The sun shone on Torcello

Torcello is where it (*) all began, when people fleeing from the barbarian invaders found some mud flats that they deemed better than the fate that would have befallen them if they had been taken by those barbarians. (Phew, I haven’t written such a long sentence for ages.)

(*) it being Venice

Here is the destination as seen from Burano.


I bought a combined ticket to gain access to Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Fosca, and the campanile which has finally reopened after about 5 years of restoration. Do yourself a favour and visit Jeff Cotton’s site for descriptions of the two churches: santamariassunta  (No photos are allowed inside these ancient places of worship.)

As you walk along the side of Santa Maria Assunta, heading towards the campanile, look up and notice these  massive stone shutters on the side windows. How in the world did they ever open and shut them?

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Here is where you’ll begin the ascent of the campanile. There is a combination of steps and ramps for the climb. I don’t recall the ramp being quite so steep, 5 or 6 years ago!


It’s a tad difficult to show in a two-dimensional photo, but if you look straight up before you hit the first step, this is where you’re heading, up and up.


At the top, you’ll be rewarded with views such as these.

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This fellow, seen far in the distance, piqued my attention, and I noticed there was a path behind the campanile which leads along a tranquil canal. I’ll show you a bit of that in the another post.


Part of the restoration involved maintenance of the old reinforcing rods that go from side to side in the campanile, and installation of new stainless steel ones. They should keep this bell tower standing for a few more centuries.

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Here’s what is attached to the external ends of these rods.


Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I descended the campanile before the bells rang their merry chimes at noon.

Imagine getting these up to the top of the tower in the good old days of  yore.



At the end of the day, a door is closed at the foot of the incline to the top of the tower. I hope they never lose the key to this lock. And, I’m not sure of the strength of that little padlock!




Filed under Torcello

41 responses to “The sun shone on Torcello

  1. Nice shots! I was there last summer and didn’t notice the stone shutters. You’ve got a great eye for detail!


  2. julie

    Great post and pics, I’ve yet to visit Torcello certainly on my list to do, thanks Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was worth the climb to see the bells and that wonderful view. Boggy mud flats would definitely be preferable to being taken by barbarians I think

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Campanile…the tower erected purposely for the bells….the bells that told people what time it was, the bells that rang gladness for a wedding and sadness for a death. It’s quite understandable that such a monumental structure should be built to hold the bells high, bells, that so beautifully served the community. Long may they ring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to that, Cynthia. Jeff Cotton says, in part: “Restored in 1423, and again in 1646 following lightning damage to church and campanile”, so the campanile has been around a long, long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know this piece of history Yvonne. Thank you for the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful pictures and narrative. I love the history and am so glad you weren’t in the tower for the bells.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha the padlock cracked me up 🙂 great post, really fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The person walking along the canal,. Is he/she texting? Surely no IPhone use anywhere near Venice? That puny lock is a very witty statement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He might have been doing one of the following:

      . examining that pesky hangnail
      . checking that the photo he just took had turned out
      . checking out what treasure he had discovered in the trash that had come in with the tide in that canal (there was lots of trash)
      . checking to see if he could access Wi-Fi from that spot so he could tell his friends on Facebook what we was doing, and how he was feeling.

      Venice has amazing Wi-Fi coverage, by the way, better than we have in Oz. 🙂

      Glad you liked the little lock.


  9. So lovely. I still haven’t been to Venice. It seems a bit romantic to go by myself 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent photos, entertaining description, and interesting history of origins. Thank you, Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great report about Torcello .
    I liked this island because it was calm n with a lot of green .with a small winding road leading us two twi grandiose churches , santa Maria assunta
    and Santa Forca . It was the silence .and there was no many people ; A young boy playing accordion by the road … and a restaurant.

    It was in summer 2011 .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Andante

    People who dash round the main sights, and “Do” Venice in a day or so, simply have NO idea what they are missing, have they? In memory we were right there on Torcello with you, wonderfully uncrowded at this time – and delighted to hear/see that that campanile is open at last. (Not sure if our knees etc are up to it… is there a left-over pulley lying around anywhere?)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Linda Bailey Zimmerman

    The campanile is finally reopened …how exciting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hmm…you’ve enticed me to give that climb a try, even with my rickkety knees. grazie, Y.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ok. So my bucket list has got an ‘add’ to it 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Maxine

    Definitely on my to do list for my next visit to Venice. Thanks Yvonne.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. From a distance that bell tower looks a bit like an Aussie wheat silo.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m so enjoying these posts. You’ve really convinced me that I need another trip to Venice.

    Liked by 1 person

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