"Face masked, heart bare, she is a thief, this Venice. All limpid and luminous, she contains you in honeyed arms and dissolves longing. She steals sadness and washes you clean. A Byzantine in a Gothic dress, a golden Renaissance princess perfumed with cloves and sprung from a swamp, she is the untimid testimony to the greatest will and conceit of our kind. Once you hear her secrets - unselfconsciously told, echoing, scuttling across wet stones - you are richer, poorer, more vulnerable, and, somehow, unassailable. She provokes and invites; she is open when she is not sealed, mad with contrast and contradiction, rousing all but the most pinched of souls."
- Marlena de Blasi (from her cookbook, Regional Foods of Northern Italy)