Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Venetian Bestiary - Jan Morris

This is a tiny, off-beat book by famous travel-writer Jan Morris. It’s the first book of hers I’ve read. I loved all 90 pages including the illustrated ones. It tells of the animals of Venice which might be real birds, cats and dogs, or statues of winged lions and horses.

She knows Venice so well she travels deftly between everyday life, history, art pieces and architectural markers. It’s a joy to be lead by someone so knowledgeable and clearly passionate about this magical city.

Now, I’ve never been to Venice, but I can tell you I will not set foot on that boggy water without first having read Morris’ renowned book of the same title. In fact, I’ll very likely read the book anyway and skip the journey. Great travel writing gives you permission to do that.

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