Thursday, July 7, 2016

Italy Blog #19: Venice: Torcello's Ancient Cathedral, Pittsforo & Midget Saints?

Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell'Assunta
In this 19th Italy trip blog, we are still touring around some of the outlying islands of Venice and we stopped at the island of Torcello. Torcello has an ancient church on it and it appeared to have "midget saints" and sweet flowers.

WHAT IS TORCELLO?  - Torcello is a sparsely populated island at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. Torcello was founded in the 5th Century!  It's older than Venice and once had up to 20,000 residents. Malaria struck the island and killed a large percentage of the population, while others fled. Much of the island is a nature reserve, accessible only on the walking paths.

Mosiac of the Last Judgement
A CATHEDRAL FROM 639 AD!  The Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell'Assunta still stands and contains Byzantine mosaics in the seventh century. One of the most impressive mosaics is the depiction of the Last Judgement. There was a lot of marble in the cathedral, which was rebuilt in 1100 A.D. In the cathedral lay the body of St. Marco. 

MIDGET SAINTS? - In the cathedral there were very small toddler-sized crypts that we were told held the bodies of 2 saints. Because they were so small I had to ask if they were midgets! The guide said that they were small because they likely contained small pieces (like bones) of the saints. 

SWEET ISLAND FLOWERS - Despite the pouring rain that occurred during our visit to Torcello (and all the other islands) we did stop to smell the flowers. We learned that the 5 petal sweet smelling little flower is called "Pittosforo" or Pittosporum in English. It's also known as "Mock Orange" or "Butterbush." We looked it up when we returned from our trip and found out there are a lot of varieties here in the U.S. 
the only restaurant on Torcello

1 of 5 RESTAURANTS- There are 5 restaurants on the entire island. The only one we saw was closed and it was called "Locanda Cipriani." If you visit check to see if the restaurants are open! 

NEXT: The Island of Burano: Lace and Brightly Colored Houses

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next