Venice Revealed: An Intimate Portrait
978 0285 63635 4
No city in the world has been more often painted or written about than Venice.
“To handle Venice you need a guidebook with maps, a copy of Ruskin’s Stones… But you also need ‘Venice Revealed’, for Barbaro is generous with the insights and advice only natives can provide.”
The city of Venice is a kind of miracle; surrounded by sea, cut by more canals than streets and made up of a hundred and twenty separate islands connected by bridges, built on sand and mud and reinforced by millions of ancient, petrified tree trunks; it defies nature and belief.
For centuries it has drawn visitors to its cafés, churches and street life. The clarity of its light and the shimmer of its waters expose the individual character of the city and the culture of its people. But Venice is dying, literally sinking into the sea, a victim of global warming, increased pollution and the weight of its tourists.
More than a guidebook, Venice Revealed is a brilliant evocation of an imperilled city that has lost none of its power to dazzle and disorient, bewilder and seduce, but nonetheless a city that may be losing its foothold in our world.
Paolo Barbaro grew up in Venice and returned after many years working abroad to be re-captivated by the magic and power of this unique city. He is an award winning author; his works have been among the finalists for the Campiello Prize and the Viareggio Prize, two of the most prestigious in Italy.
“He has known the place all his life, remembers it vividly from his childhood, but sees it now with the freshness of re-acquaintance… A lovely book is the result… Unlike the host of foreign pundits who have contemplated the fate of Venice, he knows it not just in his head, but in his guts.”
Jan Morris, ‘The Spectator’
“A native’s view of the city; a poet’s view too…Not the public, historical republic of Venice, but the city that is now chiefly a location for a fantasised luxury life.”
Judith Woods ‘The Guardian’