Books for the Venetophile (Venice-lover)

Besides your typical tour books of this wonderful city, delightful books abound to help you discover another side of Venice, Italy.

Another Venice by Jacopo Fasolo features more than 50 lovely watercolor drawings of campos, buildings and canals along with a small photo and story correlating to each one. This book was a gift sent by one of Mama Jude’s friends and it fed her love of Venice and lifted her spirits post-brain surgery (thank you Iva!).

Secret Venice, Local Guides by Local People by Thomas Jonglez and Paola Zoffoli was recommended to Mama Jude by another friend. This book is just what is sounds like… fantastic nooks and beautiful, hidden bits of Venice, including stunning photographs and fascinating stories behind them.

Venice for Kids by Elisabetta Pasqualin is an adorably illustrated and detailed book with a fantastic index organizing everything by location. Mama Jude picked up this book on her last trip here. It is likely better for older kids, not super young ones, but I guess it would depend on the kid.

VivaVenice, A Guidebook for Children and the Young-at-Heart by Paola Zoffoli and Paolo Scibilia, we found here at a museum shop during this special trip to Venice. This book captured our hearts with its detailed drawings and fun descriptions; we especially love the pages showing and describing the various boats, since we enjoy watching them go by our living room windows. This book lets you in on the secret architecture, traditions, food and more of Venice.

Grand Canal, A History of Venice… Doges, brigands and navigators, narrated by ancient rooms from Arsenale Editrice tells the story of the beautiful buildings along the Grand Canal. This book, which features a nice map and drawings of the right bank and left bank, is fantastic with its bright pictures of the many palazzo. Normally, you’d go along on the vaporetto (water bus) and wonder about the families that have lived in these gorgeous palaces… now you don’t have to wonder any longer. Here you’ll find the names of the palazzo and the story behind them. We found this one and the next at that same museum shop.

Venice the Basics by Giogrio Gianighian and Paola Pavanini captured our attention with drawings from Venice over the years, since long before it became the Venice we know and love today. This book shows how the city was built and what it was beforehand. Another nice feature are the many little captions pointing out specific parts of the drawings. Some also have a portion of the wall in the drawing open and show you life inside as well!

Lastly, we brought one of our favorite Italian cookbooks with us: Elements of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Last time Mama Jude went to Italy, she also brought this book and we both made wonderful dishes from it from opposite sides of the globe. My notable dish from it was Porcini Risotto that I made with my dear friend Laura. Mama Jude enjoyed how the book describes what to look for at the outdoor market, including the Italian words for items. She made notes on the various recipes she tried, but her favorite was the fried eggplant, which she described: “I couldn’t believe anything that good came out of my kitchen!” Inspiring even for non-cooks, Marcella’s descriptions of these dishes will simply make your mouth water!

Readers, please share your favorite Venice books with us! Have you read any of these?

And don’t forget to check out (and also comment on) Mama Jude’s blog:

4 replies

  1. Whilst on holiday in Oz, I picked up a copy of Strolling Through Venice by John Freely in a sale in a bookstore(In Port Elliot), it’s a very detailed walking guide and looks quite useful. I suppose we’ll find out in December!!



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