Books about Venice abound – at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying Marlena de Blasi’s A Thousand Days in Venice, well written, light, but informative, and it has me back in Venice with every page I turn! Of course, it has the added attraction of chronicling a whirlwind romance, but it also gives some fascinating insights into the Venetian way of life. Her account of the psyche of Venetian tradesmen is enlightening!
But I digress … every now and then, I stumble upon more scholarly publications, and while I do not pretend to be a scholar, I enjoy reading them. One excellent source for discovering such readings, is Dream of Venice, recently posting a link to Elisabetta Gasparoni’s excellent review of Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality by Dr Dominic Standish. The book sounds like a must-read if you are interested not only in the fabulous historic attractions and physical beauty of Venice, but also in the long-term problems relating to its environment, caused by climate, tourism, city management etc.
Dr Standish has posted an interesting debate on You Tube wherein such concerns are presented, and he offers a ten point plan to address such concerns. Obviously his new book builds on what is discussed, and his blog has many more links for further reading.
Personally I find the topic fascinating. On our recent trip to Venice, we arose early one morning hoping to avoid the inevitable mid-morning crush in St Mark’s Square, and watched as a huge cruise ship was tugged across the lagoon. As we stood in the virtually empty Piazzetta, I remembering wondering what Venetians must think of tourism, and how it impacts their beautiful city.
Dream of Venice also provided a link to another new history of Venice, funnily enough called Venice: a New History, by Professor Thomas Madden. The book is well reviewed in Publishers Weekly and looks like another one to add to my growing collection of books on my favourite Italian city.