I didn’t do a lot of shopping when I was in Venice in November, but I did buy two new books. First is Venice Osterie by Venice resident, Michela Scibilia. This is actually the third time I’ve bought this book; she updates it every couple of years and so now I own three different editions. Like any city, Venice’s restaurant scene is constantly changing, and I’m glad that Michela continues to keep us up-to-date. It’s fun to compare editions and see what new places have been added and which ones got dropped.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going to spend more than a few days in Venice. I haven’t been disappointed in any of the places she’s sent me to (and she doesn’t only review the higher-end places like some standard guidebooks do). Plus, the the book is lightweight and travel-friendly with excellent color photos, a glossary of food lingo (with both Italian and Venetian), and very good maps. Many of the photos show the owners at work, which gives you a good sense of the vibe of the place before you go.
You can find Venice Osterie in most any bookstore in Venice but make you sure you buy the most recent edition (2010, Version 5.2) as I did see copies of the older editions around town too.
And speaking of dining in Venice, A Lover of Venice’s “My Favorites” page is an excellent overview of Venetian cuisine plus reviews of some great places to go. I'll have more to say about some of the places I ate sometime soon.
“Secret Venice” is the other book I bought and what a great read it is! I was so glad to have this book to read on the plane…it made the time fly by on that long flight back home. It’s a very well done and comprehensive guide to lesser-known sights with lots of cool trivia; I’ve already added a bunch of these “secrets” to my “next time I'm in Venice” list. The cover says, "Five years of research have gone into the compilation of this exceptional guide, an opportunity for all who love Venice, as well as Venetians themselves, to leave the beaten track far behind and rediscover the most extraordinary city in the world."
This book is one of a series that includes other cities such as Rome, Paris, and Barcelona; I’ll definitely consider buying another one if and when I end up going somewhere else.