"Add No Vulgar Hotel to the list of books you must read before you come to Venice." Donna Leon
This is the definitive book for managing an incurable passion for a decaying, waterlogged village. Whether you already have a raging case of Venetophilia or are among the fifteen million people who yearly put themselves in danger of contracting it, here is where you get your fix of Venetian wit, history, practicality, and enchantment.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Eric Denker is a Senior Lecturer in the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not the best history or guide or pictures (b&w), but best overall. A Venice fanatic's personal, fact strewn, witty, and insightful guide to the beloved. It tosses in a bit of everything. History, of course: Literary & artistic & some musical history and standard Venetian history with lots of well told anecdotes. What it's like to live there now. Such practical matters as eating, traghettos, dogs, and hats. And Judith Martin, who is also "Miss Manners," seems to have read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies and art and buildings and talked to a lot of people about Venice, and has ready and piquant commentary. So, this is a good book to get leads. So, a quick sample: "Venice has been credited with inventing practically everything that makes life worth living (or not), including opera, factories, mirrors, quarantines, bleached hair, double-entry bookkeeping, lotteries, paperback books, casinos, regattas, roof terraces, assembly lines, improv comedy, platform shoes, social walkers and women's team sports. Many of these, Venetians actually did invent..." For the rest, turn to page 121.
I confess. I have a poster-sized repro of the 1500 deBarbari hanging on the wall of my study and I fly the standard of San Marco at my house. If you have Venice in the marrow of your bones as I do, you will probably laugh and cry your way through the meandering narration of this book. However, I would not recommend this to the novice. It is too esoteric and self-indulgent for the average tourist guide. You decide.
"No vulgar Hotel" was a present from my husband during the Christmas prior to my first visit to Italy. By then I had already decided that I was not going to visit Venice. I wanted to avoid the turistic part of the country as much as I could and experience the real Italy. "No Vulgar Hotel" made me change opinion completely. Martin gives a very accurate depiction of modern Venice from the point of view of an outsider who's been there enough time to start undertanding the local idiosyncrasies. Her view of relationship between the city's inhabitants and it's crumbling architecture is a treasure. The fresh food culture is completely accurate, and the non longer really a tourist longings are endearing. What can I say? I ended up going to Venice, finding this book pointedly true, and enjoying every single minute of it.
I am not a traveler and with books like this one I do not need to be one. This book covers both the history and practical aspects of Venice. I especially enjoyed the literary discussions in the sections entitled "Venice with Your Imaginary Friend" and "Venice Depicted". The author clearly loves Venice. Doing so she does not, write about it in a way that puts one at the vanguard of sophisticated opinion for this is not a book that really covers new ground. But it covers the old ground impeccably. It is a thoroughly delightful read for anyone even remotely interested in Venice.