Torcello – Venice, Italy - Atlas Obscura
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Venice, Italy

Torcello

The small peaceful island off the Venice tourist circuit is where the city began more than 1,500 years ago. 

After you have visited all of the mandatory sites in Venice, you may want to spend some time in a more laid-back, peaceful atmosphere. Torcello is a small island in the North Lagoon of Venice, just beyond Burano and Murano, and it has a rich history. Torcello is where the city of Venice began more than 1,500 years ago.

Once heavily populated, with over 20,000 residents, the island now has only a handful of full-time residents. The primary sites include a Byzantine-Italian cathedral, the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back to about 639 AD, and an adjacent church and Campanile (bell tower) that, with an easy climb, offers a great view of the entire area.

Know Before You Go

You can reach Torcello from Venice on the Number 12 vaporetto (water bus) line, which also serves nearby Murano and Burano. Check the schedule.