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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Insider's Venice

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXITL105. Buy these 5 items as a set for $105 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Eyewitness Guide Venice & the Veneto

Eyewitness Guide Venice & the Veneto

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Features color photography, dozens of excellent maps (including a pullout map) and a synopsis of the region's attractions. (ITL200, $20.00)

The World of Venice

The World of Venice

by Jan Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 315 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite. (ITL12, $18.95)

Art and Life in Renaissance Venice

Art and Life in Renaissance Venice

by Patricia Brown

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations. (ITL57, $53.40)

Venice Observed

Venice Observed

by Mary McCarthy

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 158 PAGES

Originally published over 30 years ago, this collection of eight essays is a literate, evocative celebration of the city, its character, and its history. (ITL27, $13.95)

Venice Map

Venice Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2008
  • MAP

A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals. (ITL26, $8.95)

 
Blue Guide Venice

Blue Guide Venice


by Alta Macadam

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

This comprehensive guide is the best for art, architecture, museums, history and culture. (ITL457, $24.95)

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best


by Citypack

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map of the city center and essential information. (ITL106, $13.99)

Venice from the Ground Up

Venice from the Ground Up


by James H. S. McGregor

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

A walking tour, history and celebration, this masterly, personal guide to Venice includes a short account of McGregor's favorite sites, 10 maps and suggested walks (and boat rides). (ITL792, $31.50)

A History of Venice

A History of Venice


by John Julius Norwich

  • HISTORY
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 673 PAGES

The great historian Norwich marshals myriad personalities, battles, sieges and facts into a vivid portrait of the Venetian Republic spanning the 1,000 years up to its 1797 defeat at the hands of Napoleon. (ITL177, $26.00)

A Traveller's History of Venice

A Traveller's History of Venice


by Peter Menzel

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A lively, brief history of Venice. (ITL625, $14.95)

Italy, A Short History

Italy, A Short History


by Harry Hearder

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES

Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present. (ITL56, $29.99)

No Vulgar Hotel, The Desire and Pursuit of Venice

No Vulgar Hotel, The Desire and Pursuit of Venice


by Eric Denker | Judith Martin

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 330 PAGES

Martin (AKA Miss Manners) and Denker offer a splendid social history of Venice, with a focus on its many famous personages. (ITA13, $15.95)

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco


by Iain Fenlon

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Fenlon reveals the dynamic, colorful, and noisy history of this grand square at the heart of Venetian civic life in this sophisticated pocket guide. (ITA113, $14.95)

The Art of the Renaissance

The Art of the Renaissance


by Peter Murray

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 286 PAGES

A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists. (ITL14, $18.95)

Venice, The Grand Canal

Venice, The Grand Canal


by Daniele Resini

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER

This ingenious book unfolds accordion-style to reveal a 42-foot panorama of the palaces, churches and museums fronting Venice's glorious Grand Canal. The photographer, Daniele Resini, took the photographs over a period of three years to create one perfectly continuous portrait of this architectural wonder. (ITL663, $50.00)

Confessions of an Art Addict, A Memoir

Confessions of an Art Addict, A Memoir


by Peggy Guggenheim

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

This classic memoir captures the spirit and intrigues of the 1930s art world by the heiress whose collection of modern art is showcased in Venice. (ITL128, $13.95)

Venice Is a Fish

Venice Is a Fish


by Tiziano Scarpa

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima. (ITL964, $12.00)

A Traveller's Companion to Venice

A Traveller's Companion to Venice


by John Julius Norwich

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

An illuminating selection, edited and introduced by the great John Julius Norwich. (ITL484, $16.95)

Dead Lagoon, An Aurelio Zen Mystery

Dead Lagoon, An Aurelio Zen Mystery


by Michael Dibdin

  • MYSTERY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 297 PAGES

Dibdin -- a master of ambiguous settings, shady dealings and fast-paced prose -- returns to Venice in this sixth book in the thoroughly enjoyable Aurelio Zen series. (ITL577, $14.95)

Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice


by Donna Leon

  • MYSTERY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater. (ITL555, $14.99)

In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan


by Sarah Dunant

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 385 PAGES

Dunant paints a vivid, earthy portrait of Renaissance Venice in this absorbing novel of intrigue, ambition and love -- cleverly narrated by the wily dwarf Bucino Teodoldo, loyal companion of the courtesan. (ITL650, $13.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.