Fodor's Expert Review Santa Maria Assunta
The hallowed centerpiece of Torcello, Santa Maria Assunta was built in the 11th century, and the island's wealth at the time is evident in the church's high-quality mosaics. The mosaics show the gradually increasing cultural independence of Venice from Byzantium. The magnificent late-12th-century mosaic of the Last Judgment shows the transition from the stiffer Byzantine style on the left to the more-fluid Venetian style on the right. The virgin in the main apse dates possibly from about 1185, and is of a distinctly Byzantine type, with her right hand pointing to the Christ child held with her left arm. The depictions of the 12 apostles below her are possibly the oldest mosaics in the church and date from the early 12th century. The adjacent Santa Fosca church, built when the body of the saint arrived in 1011, is still used for religious services.