Wednesday morning we had a slower start (if you can call leaving at 9:30 slow, it is for us) and took the vaporetto out to Torcello. Along for the ride was possibly the sleepiest dog in the world, the poor dear couldn’t even manage to not drape her tongue on the vap floor..
We sat in the open out back, along with a quartet of young people who were taking selfies and shots of each other all through the 45-minute trip. What do people possibly do with hundreds of photos of themselves? I am baffled.
We took the short walk along a canal, stopping to admire the Ponte del Diavolo, the bridge still without parapets, one of two remaining in the Lagoon.
Torcello is almost deserted now, but early on its population was higher than that of Venice, with the main economy devoted to wool production. Today you see large stretches of grassland. The cathedral Santa Maria Assunta was started in the 7th century, but the building that stands today was built in 1008. It’s in a lovely setting, with marshland and gardens around.
It is famous for its 11th century mosaics, especially the large last Judgement. It’s a beautiful place, with some smaller mosaics besides the Last Judgement, and some lovely carvings. The floor is also extraordinary, made of countless shaped stones in a rainbow of colors. Photos are not allowed, but I am probably going to Hell because I sneaked one.
And here’s one off the internet .
We were getting hungry, so we stopped at one of the restaurants on the path.
Al Trono di Attila (referencing a stone chair found on the site, probably intended for a bishop) looked like a simple snack bar from the front, but inside was a comfortable restaurant with a pretty covered patio in back. We had a delightful lunch, sharing first a dish of feather-light gnocchi with shrimp and arugula; and then sharing frito misto, the best we’ve yet had in Venice.
We took the vap to Burano next. It was traditionally an island of fisherman, where each painted his house a different color so it could easily be identified by water. The vivid colors made walking the back streets exciting, and are also a good reason to escape the overcrowded and touristy main street full of shops selling made-in-China lace and cheap pizza.
The women of Burano were famous starting in the 16th century for their needle lace. The art pretty much died out n the 19th century, and there was briefly a lace school on the island to try to revive the skill in the local women. There are still a few elderly ladies making lace who work at the museum. I adored the tiny museum, with its video about the tradition and its drawers of exquisite lace and displays.
We walked back streets of the island. Love the saturated colors.
And here’s our first and probably last selfie.
The vap put us back on F. Nova in Carreggeio, so we walked around for a while, looking up to see architectural details, through gates, and around corners. We grabbed a table in Campo Santi Giovannni e Paolo for a sprintz, and whiled away some time.
Oh, we found the house where Titian died of the Plague.
And here’s another current fashion–tourists who have wedding photos taken of them in Venice. We’ve seen them everywhere. Here’s a pair taking the vap after their photo shoot.
Back on the other side of the Canal, we wanted a light dinner so went to Impronta Café. A modern vibe here, the place feels more Milano than Venezia. The food is plated in a contemporary style as well, and was quite good. We first shared an antipasto of tuna tartar with burrata and shaved vegetables; followed by tagliata (slices of rare thinly-sliced beef) with arugula and potatoes.
Home to bed.