This is the smaller of the two churches that remain on Torcello and was built in the 11th century to house the body of the third-century virgin martyr saint, whose body and that of her nurse and fellow martyr, Santa Maura, were brought to Torcello in the 10th century. Santa Fosca was a local girl of sorts, from Ravenna, who was enormously popular in the Middle Ages (there’s also a church dedicated to her in Venice in Cannaregio).
This is a perfectly harmonious little Byzantine church built on a Greek Cross plan with a wooden ceiling and very little decoration inside. There’s something very magical about the simplicity of the interior of this one. The porch connecting Santa Fosca with the cathedral was added in the 16th century.
Decorative brickwork on the apse~
When I visited Torcello last December, there was a wedding going on in Santa Fosca and I wasn’t able to go inside. I was bummed because I wanted to see it again, but I did get to see an Italian bride (which brings good luck!). And I enjoyed watching the wedding party and guests depart from the church. The most interesting thing was that there were at least five people who had brought their little lap dogs to the wedding! I told Barbara at the Locanda about it, and she said that’s common in Italy and that there were several dogs (including her own) at her own wedding. More proof that Italians are more civilized than Americans. :)
This shows the cathedral (Santa Maria Assunta) on the left and Santa Fosca on the right with the wedding party departing the church. You can (barely) see a couple of the little dogs on the left.
A relief on the exterior showing Santa Fosca Adored by Brethren:
I'm intrigued by the monk on the far right. Is he swooning? All the others have the same face, but he's unique. And I like the lions' heads underneath too.
A view of the roof of the church taken from the Torcello campanile (taken with a film camera (remember those?!) and scanned in)