Stones, Stories, and Bellinis from La Serenissima.

The Stones of Venice

By John Ruskin

Henry James wrote: “Among the many strange things that have befallen Venice, she has had the good fortune to become the object of a passion to a man of splendid genius….” That genius was John Ruskin, whose unparalleled absorption in the buildings, art, and culture of the city found expression in this classic work.

The World of Venice

By Jan Morris

Sometimes it seems as though no writer has visited Venice without producing a volume in honor of the trip. Of the hundreds of books the city has inspired, few have stood the test of time as well as Jan Morris’s vivid portrait of the city, written with a traveler’s alertness and a historian’s erudition and attention.

The Harry’s Bar Cookbook

By Harry Cipriani

Located on the Calle Vallaresso overlooking the Grand Canal, the legendary Harry’s Bar has been the haunt of fabled patrons and the epicenter of Venetian elegance for several generations. It’s a story as much as a restaurant, and there’s no better teller of this tale of taste and memory than Harry himself. With recipes.

Death at La Fenice

By Donna Leon

Leon’s stylishly written, well-constructed, deliciously atmospheric mysteries–deftly set in modern Venice–offer sophisticated entertainment, with a detective, Commissario Guido Brunetti, who is the best of company (his wife Paola is a most engaging acquaintance as well). This is the first of the series’ 20 books.

A Venetian Affair

By Andrea di Robilant

A carton of old love letters discovered by the author’s father supplied the raw material for this true story of 18th-century Venice. The lovers–Andrea Memmo, a Venetian statesman, and the half-English Giustinianna Wynne–are as bold as their contemporary, Casanova, and their romance is filled with historical intrigue.