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Jan Morris: Venice

by Pete Hussey
(Exeter, UK)

Despite the cryptic title, this is a book about....well, Venice. Unless you are seeking accommodation or eating places, I suggest this as THE guide to everything Venetian.

It truly is the thinking persons guide book. You can read each chapter in isolation or begin at the beginning and read right through. Jan Morris gives historical presence to what you will experience and your visit will be all the richer for it. The Times said that it is 'A classic, witty love letter to Italy's most iconic city'.

Incidentally, the author has also written a book in similar vein about Trieste. I leave you to guess the title of that!

Maria's reply: Thank you so much for the recommendation Pete and definitely another book I am adding to my reading list. I love books that can peel away the many layers of Venice and reveal that real Venice; a Venice that is so very different to the Venice most tourists see.

I have attached a photo, hope you like it, it is a photo that for me sums up the mysteries of Venice. Those mysteries are particularly evident in winter, when the light is so different and the mist swirls about the canals. It is incredible how different the city is in winter, almost like another city entirely, few tourists, the Venetians seem far friendlier, the light is entirely different. In fact, Venice in winter is the Venice I fell in love with.

Just realised I've gone meandering off in all sorts of directions, but what I really meant to say is that books like this one, from what you describe and from the reviews I have read on Amazon, are really fabulous. They can help you get a far deeper understanding of the city before you even arrive; so that when you do you don't only see the superficial Venice but understand the history and have an insight into the city's soul.

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Dream of Venice

by Pete Hussey
(Exeter, UK)

Dream of Venice is a very slim volume of the most delicious photographs of La Serenissima and each photo is coupled with a short piece of writing by a person of note in one field or another.

Many of the photos were taken at night, and there is barely a human in any of them, but they are all exquisite. If this doesn't make you want to immediately polish up your photographic skills and race back to Venice, nothing will.

Maria's reply: This book is one I know well. Highly recommended indeed.

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