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Venice has always attracted an extraordinary range of writers - pious and impious, earnest and frivolous, enthusiastic and hostile. And because so much of the city has remained unchanged, their words have a powerful hold on our imagination. To walk through Venice is to enter an extravagant theatre where we can chance upon the scene of a Renaissance murder as easily as that of an eighteenth-century seduction; where the next turning might lead us to the execution site of a dissolute friar or the canal-side home of a Victorian poet. All have their place in these pages, along with extracts from the writings of Byron, Casanova, Goethe, Ruskin, Henry James, Thomas Mann, D. H. Lawrence and many others.

Arranged in the form of a series of detailed walks through Venice, this Literary Companion provides a vivid guide to the streets, palaces, churches, canals and squares that make up this mysterious and endlessly beautiful city.


‘The judicious selection of writings provides a welcome alternative to the tiresome trainspotting mentality of most guides and the author’s own mellifluous prose ties the enormous range of excerpts into a cogent whole. That yet another guide to Venice should not be superfluous is a measure of his achievement.’

The Literary Review

‘If you’re going to Venice, this is the smart book to take.'

The Daily Express

‘The author makes himself felt as an erudite but leisurely and good-humoured stroller; an agreeable, sometimes astringent presence throughout.’

The London Magazine

Buy Ian Littlewood