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Traditions & Festivals

Visitors' Area

itineraries in venice

the island of Torcello, Venice

View of Torcello

One of the most inhabited and ancient island of the lagoon: Torcello, rich with archaeological remains, is one the most interesting spots from the artistic and hystorical point of view. It was the first settlement in the lagoon, as during the Roman Empire, when the Germanic invasions began in 5th century, people took refugee here, and founded a city which became an important religious and commercial reference point. Latin poets described its active and pleasant life, with farmers and fishermen living in harmony. A legend tells that St. Mark stopped here during his journey to Aquileia; and it is still a mystery the discovery, in 1983, of an Egyptian Isis and Horus little statue. The natural environment of the island of Torcello is something precious: the quiet atmosphere is is very relaxing, and the typical birds and fishes of the lagoon can be seen any time.

Inside the Cathedral
  The cathedral, Santa Maria Assunta, is a masterpiece, with its gorgeous floor and mosaics: the original church was built in the 7th century; the bell tower was added in 11th century. The interior has a byzantine structure and is enricihed with mosaics inspired by the ones in Ravenna (Sant'Apollinare Nuovo). The main mosaic has a golden background and covers wholly the interior of the apse: it is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, with the twelve apostles in prayer.
The island was religiously very important, with several monasteries.

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