Access: Florence and Venice

Overview

The perfect combination of commerce and class, Italy's two most beautiful cities are perfectly presented in the 8th edition of ACCESS Florence & Venice. With traditions in art, history, culture and romance, both Florence and Venice have long been favorite Italian destinations for travelers everywhere – and why not, since the cities themselves amply display visual evidence of the power, prestige and prominence that is their heritage. Including extensive coverage of the warm Tuscan countryside and including ...

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Overview

The perfect combination of commerce and class, Italy's two most beautiful cities are perfectly presented in the 8th edition of ACCESS Florence & Venice. With traditions in art, history, culture and romance, both Florence and Venice have long been favorite Italian destinations for travelers everywhere – and why not, since the cities themselves amply display visual evidence of the power, prestige and prominence that is their heritage. Including extensive coverage of the warm Tuscan countryside and including some of the very best establishments to be found in Italy, this is every visitor – and local's – indispensable guide to two glorious cities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061170959
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/20/2007
  • Series: Access Series
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 497,988
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

With the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, Richard Saul Wurman began the singular passion of his life: that of making information understandable. A holder of both M. Arch. & B. Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, he has been awarded several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Graham Fellowships & two Chandler Fellowships. In 1991, Richard Saul Wurman received the Kevin Lynch Award from MIT for his creation of the ACCESS travel guides. In 1994, he was named a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland & awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1995, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Art Center College of Design & was Chairman of Graphic Design & Product/Industrial Design of the1995 Presidential Design Awards.

Richard Saul Wurman continues to be a regular consultant to major corporations in matters relating to the design & understanding of information. He is married to novelist Gloria Nagy, has 4 children & lives in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Read an Excerpt

Access Florence & Venice 8e


By Richard Saul Wurman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Richard Saul Wurman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061170959

Chapter One

Northern Italy

Italy has a long history of conflicts—between city-states, between noble families, and, in recent times, between political parties. In fact, the nation was unified only about 140 years ago. Rivalry could be said to be a defining characteristic of the country, responsible for molding Florence and Venice into two remarkably individual cities, and their respective regions of Tuscany and the Veneto perhaps even more so.

Shaping the character of Florence is its magnificent artistic heritage, of which the city is justly proud. It was here, after all, that Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Masaccio shook off the weight of the Middle Ages and started the Italian Renaissance. During the Renaissance the city also produced some of the greatest writers, philosophers, and scientists since the ancient Greeks; Dante, Machiavelli, and Leonardo da Vinci all helped define the Florentine character. But the power of Florence was not limited to its artists and thinkers; under Medici rule the city was a force to be reckoned with—not just in Italy but throughout Europe as well.

Venice also influenced events in Europe, but its eminence derived more from its mastery of eastern trade routes than from the power of any one family. Although its luster mayhave faded some since it held the title "Queen of the Adriatic," this radiant city remains one of the world's most tempting tourist destinations. The vast wealth of its once-powerful court is still here, preserved in the palaces lining the Canal Grande (Grand Canal) and in the great achievements of its master artists—Bellini, Titian, and Tintoretto. Venice is still a city of merchants, from purveyors of designer clothing to hawkers of tacky souvenirs—the inheritors of a tradition that goes back to a time when the city brought Europe the sumptuous silks and exotic spices of the Far East.

Those who are weary of the sameness of Western mall culture can find refuge in these two cities, still more notable for their differences than for their similarities. Between them, Florence and Venice hold some of Italy's—and the world's—most famous works of art and architecture, alongside some of its finest hotels and restaurants. The tourist who sees both the lucid Renaissance grace of Florence and the incredible Byzantine lightness of Venice will come to love the crucible of human achievement known as Italy.

The approach to either city gives visual evidence of the power and prestige surrounding their rise to prominence. The Tuscan countryside is studded with medieval hilltop towns that have lost little of their original atmosphere, and with Renaissance palaces filled with art influenced by Florentine maestros. The hillsides and canals of the Veneto sit replete with municipalities made grand and gorgeous through their connection to the Venetian Republic. From majestic walled cities with their thrusting images of military strength to luxurious Palladian villas evoking the ease and elegance of triumph, the region offers a journey through Venice's historic fortunes.



Continues...

Excerpted from Access Florence & Venice 8e by Richard Saul Wurman Copyright © 2007 by Richard Saul Wurman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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