In front of the Torcello cathedral are the ruins of the 7th century baptistry – a round and romantic hole-in-the-ground that in December 2008 was filled with water. Not sure what's so fascinating and attractive about these ruins but I stood and looked at this for a long time.
In the early days of Christianity, it was common to build a separate baptistry so that believers could be purified before entering the church. Two of the most famous free-standing baptistries in Italy are the one in Florence across from the Duomo and the one in Pisa with its amazing acoustics. At some point, churches began including the baptistry as a chapel or separate room that's inside the church itself.
This one was built on a circular plan with its entrance facing the cathedral; the interior had eight columns supporting a dome with an overall design reminiscent of classical Roman temples.
I love that round piece of pink marble. No clue what it was used for, but it’s quite beautiful.
A black cat walking by the fence that surrounds the ruins~
And speaking of ruins...on the way to Torcello, you pass the abandoned island of Madonna del Monte (now split into two islands). It used to have a church but I don't know if any of these ruins are it. It's a cool-looking place but to visit it, you'd need your own boat (the vaporetto doesn't stop there!). I've said this before, but I think being an archeologist in the Venetian lagoon would be a blast.