A refreshing change from the bustle of the main islands, Torcello provides a respite with one of the only Byzantine cathedrals to survive in Venice. A thriving colony in the 5th and 6th century, the island has since declined, but the cathedral and its spectacular mosaics provide ample evidence of the life and architecture that once pervaded the entire city.
The excursion will provide you with newfound insight into the development of the Venetian empire and give you the opportunity to explore a side of Venice most visitors unfortunately miss.After an early morning vaporetto ride to Murano, we'll spend ample time discussing the foundations and history of the island, focusing special attention on the Veneto-Byzantine Basilica dei Ss. Maria e Donato. Our early morning arrival will also give us the opportunity to see the island thriving with the daily activity of the residents who live there.
We will then embark on a 40 minute vaporetto ride to Torcello, where we will be focusing special attention on the Basilica of Santa Maria dell'Assunta and Santa Fosca. From the intricate Last Judgment mosaic on the west wall to the Byzantine apse mosaics, the church provides a wealth of insight into the art and architecture of the earliest period of Venetian habitation. If time allows, we may also have the opportunity to visit the museum, which houses fragments from many churches that once dotted the island.
Our time will end on the island of Torcello and from there you can either accompany your docent back to the mainland, stay in Torcello for lunch, or stop off at either Burano or Murano, where you will have to stop in order to get to the main island.Due to the extensive amount of public transport needed for the excursion, clients are advised to use a transport pass which they should purchase in advance, rather than using individual vaporetto tickets.