead. Hence its a quiet haven of escape from the tourists of St Marks and whilst here you can discover the treasures that Torcello offers. Take boat number 12 to Torcello and from the boat landing stage walk along the canal in the direction of the bell tower.
This small church on Torcello is connected to the Santa Maria Cathedral by a portico. It was built in the 11th or 12th Century.
Its design is based on a greek cross. Note also its lovely five-sided potico with columns and carved capitals.
Another view from the bell tower is across to Burano and its leaning bell tower. This colourful island is renowned for its lace and colourful fishing cottages. As you can see its just a short way across the lagoon from Torcello and well worth a visit in its own right.
The artifacts on display on the walls outside the museum on torcello alos include this winged lion - the symbol of Venice which is found everywhere. Even on our second visit we didn't get to visit the interior of the museum ...maybe the next time...
Well we were gald to be able to return here and pay our 3 euros to climb the tower. There's no lift but the sloping passage with a few steps to climb inbetween made it easier to climb than I first thought when I looked straight up the inside of the tower and realised it was quite a way up!The views across the lagoon was lovely and different to other aerial views you can heve in Venice itself.
Torcello is the third island in the lagoon of Venice, we visited. Nowadays it is a small community, that holds only about hundred inhabitants. Centurees back, it was very important place with 20.000 people.