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36 Reviews
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Stunning After All These Years!
I've never been to Venice, something that I intend to put right in a couple of months time. And so I thought I'd better have a look at 'Venice', it being one of the few Morris books that I hadn't read. To call this a masterpiece would be an understatement.
Here we have the story of the life of Venice told in the most engaing way: the history of the place; details...
Published on 24 Jan 2003 by Andrew Howell

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather flowery but interesting
I first read this many years ago before my first proper trip to Venice - the first time I was en route elsewhere and our train stayed in the Venice station for 10 mins).

I found it interesting but got a bit irritated by the flowery passages and the personal projections about the Venetians. However, a lot of other books are very historical and often a bit dry -...
Published on 2 Aug 2011 by James Lizard


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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Stunning After All These Years!, 24 Jan 2003
By 
Andrew Howell "andyhowell3" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
I've never been to Venice, something that I intend to put right in a couple of months time. And so I thought I'd better have a look at 'Venice', it being one of the few Morris books that I hadn't read. To call this a masterpiece would be an understatement.
Here we have the story of the life of Venice told in the most engaing way: the history of the place; details of the Venician personality; reflections on great faded glory' the memories of someone who used to call Venice home and - not unlike her work on Wales - some lovely, dreamy thinking about how Venice could, once again, find her proper role and place in the world.
This is not a travel guide or the account of a journey, but something altogether more satisfying. Forget the Lonley Planet guide, start you research here ...
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Dimension to Travel Writing, 7 May 2003
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
Jan Morris's book makes the perfect companion for a trip to Venice, completely counterbalancing the arid information of a standard guide. Morris is discursive, witty, tangential - the book considerably enriched my experience of this fabulous city and was very entertaining. Strongly recommended - even if you aren't in Venice!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven�t been to Venice..., 15 Nov 2003
By 
J. R. Gunsell "Maglinders" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
... and maybe aren't even going, but wonder why all the fuss about Venice, here's your answer. Reading this book is like inhaling the soul of the place without ever going there - armchair travelling of the highest order.
Nowhere that Morris visits feels like 'just another place' if you carry her writing in your mind - as you will - when you arrive there. This is effortless writing in both senses: for her (seemingly) and for you. Perfect word-painting just flows from her pen: images... stories... legends... history... atmosphere and small curiosities. It's like listening to the perfect dinner-guest who could not patronise you if she tried, unaffectedly recalling in direct, easy language, her own experience of this unparallelled, unique old city.
For someone who has already visited and loves Venice, here is the Ah! factor, in spades. If you have yet to go there, take Morris with you in your head AND the book in your luggage for re-reading.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encapsulates the spirit of Venice, 25 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
This is not a guide book, but a book about the city of Venice, its history and people. It is one of the most entertaining pieces of non-fiction I have ever read. Even if you never go to Venice (though you should), read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather flowery but interesting, 2 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
I first read this many years ago before my first proper trip to Venice - the first time I was en route elsewhere and our train stayed in the Venice station for 10 mins).

I found it interesting but got a bit irritated by the flowery passages and the personal projections about the Venetians. However, a lot of other books are very historical and often a bit dry - even Francesco's Venice, which does make up for that with stunning pictures.

This book was also written in 1960 and despite revisions is really about the place 51 years ago!

To sum up, I enjoyed it in full first time round. Second time around and now having been on a proper trip to Venice, I find it rather irritating but nice to dip into.

If you haven't been to Venice, the place is definitely 5-star and I'm really looking forward to my second proper visit in a week's time!
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the real Venice - a personal view, but very evocative, 20 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book which catches the flavour of Venice and is beautifully written. Jan Morris is one of the most individual and memorable of all travel writers, and this city is one she knows well and loves greatly ; that is evident on every page. The visual descriptions are precise and quirky, the little stories from Venetian myth and legend add character to the book and her knowledge of the history and culture of the place, worn lightly and always enlightening, never intrusive, make this a fine book. Above all she is a marvellous writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, personal and full of information, 2 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Venice: New and revised Edition (Kindle Edition)
This review is based on the Kindle version of this book.

Having only had the pleasure of visiting Venice on a grey, stormy day I am longing for the day when I can return and really explore the well known and not so well known parts of Serenissima. For now, I hoped that this book would keep me going until I am able to return. It is very obvious that the author has a passion for and an extensive knowledge of Venice and sometimes this left me feeling overwhelmed with place names and little understanding of their physical place. There is also an over use of lists and superlatives which can sometimes be a little tedious. However, the emphasis is not on the tourist sites and traps but on Venice as a whole. There are maps, but these are unfortunately too small to be worthwhile on the Kindle. Also, there was a page missing in the afterword, which because it gives a histological timeline, is rendered pretty much useless due to the omission.

I'm not sure where this book fits. It is neither a travel book nor a complete history of Venice and yet, it has renewed and reawakened my desire to return to Venice and now, because I am more educated about the not so well known but equally enigmatic areas of Venice, the visit will be so much more fulfilling.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, 4 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
Neither a guide book or a reference book: just a collection of reflections and anecdotes which link together as effortlessly and seamlessly as the canals. Perfect relaxation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shimmering Vision, 1 July 2009
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
Since its publication over 40 years ago this book has remained the best book on Venice. It offers a shimmering vision of the most magical and unique city that civilization has ever produced. The book is a stunning mosaic of Venetian life and over a thousand years of history and culture. You can dip into it for reference or read it hungrily from start to finish. The writing is breathtaking yet effortless. My favourite phrase so far being the casual reference to a barge on a dull day being "loud with oranges." This is the fifth copy of this book I have owned over the years as I can't help lending it to people; so far I have never got a copy back! A must for all Italophiles.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a transport of the senses .. !, 11 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Venice (Paperback)
This is one of the few books I would take to a desert island. It is one of the most evocative books I have ever read - it is a companion to a rainy day or a trip to Venice itself . read it and love it !!
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