A quiet winter’s day on Torcello

My goal when I went to Torcello was to find the stone shutters on Santa Maria Assunta, as shown on this postcard.


But, I was foiled. The door leading onto the path that would take me past these windows was locked, and will be for some time, until the work on the campanile is completed, in fact. So, the only photo I could get looked like this. That’s the campanile you can spot in the background.


It’s always worthwhile just walking around behind the churches and in the grounds around the churches.P1080956


The last of the grapes

The last of the grapes


It was so peaceful

It was so peaceful

Colour and texture is seen everywhere

Colour and texture is seen everywhere


There were a number of these stairways to access the canal, but all of them had overgrown pathways leading to them.


I was hungry! Thank goodness there was a place to sit, enjoy the silence, and eat.



I ordered the risotto, which is usually available only for a 2 person serve. But they provided a single serving, and it was delicious!


What a relaxing day this turned out to be.

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Filed under Venice

41 responses to “A quiet winter’s day on Torcello

  1. Can’t wait to see Torcello again! And I might take up the first commenter’s advice on Mazzorbo–I know Doug has seen it, but I haven’t yet, and it’ll be the wife’s first Venice trip now that she’s in the Sassi clan, so it’ll be a must see for her.

    There’s so much of Venice that most folks never get to see…thanks for sharing!

    Ci vediamo in Venezia a presto!

    • It’s good to get off at Mazzorbo on your way to Burano, and just spend time wandering around. The cemetery is interesting to visit, for example. Then, you just have to cross a bridge to get to Burano.

  2. That looks like some marvelous risotto.

  3. Bridget

    Wonderful pictures! That bench is beautiful. Just as beautiful, the risotto! As always for me, all roads lead back to a delicious meal. :)
    Looking forward to getting to Torcello myself…I haven’t been there. This is a good reminder to put it on the list.

  4. Alida Gafuik

    That bench is a thing of beauty.


  5. Hi Yvonne :D Well I never !! Stone shutters ! I’ve never heard of them ! You are a good teacher and I refuse to do detention after class ;) Ralph xox :D

    • I so want to see them, and not just in a photo. I might get you to clean the blackboard during detention; that’s not so bad, is it? Did you use to like clapping the brushes together to get rid of the chalk? Or, were you so darn good you never had to do such chores?

      How are you and those cats? I’m sad to hear that Scooby Doo has gone missing. Come back, little Scooby Doo. Baci a te, and those warm cats. oxo

      • My latin teacher used to throw blackboard brushes at us. They were wood, the size of bricks, with a bit of felt stuffed in one side. He lined them up on his desk at the start of his class and by the end, chalk marked walls, heads and windows. I think he threw hand grenades during the war ;) I could never understand latin or any other language, I was not hard wired for it. He gave up on me and attacked others.

      • I’m fine and the cats are too. Yes, poor Scooby !! :cry:

      • Poor little Ralph! “Disce Pati” :-)

  6. Yvonne….a lovely post of one of my favorite locations!! I try to go to Torcello every year. A pilgrimage of sorts. I love seeing the mosaics in Santa Maria Assunta….they are magical. Then we charge onward to Locanda Cipriani for a fabulous old-world style lunch. It’s much more reasonable than the other Cipriani’s.
    Over the years I’ve explored many aspects of this fabulous little island….including the trek to the top of the campanile. Thank goodness I climbed it…it seems as if it will be years before the scaffoldlng will come down.

    • Oh, thank you for the first hand report on Cipriani’s, Linda. Yes, Torcello and Chioggia are 2 quiet little places, and I hope they stay that way. Well, Torcello gets busy later in the year, come to think of it.

      • Caroline

        Lovely day for it! But I’ve never found it that crowded, even in the summer (apart from when we went to the concert for the Feast of the Assumption).

        Our favourite place to eat on Torcello is the Ponte del Diavolo, which has a beautiful garden with loungers for relaxing in afterwards (in summer, obviously). There are 4/5 restaurants altogether, depending on what you count as a restaurant. And 11 inhabitants, the last I heard!

        Sigh, wish I was there now and not in a classroom in Mestre, bracing myself for the little b……s!

      • One day, you’ll be retired, Caroline, and leave those little darlings behind. Or, win a lottery and retire even sooner.

  7. Yvonne, these are amazing pictures as usual. I love the stone bench and the overgrown stairways. What are the wooden boxes hanging over the water for?

    • The island was well populated in days of yore, and those steps would have been well used.

      I think (but stand to be corrected) that those boxes have something to do with crabs, and moulting …

  8. Andante

    The first time we actually got over to Torcello was in January 2009, and it was wonderfully peaceful everywhere. We made the mistake, the next time we went to Venice, of going over there when it was a bit more “in the season” and we quickly beat a retreat, before the magic of that first visit was wrecked by too many of our fellow humans. Mind you, the super cats that escorted us around on that first visit can never be forgotten! Thank you for reminding us of that lovely crisp, cool day on Torcello

  9. Lovely, lovely photos Y. What a wonderful day you had!

  10. What a lovely and quiet looking meander!
    And looking at that menu I found those prices more than reasonable considering they have a captive clientele. Is it the only restaurant out there?
    Glad you found some peace in the midst of Carnavale.

    • It’s so rare to find risotto for one person, and this one didn’t disappoint. Cipriani has a presence here, a touch more expensive, no doubt!

      It’s a little less mad in Venice today, but I guess the mobs will return this weekend.

  11. Jo

    What bliss – your risotto looks delicious!
    Hope the weather is improving too.
    Kind regards, Jo

  12. Amazing photos! Definitely gets my travel bug fluttering away! :-)

  13. julie

    Looks lovely Yvonne. What are those hanging baskets in picture 6 ? for fish when caught ? x

    • They’re similar to some I saw on the Giudecca, and those were for crabs, as I recall. Something to do with them moulting …. How many days now?

      • Pat

        Another place I have yet to visit. That menu made me hungry although I expected it to be less money on that island. Prices still a little steep. When I read the menu I decided I would have the risotto and . you did! ;-)
        I had that on Burano and it was wonderful.

      • Hi Pat. Do a little bit of reading about Torcello before you go to help understand its place in the history of Venice and the lagoon. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some cats around the place, also.

        I think the prices are quite reasonable, when you consider the logistics of getting supplies to Torcello, and then the uncertainty of anyone wanting to have a meal, especially during the winter months.

      • julie

        Thought it was something “fishy ” .. 16 days till Venezia <3

  14. For some reason, your phrase, “walking around behind the churches” struck me – profound really, when you think about it – thank you!

    • We either tend to just see the fronts (and maybe sides) of churches, and either don’t think of walking all around them, or find it’s impossible. Here, you can get behind these ancient places of worship.

  15. Jan Graham

    What a nice day you had on Torcello , away from the maddening crowds,

  16. Have you ever visited Santa Caterina in Mazzorbo? Nothing comparable with Torcello, it is only a small church but apparently one of the most ancient of all the lagoon. It’s normally closed but people living nearby hold the keys and are so friendly and happy to have visitors that thay come immediately and open it.

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