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The Desire and Pursuit of Venice

Author: Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners)
This a a manual for the hopeless Venetophile.

Love of Venice can strike anyone, not just romantic wusses. Among the toughies with serious cases were Lord Byron, Richard Wagner, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway.

Symptoms include:

  • Wishing that the movie stars in films set in Venice would move aside so that you can get a better view of the scenery.
  • Wondering why people ask if you had good weather when you were there—as if rain could dampen your love.
  • Thinking that people who go to Tuscany or Provence must be nuts.
  • Believing that the "Per San Marco" street sign with arrows pointing in opposite directions makes perfect sense.
  • Consoling yourself when you leave by remembering the generations of Venetian merchants who, as they were borne away from Venice, vowed to be back as soon as they had more money.

There is no cure for this affliction. This is a guide to managing it. 35 illustrations.

From Publishers Weekly
In a good-natured guide for die-hard "Venetophiles," author and etiquette guru Martin focuses not on the stunning Byzantine architecture of this Italian city but on the unique personality of Venetians themselves. While this fun-to-read paean to the sybaritic delights of la Serenissima offers a compelling window into the city's social history, it should come as no surprise that the author of Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior is most interested in schooling her readers on how to comport themselves in a city still long on Old World charm and cultural mores. Martin is quick to point out that even the most illustrious tourists (including former Venice visitors Tennyson, Tchaikovsky and Twain) need a bit of good-natured advice on how to present themselves ("Hat etiquette is strict") and interact with others ("Making poetic observations ... should be resisted at any cost"). Martin also dips an enthusiastic toe into the rich history of Venetian food and drink ("Veneto's prosecco is not just cheaper than champagne but better"), painting, poetry and party-going, making the book perfect for a swift, semi-intellectual overview of Venice that goes several steps deeper than the average tourist guide.
© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
$24.95 (hardcover)
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