Tag Archives: torcello

Venice/Torcello: Day 2 – Part 2

For the first part of our second day click here.

After a lovely lunch of pizza and wine, we left the picturesque setting of Burano, said goodbye to the brightly colored buildings to visit yet another island of the Venetian lagoon: Torcello.

Torcello is the oldest island of the lagoon and I’ll be honest with you, we watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain where he went to Torcello and he said it was a must-see. And so we saw. Thanks, Tony! It had such a different feel as soon as we stepped off the boat. Quiet. Still. Alone. And green! There was such a unique contrast between Venice, Burano, and Torcello. I’m so happy we got to see all three as they are all completely different and wonderful in their own ways. What an awesome way to experience Venice. Torcello is known as the mother of Venice and was once its biggest rival.

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This little brick structure greets you just as soon as you step off the boat. Welcome to Torcello!


After walking a little ways down the sidewalk from the boat, you see a devil’s bridge which is an ancient arched bridge seen throughout Europe. Torcello’s is actually called Ponticello del Diavolo (devil’s little bridge) as it is much smaller than most other devil’s bridges. It really was… a bridge. That led to nowhere.

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A little green area and a restaurant in the middle of the island. We were literally 2 of maybe 15 other people on the island at the time. Including residents. As the island only has a population of ten people. Crazy. That’s almost as big as the population of my house.


We then made our way further down the sidewalk (road?) to the main attraction of Torcello. A small palazzo surrounded by some very ancient buildings, ruins, columns, and statues.

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And when I say ancient, I mean ancient. On the right is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta built in 639 AD. It is the oldest religious structure in all of the Veneto and has the first mosaics in the Venice area. On the left is the Church of Santa Fosca. I don’t know a whole lot about either one, but this site does.


What’s Italy without a little vineyard in the neighborhood?

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I had to share this picture of the dog. We saw this dog on Burano and then again he was on Torcello when we were there, too! Apparently he’s just a local dog (not sure if he even belongs to anybody or not) who takes the boats from island to island getting food, sun, and joy wherever he can. What a whimsical life. He should be in a children’s book. :)


This is what the inside of the traghetto looked like. It wasn’t crazy busy until it stopped in Burano and Murano to pick everybody up. And it was a long trip back I remember; almost an hour due to how many stops it had to make on only a 1.5 mile trip!


When we arrived back in Venice we did as the Italians do and refreshed ourselves with some yummy gelato. I have no idea what kind we got and the picture doesn’t really help refresh my memory! We then just walked around and enjoyed the fine details of Venice like the unique doors and textures that were everywhere we looked.

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Look, it’s a gondola with two suckers paying like $500 for a 40 minute ride! Something like that.

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We were then hungry for dinner. I don’t know what time it was but it was early for Italians as they usually eat dinner at around 10pm, so we were literally the only ones in this restaurant. Kind of nice, looking back on it. Alone for a romantic dinner on our last night in Venice.


I love this guy. Forever my travel buddy. Here he was drinking a Spritz, the local drink specialty of Venice. It was actually really good and has me wanting to try to make one for ourselves here! And I will end this day with our meals. The Count tried seafood as we were in Venice where it is aplenty! I stuck with what I know and love. Pasta with cream sauce. Although I wasn’t prepared for how salty prisciutto was.

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I think I already said this, but if not… we loved Venice. It was one of the most memorable places of our entire trip and was my favorite city overall. I read scathing reviews and had people try to tell me before our trip that Venice was dirty and stinky and overhyped. They were so, so, very wrong. Venice was magic and I long for the day when I can go back.

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!

Venice/Burano: Day 2 – Part 1

For our first day in Venice, click herehere, and here.

On our second day in Venice, we decided to try and skip as many tourists as we could (though we were some of the biggest ourselves!) and head out into the Venetian Lagoon to explore a couple of the most popular islands. We skipped Murano, the most famous island known for its glass making, shops, and factories, dating back to 1291. We figured, we’d see enough glass throughout Venice and could spend more time where I really wanted: Burano. Known for its pastel painted fishermen’s houses and lace making, it was truly picturesque. And then we wanted to stop on the oldest island of the lagoon, Torcello, which was established in the 5th or 6th centuries. Talk about history. I have way too many pictures to share of this day, of course.

We started the morning off with a planned quick stop at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a minor basilica completed in 1396. It is one of 3 most famous churches in Venice. However, once we got there, we opted not to pay the $10/each to see it. Not that it wasn’t beautiful and most likely magnificent on the inside, but we were sort of churched out at that point and were trying to be more selective of our sights.

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However, it was meant to be because we ran into people we knew. Half way around the globe! Here was my coworker and his pretty lady which we had to snap a pic or nobody would have believed us!

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These were taken from the Rialto Bridge and the surrounding area.

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I could never get enough of this place.


We headed for the Rialto Market, which in my opinion, is the saddest market in all of Europe. Well, saddest that we had seen. This place has nothing on Germany as far as markets are concerned! And then we stopped by the seafood market, which was not open on this day and instead was just an empty covered area.

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See? No reason to go to Murano — all the glass we needed to see is all over Venice!

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We then hopped on a vaporetto to Burano where we saw some of the more industrial buildings away from the main island and other little islands overrun by green. Can you imagine living here?

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Ahh, our introduction to Burano. And still more glass to purchase here. We did buy an ornament and a miniature carafe set for my mom’s dollhouse.

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And then the picture perfectness began. So, I won’t pretend that I’m some expert on Burano, but we did learn that the houses were painted brightly so that when the fishermen came home, they knew right where their house was. And most all of the shutters are green, I believe that is a requirement, but I can’t find anywhere online confirming what I heard.

I cannot get over the colors, the care that is taken with their front doors, which were sometimes no more than a sheet, their windows and accompanying flowers, and of course I will never get over seeing people’s laundry just blowing about. What a wonderful sight Burano was and filled me with such great awe and respect for this little island and the people who took such pride in their homes. Again, like in Venice, there were no cars, as the entire island can be walked in an hour — which we did. While there, we tried to decide what color house we would own if we lived here. I was partial to blue or yellow and Dan, green.

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That’s a bird cage hanging out of that window!


Free water, much like many other places we visited in Europe, but Italy especially.

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As you can see from the above pictures, coming to Burano was really the right choice. We walked freely without other tourists or people running into us and could talk, imagine, and goof around without caring that others would see us. The center of the island where all the shopping is, was busy (below) but that was it and it still was nothing compared to Venice. It was a nice little break from the crowds of people.

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The Burano lace. I read that most of the lace for sale on the island is not handmade and is instead made in factories on Venice. If you do find handmade lace, it is distinguishable by how expensive it is. We didn’t buy any because I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I would do with it. Handmade or factory made, it was still beautiful.

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We stopped and had lunch at this little deli where they had maybe 4 tables outside and that was it. You can’t even go inside because it is just a kitchen. We had wine, warm cokes, and delicious pizza (much better than the hotdog pizza the day before!).

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This picture below of the purple houses and the laundry is one of my favorites that we took the entire trip. It just drew me in and I felt like I belonged there. On second thought, purple was definitely my top choice.



Burano really was like a scene from a movie. Pure magic and one of the highlights of not only Venice, but Italy. There were many moments throughout our trip that we had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were really there and Burano was a big one.

From Burano, we visited Torcello, but that’s a post for another day. I must continue to nurse myself back to health for now as I try to kick my 4th sickness in 3 months.

This is a part of my ever persistent quest to finally blog about our month long trip to Europe in May of 2011. You can read about the rest of our days by clicking on “Travel” at the top!