May 28, 2004
However, Torcello did offer one thrill. Its campanile towers above the landscape and costs only a few Euro to climb. It's all stairs here, not like the elevator for the San Marco campanile. As we neared the top, the bell began to ring and the tower began to shake, swaying from side to side with the tones of the bell. It was so loud that I had to put my fingers in my ear and retreat to a lower part of the staircase. We waited out the ringing of the bells and proceeded to the top. There is a narrow rim around the bells where visitors can look out onto the desolate landscape of Torcello, marshy and barren of population.
One of the oldest Byzantine churches, Santa Maria Assunta, is also located on the island. Its best feature are the dome frescoes, featuring the dark scenes of Hell and the Apocalypse in the crepuscular dimness. No photographs were allowed within the church, but so I bought postcards from the church store. My scrapbook now features much apocalyptic art from throughout Venice and Florence.
Getting to Torcello
You must plan your visit to Torcello well, because it is not easy to get there. The easiest way to come to Torcello is to take the LN (sometimes called the 12) vaporetto to Burano, and take the "T" line across to Torcello. Guidebooks mention a direct route, but we didn't see it advertised.
From journal The Other Side of Venice