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***A Traveller's Companion to Venice

introduced and edited by John Julius Norwich

Reviewed March 8, 2004.
Interlink Books, New York, 2002.  395 pages.

I loved the idea of this book—to collect what different writers have written about Venice over the years into one volume for a traveler to read.  I was hoping for something similar to For the Love of Ireland, my favorite travel book ever.

However, this book, though interesting, took quite a bit of effort to slog through.  I told myself that if I didn’t get through it now, when I was going/had just been to Venice, I probably never would finish it.  Part of the difficulty was that the selections were mostly more than a hundred years old, with many even as far back as Venice’s glory days of the 1400s and 1500s.  These authors’ words aren’t necessarily easy reading for us today.

The book was interesting, since it did give you insight into what Venice was like at the height of its power.  I do recommend it for people planning to visit Venice.  Plan to start a long time before your trip, so you can tackle it in small doses.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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