Arriving at Torcello island is itself a unique experience. The silence of the water transports you away from the noise of city life to a place lying far back in time.
Even before landing the orientation point is to be clearly seen: the bell tower which climbs to the skies from the flat horizon of the lagoon.
Moving closer we can see the two structures of the church rising amidst the flora of the island of Torcello – the sole trace of man in a wholly natural setting. In fact only a few inhabitants remain on Torcello island though it was here that the history of Venice has its origins: its first splendours and power, its first episcopal centre, its first port and sites of manufacture and commerce. Torcello, Venice, Italy: two destinations wholly different yet intrinsically bound together both in the past and today.
In all probability the island of Torcello was inhabited in the Roman epoch, at least during the Imperial age, when some of the villas of Altino were built (and which are celebrated in the famous verses of Martial). During archaeological excavations in the 1970s traces of typical Roman dwellings were discovered.
An epigraphic description on the entrance to the church records its erection in 639 A.D: Isaac, the hesiarch of Ravenna, during the archbishopric of Mauro, led the natives of nearby Altino here to safety from the invading Longobards.
Three main periods of building took place: the first (from 639), from which the lower part of the facade remains; the second from 864-867, from which only very few elements remain; and the third from 1008 which gives it its current appearance. Throughout the centuries other embellishments occured:
The history of Torcello island in Venice was finally brought to light and remains today in all its glory. One can clearly see how Venice owes this tiny island part of its history, culture, art and faith. The elegant and solemn vestiges of a past for too long forgotten rises once again in all its splendour, irradiating with religious silence the northern area of the lagoon. Torcello and Venice, together once more.
Torcello lsland - Venice
from March to October 10.30-18.00
from November to February 10.00-17.00