Cadogan’s cliché-busting guide discovers the little-known sights of secret Venice, as well as the treasures that simply can’t be missed. The guide covers in depth the history and culture of the city: the awe-inspiring Basilica of San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, and the Accademia, with its world-renowned collection of Renaissance art. It also has sections on nightlife, whether the visitor is looking for Baroque recitals, opera or live jazz; on the best spots to take children and on the parks and green spaces where you can rest after exploring. In this city of beautiful but intriguing urban design, the guide is packed with clear maps to help the visitor find their way around, hop from island to island, and wander through the narrow streets and across the canals without always having to use a gondola! Individually reviewed hotel and restaurant listings dig out the real gems from the tourist traps, and there is helpful advice on finding the shops that specialise in authentic and handmade local produce and souvenirs.
Excerpt: Byron Goes Swimming
Like lime (or linden) blossoms, Venice tends to relax the mind, or at least the logical centres; this is especially true in the minds of those who, like the rascally Aretino, ‘live by the sweat of their ink’. Many have written their worst books about the city (the most recent culprits are Hemingway and Muriel Spark). Legions of other writers have been unable to resist the challenge of describing Venice; they strive to leave their mark on the city with the persistence of spraying tomcats. Some are mercifully content to settle for vignettes or epigrams.
DH Lawrence, who loved the dry desert of Arizona, called Venice ‘an abhorrent, green, slippery city’; for Boris Pasternak Venice was ‘swelling like a biscuit soaked in tea’. In the end perhaps all descriptions meet in a soft centre, as Italo Calvino’s Marco Polo commented to Kublai Khan in a lovely book called Invisible Cities: ‘Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice. ...click here to read the rest
witty, excellent, the best I've read, /5
Although it's not as lavishly illustrated as many other guides to Venice, Facaros and Pauls have produced an exquisitely written, witty and erudite guide that reveals a fascinating side to Venice behind all the tourist schlock. It's divided into 6 walks and we followed every one religiously, and were never disappointed. Highly recommended
first class informative, intelligent and funny, /5
This is a brilliant little book - small enough to put in your pocket, easy to read, funny, full of every kind of information you might want, witty, well researched - and ..... I followed the hints on buying a Venetian door knocker, and saved myself about £30! Thanks.
Wonderful book...but needs updating, /5
I love Cadogan guides..they are simply the best on the market because in most instances the authors exhibit an intimate knowledge of the place being reviewed. There are some interesting tips (and snide asides) that have the reader almost laughing out loud! Such a nice change from the usual pablum.
My one complaint....why hasn't the Venice guide been updated? We used it on a trip in 1999 (fine then) but when we returned in 2004 we found that several restaurants had changed name and other information was also out of date. Now we're due to go back in 2007 and I assumed there would be a new edition by now..but there isn't.
Of course I realize that historical monuments haven't changed in centuries and the publishers probably don't feel the need for updating..but Cadogan should remember that readers want up-to-date information about hotel and restaurant prices....so perhaps they might consider issuing supplements if they don't want to bring out a new edition.
Dana Facaros never lets me down!, /5
Since becoming familiar with Cadogan guides during an extended stay in Umbria two years ago, these books have become my go-to resource for travel in Italy -- expert guidance, outstanding background information, informative and, frankly, entertaining.
Not only are the guides well-organized and user-friendly, they provide an appropriate level of detail and are very well-written. I also appreciate how the authors cover not only the important sights and destinations, they also point the reader to places off the beaten path. And they don't pull any punches, either; The author's opinions are refreshingly candid.
The Venice guide provided great information on the history of Venice, each of its neighborhoods, detailed maps, and all the necessary logistical info. for travelling to Venice. There is so much to see and do in Venice, with this guide in hand, you will be sure to experience it all.
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org