Venice stands, as she loves to tell you, on the frontiers of the east and west, half-way between the setting and the rising sun. Goethe calls her "the market-place of the Morning and the Evening lands". Certainly no city on earth gives a more immediate impression of symmetry and unity, or seems more patently born to greatness.
So Jan Morris remarks, with graceful literary distinction, on the qualities that have made Venice a unique place among the world’s great destinations. She has known it intimately for over six decades. She knows its history, its carvings, its idiosyncrasies, its weather, and all the Doges of the past. She returns even now, never tiring of this "dappled city, tremulous and flickering". She first wrote Venice in praise of it 50 years ago and has revised the book three times. To open this premiere audiobook recording, Jan Morris reads a personal introduction which perfectly distils a lifetime’s fascination with La Serenissima.
The acclaimed history and travel writer Jan Morris brings her graceful prose to the wonders of Venice in this richly observed and intimate portrait of the Serenissima. From the Bridge of Sighs to St. Mark's Basilica, Morris' portrayal is both personal and universal, rich in historical detail and lyrical descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. It is a treat to hear Morris' own voice introducing the audiobook, while Sebastian Comberti is an able, gentle narrator for the rest of the recording. Venice is a great way to begin a love affair with this gem of a city, or for experienced visitors to stoke the fires.
- Neil Chisholm
A bit soggy around the edges
Jan Morris wrote an excellent three volume series on the British Empire which I loved and read in very quick succession. I expected this book to be a history of Venice in much the same style with lots of info but amusing at the same time. It actually was a personal recollection along with some snippets of historical facts.
It was interesting and would be even more so either before you go to Venice or after you've come back but as I won't have the opportunity of visiting for quite a while yet I was left wanting more.