The Island of Torcello, a Jewel of the Lagoon

by Romena Brugnerotto
Island of Torcello

Inhabited by only 20 permanent residents, this gem of an island is definitely worth a visit.

The history of Venice began in Torcello, which was first settled after the fall of the Roman Empire, as barbarian invasions (including those led by Attila the Hun) on the mainland led many to flee and seek new shelter in the Venetian lagoon. In ancient times, the island looked completely different, and the Basilica, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, serves as a reminder of its former splendour. On entering its richly decorated interior, visitors will lose themselves in the narrative of its imposing mosaics located both on its apse and on the church’s counter- façade. When visiting this cathedral, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back through the centuries, so enjoy this unique experience!

Basilica Santa Maria Assunta
Basilica Santa Maria Assunta photo credits AnRo0002 under c.c 1.0 licence

While in Torcello, make sure to capture its essence with your camera. Look for Attila’s Throne and the Devil’s Bridge and celebrate your experiences in these ancient places.

Devil's Bridge
Devil's Bridge photo credits Godromil

Dining in Torcello

Locanda Cipriani
Locanda Cipriani

Given the time, you’re probably feeling a bit peckish. Apart from the Cathedral, the other main draw is the island’s celebrated Locanda Cipriani. This restaurant is renowned for its legendary cuisine but also for having hosted the author Ernest Hemingway in 1948 and numerous other celebrities. Its garden serves as the perfect setting to relax while waiting to embark on your next adventure. Standout dishes at this unique restaurant include its raw meat ‘carpaccio’ and its ‘alla Carlina’ san pietro fish dish. End your meal on a high note with one of the venue’s delicious homemade desserts.


Visitors wishing to visit Torcello can easily reach it with Vaporetto line T, departing every 30 minutes from Burano.

GPS: 45.4963, 12.41525

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Learn more on the nearby Island of Burano

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