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Two new books

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.


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Comments (22)


Shall definitely buy the Secret Venice. I love all the daft trivia about the city. A Lover of Venice has a great section on this sort of stuff.


In fact I've just ordered it from Amazon! BTW have you been on fictionalcities.co.uk. It has a list of novels set in Venice.


These both sound great (and the Lover of Venice link is really helpful!) I'm already beginning to compile a list of things I'd like to see (and eat) in Venice in June! It will be interesting to compare notes with Girasoli as well, and see how many of our ideas overlap!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, the Secret Venice book sounds like an excellent book. I would love to get the Venice book for sure and I think I'll also check out the others cities too. I've not heard of the first book before but it sounds like a great resource to have while in Venice.

Thank you so much for the recommendations.

"Daft trivia!" Andrew, you sure can turn a phrase, and I love that one! I love all the daft trivia about Venice too and there's a lot of it. Glad the book is on the way...hope it arrives before your trip. I think you'll enjoy it. So are you going to be in Venice for Carnivale?

Sandra, the neighborhood where you'll be staying has many great places to eat. I submitted a few reviews to Slow Travel and will be happy to give you more info if you need it.

Kathy, both of these books are really well done. I'm glad they published them in English too.

Oh, I forgot to mention this....about the cover of "Secret Venice." That's what the Rialto Bridge would have looked like if they had selected Palladio's design. I think they made the right choice. :)


Unfortunately we're missing the Carnival this year. My sister wanted us to take her and her new beau for his birthday. I couldn't refuse, could I?

You are a good brother. :)

Do you have the Paolo Giordani book? It's another one with lots of daft trivia; I love it. I bought it at that rather modern bookstore not that far from Piazza San Marco on the way to the Accademia.


I'll get it when we're there. I know the book shop you mean. Thanks

My problem is I will want to eat at La Zucca every night! I may have to settle for twice. Great new book ideas. thanks :)

Great resources, A! Thanks, M

Ooh, I just recently received my copy of Secret Venice. It's definitely going in my carry on luggage, can't risk losing that.
How can we possibly see all the enticements of that city in one lifetime?


My copy of SV has also just arrived. Amazon is/are great. Love the book. Thanks for the pointer Annie.

Thanks for your comments everyone. Andrew, I'm glad it arrived (that was fast!).

Check it out - Thomas Jonglez (one of the authors of Secret Venice) left a comment today thanking me for my post about his book. Small world!


LB :

Secret Venice looks great! I will look for it! Also, check out a 4 part documentary film called Venice Revealed. It is fantastic! I could watch it over and over!

LB, thanks! I'll definitely check it out.


Agree with your views on SV. Am currently reading Peter Ackroyd's "Venice: Pure City" (2009). Great title!! Not at the level of Norwich (sleep with his books on my bedside table) but an engaging read with a few interesting titbits. Speaking of Norwich, his current history of the popes has had mixed reviews, but I look forward to immersing myself in his prose just the same. Pax tibi marce evangelista meus

Hi Christian, I haven't read "Pure City" yet but have it on my list. Thanks for the tip about the Norwich book about the popes - I'll add that one to my list too! His "Paradise of Cities" is one of my favorites.


Annie, Fully agree that Paradise of Cities is charming, but then, anything by Norwich is just fabulous. His landmark "History of Venice" is mandatory for any Venetophile, and I would also recommend his Byzantium trilogy. Interestingly, Ackroyd is the only author to comment on the previous existence of a large well in Piazza S. Marco. In fact, there is the outline of a well-head on the floor of the Piazza directly in front of Florian, with an inscription stating it was interred in the 16th century, but I have been unable to find any mention of it. Are you aware of this feature?...you've probably walked over it countless times!

Hi Christian,

"Secret Venice" mentions the former well-head too and a few months ago, my friend Bert posted a photo of the inscription on Venice Daily Photo. Here's the link:


Thank you so for sharing these Annie! Planning my first trip to Venice and will get these pronto! Might you be in Venice this November? I have had your blog on my blog list for years and only now remember . . . since I have not be able to visit blogs much in the last two years. It is a joy to visit you again. Carol

Carol, I'm so happy for you! I just left a comment on your blog.

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