Dreaming of Venice in Black and White

I took my husband to Venice this past summer. It was his first time. He ventured out into the alleyways early on our first morning. I still have the text he sent me. All it said was "Wow."

The next day we went to the Piazza San Marcos. It was filled with tens of thousands of tourists. He looked at me, put his arm around me and said: "We are alone." And for that moment, we were.

This book brings back those memories, the memories of what Venice was and is between blinking at the crowds and cruise ships. The pages are filled with photos evoking what Venice was and could be if tourism is toned down. Even as arguments flare bout the future of this city built on a lagoon, history is alive at every turn, looking down on the living from statues and gargoyles.

In his preface Tiziano Scarpa wonders how we, non-Venetians, can help save the city from creeping consumerism, illegal B&Bs, cruise ships and overwhelming numbers of tourists in shorts and sneakers. "Perhaps a paradoxical way of helping this city would be not to come at all. Instead, stay home and leaf through books of photos like this one, which inhabits the city delicately, making it bloom with a light caress made up of splendid images."

For everyone who will never arrive on the Grand Canal, I highly recommend this evocative book. But how do we deny anyone the "Wow!" of one's first moments lost in the maze of Venice?


Posted 9/2018