THE CITY OF VENICE is a kind of miracle - surrounded by the sea, cut by as many canals as streets, built on fill reinforced with pilings made of huge tree trunks, it defies nature and belief. No city has been more often painted or written about; for centuries it has drawn visitors for its food and cafés, its masked balls and street life, its public squares and buildings, the beauty of its sunsets, the softness of the air, the clarity of its light.
But Venice is dying - literally sinking into the sea - and its beauty has drawn so many tourists that ordinary citizens can no longer afford to live there. Paolo Barbaro grew up in Venice and after a full working life as a civil engineer in cities scattered across the world he went home. There he fell in love all over again with a city that seemed to be slipping away. He describes the illumination of that rediscovery in this extraordinary book - a brilliant evocation and description of a city which has lost none of its power to charm, dazzle, and take one's breath away.
But the passion in Barbaro's plea for the salvation of his native city has a deeper source than nostalgia. If humankind cannot stir itself to save Venice, he asks, what hope is there for other endangered cities, places, and animals?
“Not since Rilke have we read pages about Venice with the power of these.” -- Vittorio Branca
About Paolo Barbaro
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Published October 10, 2001
by Steerforth Italia.
History, Education & Reference, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs.