italy galleries: overview


- architecture
- art & technology

- introduction to rome
- rome: fountains
- rome: mosaics!
- rome: hadrian's palace
- rome: villa d'este in tivoli
- rome: last leaf

- introduction to venice
- venice: marcus square
- venice: basilica s.m.
- venice: canal grande
- venice: gondolas
- venice: palazzo ducale
- venetian lagoon islands

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the five galleries above present venice~venezia, and the introduction says: "venice is widely seen as the most beautiful city on the planet - certainly so by this globetrotter!". the supremacy of venice is indeed overwhelming.

however - the lagoon around venice, "laguna veneta", contains many islands. some are towns, such as burano and murano, some former military places, such as vignole. saint erasmo was both. of torcello, once the largest town in the venetian lagoon, only ruins have remained. saint michele is the main cemetery of venezia.

Venetian Lagoon map

all these places were worth a visit as well. so here are six compact galleries, to provide at least an idea of their special and often unique features.


most historians consider torcello as the oldest settlement in the laguna, even a bit older than venice. it started around 400 a.d. (venice's birthday: march 25 in 421)

Historic painting of cathedral

in 638, torcello was made an official bishop seat, which stayed valid for over thousand years. the town became important as a trading centre, for some time larger than venice. its population in the 10th century is estimated as about 20 000 people.
yet from the 12th century onwards a series of epidemies hit the area, and torcello's harbour became unusable because of siltation. so, step by step torcello died almost completely - nowadays less than 100 people are living there.

two historic buildings have survived: the 11th century church santa fosca and the cathedral of santa maria assunta with a large tower - left and right in the pictures here. both have been carefully restored and renovated, and they can be visited with ships coming from venice.

Historic cathedral

Torcello historic church Torcello historic church entry

these churches are especially famous because of their mosaics, which endured, amazingly.

Torcello Mosaics Jesus

Historic mosaic

the mosaics, in byzantine style, show a lot of holy figures, and even a vivid gallery of the last judgement. and in santa maria assunta even the floors contain many high-class mosaics.

Historic mosaic


after venice, this is the by far largest of the towns in the venetian lagoon. many people from venice settled here because it is nearby.

Central clock tower Colourful houses

of murano's many churches, the santa maria e san donato is the most impressive one, because of its byzantine architecture.

Murano historic church

the core feature of murano is glass making, and for a long time it was world-leading. in spite of modern industrial glass factories, here are still many 'handicraft' glass producers in murano, and they usually accept visitors.

Glass blowing


this town is located in the north of the venetian lagoon. it is popular for the very colourful style of the houses, and the boats as well.

Channel church tower

Colourful houses

the other distinctive feature of burano is lace work. lace pieces are made with needles. of course nowadays industrial manufacturing dominates - yet the lace tradition is still alive

Lace fabric

Lace shop


the island vignole was a mainly a military spot of venice against potential assaults from the east.

Vignole Vignole

yet eventually it became a residential place - naturally including churches and pubs.

Vignole church Vignole trattoria

the former castle on vignole, showing several venice symbols, is now a history monument.

Former castle


located east of murano, it is mostly a residential place, and used intensely for vegetable plantations (producing for venice's markets).

Village with church

some forts were built from the 16th to the 19th century - all are now just ruins.

Vegetable farming Former castle


originally a place of fishermen, as well as the location of a monastery, in 1807 the whole island was made a cemetery, the main one for venice.

San Michele map

there are several churches and cemetery chapels there, including the large san michele in isola, which has an usual white facade.

Church Church facade


San Michele wide perspective

in sum, altogether these six islands in the laguna veneta are as attractive targets for anyone interested in culture as the 'hyper-famed' venice itself, and it's quite easy to visit them!

Endline design with camera