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The forgotten island

Let the magic of Torcello enchant you… a tranquil place immersed in nature to be enjoyed and to let oneself be permeated by the peace and mystery of the Island!
Torcello is easily accessible from Burano, in particular from the point of embarkation of Burano there are fixed departures every thirty minutes, crossing the channel in few minutes.

Torcello island

Torcello had its peak of influence as a cultural and commercial hub of the Venetian lagoon in the fifth century. During those times the isle was the most prosperous settlements, as well as an important religious and trade center.

Its decline begun with the change of climatic conditions: both Piave and Sile rivers left their natural river-beds to flow into the lagoon, resulting in a progressive sanding all around Torcello; making it difficult for ships to navigate the shallow waters and increasing the incidence of malaria. Torcello was surrounded by many other islands, the most celebrated were Ammiana and Costanziaca, which have actually disappeared.
As trade decreased and disease become more widespread, many of Torcello’s 20.000 natives left in search of better work prospects and healthier living environs on Venice, and in particular on Rivoaltus (the nowadays Rialto). The isle proudly counts on an inestimable archaeological patrimony – from the Roman Era) and its populated only by around 20 islanders.

Ponte del Diavolo

Coming from the ACTV stop, along the waterfront you can see the “Ponte del Diavolo” (Devil’s Bridge), a rare example of a bridge without lateral supports that linked the inhabited part of Torcello with the cultivated one. Following and then crossing a bridge you get in the Torcello’s church complex.
So you will reach a vast grassy area where, around the so called Throne of Attila (a stone chair probably used by tribunes when administering justice), gather St. Fosca, the cathedral, the Palazzo dell’archivio and the Palazzo del Consiglio.

The main monument of the island is undoubtedly the cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, the oldest church of the Venetian lagoon. On the inside there is an enormous mosaic representing the Judgment day. It is a simple church with a basilica plan and a simple façade preceded by a narthex, the vestibule leaning on the façade typical of early Christian churches.

While the church of St. Fosca, with its typical round plan, features an impressive shapeliness, both inside and outside.

Santa Fosca Church

The BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel Sant’Elena suggests you to visit Torcello during spring and summer times to breath a magical and historical atmosphere, far from the crowded confusion of Venice.

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