The somewhat forgotten islet of Torcello lies in the Venetian lagoon, about 40 minutes by boat from the historic centre of Venice, and offers divine tranquillity, the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and a peaceful rural setting.

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Although the island of Torcello is now inhabited by only something like 30 people, it was once one of the main centres of Venice, and there are two major sights from that time that make it definitely worth weighing a trip here.

At the local restaurant Locanda Cipriani, you can recall the stay of the famous American writer and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, who stayed on Torcello for several weeks during 1948.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

One of the most important monuments in all of Venice, Torcello's Cathedral of Santa Maria dell'Assunta dates back to the 7th century, making it the oldest Venetian cathedral ever. Although it was significantly rebuilt in the 11th century in the Gothic style, there are still distinctive elements of the Romanesque style.

Not to be missed is a visit to the interior, which boasts completely unique Byzantine mosaics from the 11th and 12th centuries.

The basilica is open daily from 10:00-16:30. Last entry is possible 30 minutes before closing time.

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Cathedral only - 5 eur
  • Tower with a view - 5 eur
  • Combination - 9 eur

Payment can be made by cash or card.

Church of Santa Fosca

Right next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria, you can visit the smaller church of Santa Fosca from the Byzantine era, as its novel architecture reminds you. The church dates back to the 12th century and is surrounded by 14th century monastic buildings.

It is not possible to enter the church of Santa Fosca.

Accommodation at Torcello

Experience an exceptionally peaceful environment and stay directly on the island of Torcello. The crowds gradually leave the island around 19:00, after which you'll find yourself almost alone with only a handful of locals.

There is a well rated guesthouse on the island Junior Suites Venezia located about 250 meters from the dock.

Location and transport

Torcello is located in the north of the Venetian lagoon near the islands of Burano and Mazzorbo.

A vaporetto water bus line number 12 runs every half hour to the island from Venice (station F.te Nove) and the islands of Murano, Burano and Mazzorbo, continuing on to Treporti and Punta Sabbioni.

In addition, line 9 also runs every 15 minutes between Torcello and Burano (only from June to September) and at night you can get here with the special night line Nln.

Timetables for all these routes can be found clearly on the website:

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