Venetian Dreaming by Paula Weideger

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Who hasn't longed to escape to the enchanting canals and mysterious alleyways
of Venice? Globetrotting writer Paula Weideger not only dreamed the dream, she took the leap. In Venetian Dreaming, she charts the course of her love affair with one of the world's most treasured cities.

Weideger's search for a place to live eventually takes her to the Palazzo Donà dalle Rose, one of the rare Venetian palaces continuously inhabited by the family that built it. She weaves the past lives of the family Donà with her own adventures as she threads her way through the labyrinthine city. Art and architecture are a constant presence. Yet even more strongly felt is the passage of time, the panorama of the seasons as reflected in special events -- Carnival, the Film Festival, September's historic regatta, midnight mass at San Marco. We follow Weideger as she explores the Ghetto, the expatriate community, and the lives of locals from noblemen to boatmen. Along the way she encounters everyone from the ghost of Peggy Guggenheim to the Merchant Ivory crowd, and experiences some high drama with the Contessa, her landlady. The resulting memoir is a wry and illuminating, intelligent and tender account of the once grand heritage and now imperiled future of Venice.

About Paula Weideger

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Paula Weideger is a lifelong New Yorker, despite years lived abroad. A founder of the Writers Room in Manhattan, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Town & Country, and many other publications. She is the author of four previous books.
Published August 21, 2012 by Washington Square Press. 372 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

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Clearly he had been a man with a light touch and an inclination to make inert materials dance.” Good, informal writing on the history of the family who owned the palace, and on Weideger’s rambles through the Jewish past of the city, bump up against stuffier material on the Peggy Guggenheim Founda...

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Publishers Weekly

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The book is most interesting when Weideger turns the mirror away from her personal travails: she offers nice observations on the Jewish community and its cemetery, the history and construction of gondolas, and the city's long-standing battle with the sea and the pros and cons of the controversial...

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