Torcello is striking because of its ancient and mysterious atmosphere. Nature advances slowly and steadily, climbing up the stones of the finest Byzantine architecture that testifies its former glory.
Like Murano, the island was settled by the inhabitants of Altino who escaped from the barbarians who invaded Italy between the fifth and seventh centuries. An active and thriving town of the lagoon, characterized by the flourishing industry of wool and salt production, Torcello maintained a high level of social and artistic life until the sixteenth century.
This once vital and rich island that was fundamental for Venetian commerce is now a silent and almost uninhabited island. A few isolated houses, overgrown hedges and lawns, and small gardens make it an oasis of peace away from the hubbub of the Venetian alleys.
Among the oldest of the lagoon of Venice, the vast religious complex of Torcello is made up of three buildings gathered around a grassy courtyard and connected by a porch. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a Byzantine-Venetian building from 639 but restored to its actual state in 1008, is flanked by the eleventh century bell tower and baptistery, and the Church of Santa Fosca, a building shaped like a Greek cross dating to the twelfth century, stands behind the cathedral.
The legendary Attila's Throne is in the center of a green space, it is a marble seat that was probably used by the bishop or by the tribunes of the island to administer justice. Those who like to see museums, the Estuary Museum with sections dedicated to Archeology and the Medieval is found in the Building of the Council and the Archive.