Quiet is not something that comes to our family easily. Or often. Take our two children, as well as our nearby niece and nephew, combine them with our well-known open-pantry policy and their collective gaggle of friends, and, well … you can imagine the rest.
So visiting the island of Torcello just outside of Venice was akin to visiting another world entirely. A once-bustling community with more than 10,000 residents — a town that was more robust than Venice at the time – today is home to just 20 people. It seems to be frozen in time.
We were only on the island for perhaps an hour — which included a “please-pay-your-one-and-a-half-euro-here” for using the island’s modest (but very clean!) bathroom – but on that island, and especially in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the peace that enveloped me for a bit is a feeling and memory that will last a lifetime. The church was built in the 400’s, according to our guide (or the 600s, if you’re asking Wikipedia), and it’s said to have housed, at least for a short while, the relic of St. Mark as it was being hidden during its transport into Venice. (After it was stolen from Rome.)
If I have an event in my life that requires me to “go to my happy place,” a time when I need to chill out, I think I’ll close my eyes and visit Torcello.