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Posted July 17, 2008
A mockery of the soul - by a confessed lagoonatic
I confess. I have a poster-sized repro of the 1500 deBarbari hanging on the wall of my study and I fly the standard of San Marco at my house. If you have Venice in the marrow of your bones as I do, you will probably laugh and cry your way through the meandering narration of this book. However, I would not recommend this to the novice. It is too esoteric and self-indulgent for the average tourist guide. You decide.
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Posted June 21, 2009
Best book on Venice
Not the best history or guide or pictures (b&w), but best overall. A Venice fanatic's personal, fact strewn, witty, and insightful guide to the beloved. It tosses in a bit of everything. History, of course: Literary & artistic & some musical history and standard Venetian history with lots of well told anecdotes. What it's like to live there now. Such practical matters as eating, traghettos, dogs, and hats.
And Judith Martin, who is also "Miss Manners," seems to have read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies and art and buildings and talked to a lot of people about Venice, and has ready and piquant commentary. So, this is a good book to get leads.
So, a quick sample: "Venice has been credited with inventing practically everything that makes life worth living (or not), including opera, factories, mirrors, quarantines, bleached hair, double-entry bookkeeping, lotteries, paperback books, casinos, regattas, roof terraces, assembly lines, improv comedy, platform shoes, social walkers and women's team sports. Many of these, Venetians actually did invent..." For the rest, turn to page 121.
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