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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.
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- Pierre Gauthier
It is extraordinary that a single book, not particularly lengthy, can succeed in providing such a deep understanding of a city, in terms of its fabric, the specific traits of its inhabitants and its overall history.
Not only is the work well researched, the author has deeply reflected upon the city and fully integrated the information. She comes up with what appears as original observations such as the raising of Piazza San Marco over the centuries that makes the ground-floor columns of the Doge’s Palace appear disproportionately short. Though very admirative of the city, she does not shy away from disparaging comments, for instance regarding the glasswork currently produced at Murano which she considers unequivocally vulgar.
The book is exceptionally well written and, for instance, the description of the perceived moods of various lions appearing here and there throughout the city is worthy of being included in an anthology of remarkable expressiveness.
Overall, this work is strongly recommended to all interested in Venice, in particular of course to thiose planning to visit or recently returned.