Passing in front of the shelves that hold books dedicated to the magical city of Venice, one is confronted with a sea of stories, an intricate labyrinth of words that weave like the canals of La Serenissima.
These are works that tell not only of past splendors, but also of daily life, of the secrets hidden among the calli and the mysteries that permeate the salty lagoon air.
In a literary world as vast as a tidal wave, some titles emerge as veritable beacons, guiding readers through the different facets of this unique city.
The Toy of the World: Venice in the Age of Hypertourism by Robert C. Davies
This book is an indispensable starting point for those who wish to immerse themselves in the history of travel to Venice.
It makes us understand how the city has fascinated writers of all ages and backgrounds, creating a wealth of narratives that cross continents and languages.
As traveler Pietro Casola stated five centuries ago, Venice never seems to run out of stories.
Classics of Venice: Shakespeare, Goethe, Byron, Mann, Ruskin, Proust, James, D'Annunzio
Among the classics who have written about Venice, from Shakespeare to Goethe, Byron to Mann, timeless works emerge that have captured the essence and changing beauty of this lagoon city.
But it is not just foreign authors: Graziano Graziani, in In Venice, offers us a unique perspective, revealing how authors from all over the world have contributed to the tale of this city in a thousand languages, from Venetian to Chinese to Kikuyu.
Poems for Sara: Women and Poetry in the Venice Ghetto
For those who love poetry, another gem can be found in Poems for Sara, where three female authors identify with Sara Copio Sullam, a 17th-century Jewish poet and intellectual.
An opportunity to explore a literary salon in the Venice Ghetto, animated by a daring woman who challenged the limits imposed by society.
Tiziana Plebani, with her "History of Venice, City of Women," invites us to discover female influences in the city's history, offering a unique and valuable perspective.
Venetian life: Venice in the 19th century through the eyes of William Dean Howells
For those who want a dive into the Venetian past, William Dean Howells' Venetian Life, set in the mid-19th century, takes us through the daily life of a Venice under Austrian control, offering a unique and authentic experience.
However, if you are looking for a more personal and flavorful guide, Venice is a Fish by Tiziano Scarpa will take you through an itinerary without rules, leaving room for improvisation and chance.
The Lion, the City and the Water: The Venetian Travels of Cees Nooteboom
Cees Nooteboom, master of travel literature, reveals his Venetian sojourns in The Lion, the City and the Water, exploring the magic of Venice through erudite and fascinated eyes.
And if you are weary but crave an immersion in the history of Venice, works such as A History of Sea and Land by Alexander March the Great and Pier Alvise Zorzi's Unscrupulous History of Venice will provide a compelling and insightful account.
Vladislav Felicianovič Chodasevič's Hidden Library: Night Feast (Letter from Venice)
In the vast panorama of books that celebrate Venice, there is a secret world of small bookstores that conceal literary gems and offer a happy haven for reading lovers.
Among the hidden wonders of the city, a miniature bookstore turns out to be a magical place, centrally located but mysteriously hidden.
The key to finding it is by following in the footsteps of Vladislav Felicianovič Chodasevič, author of "Night Feast (Letter from Venice)." This little book treasure is a refuge where one can feel truly happy, immersed in the pages of unique and enveloping stories.
Venice Final Act: Contemporary challenges as told by Petra Reski
For those who want a more contemporary approach, journalist Petra Reski, through "Venice Final Act," reveals the current challenges of a city radically transformed by tourism. A journey into the heart of recent transformations, an acute analysis of a changing Venice.
Journey through the pages of India in Venice: Desai, Seth, Ghosh
Among the lesser-known itineraries, the one that traverses the Venice narrated by the great Indian writers offers a fascinating perspective.
Works such as Anita Desai's "Journey to Ithaca," Vikram Seth's "A Constant Music," and Amitav Ghosh's "The Island of Rifles" testify to a profound relationship between India and Venice, revealing lesser-known aspects of the lagoon city.
Thrillers in the Serenissima: Deadly lagoons and hidden vendettas
And if mystery is what you're looking for, Venice has also inspired authors of thrilling thrillers.
While Donna Leon's books can be an opportunity to practice your English, titles such as Michael Dibdin's "Dead Lagoon," Philip Gwynne Jones's "Vengeance in Venice" (available in eBook), "The Sixth Commandment," "Byron's Right Foot," and "The Stone for Eyes. Venetia 1106 A.D." promise excitement and intrigue in the Venetian setting.
Literary mystery: Who would be the suspect?
Finally, in the realm of literary mystery, if one day you found me stabbed in a dark calle, you could blame one of the living authors of books about Venice that, for reasons of space, I could not mention.
The thrill of literary mystery continues to run through the alleys of La Serenissima, suspended between the pages of novels and the reality of dark calli.
Night Feast (Letter from Venice) by Vladislav Felicianovič Chodasevič
Poems for Sara by anonymous authors
History of Venice city of women by Tiziana Plebani
Venice final act by Petra Reski
Journey to Ithaca by Anita Desai
A Constant Music by Vikram Seth
The Island of Rifles by Amitav Ghosh
Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
Revenge in Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones
The Sixth Commandment by anonymous author
Byron's Right Foot by anonymous author
The Stone for the Eyes. Venetia 1106 AD by anonymous author