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Venice Noir: The Dark History of the Lagoons

Author: Isabella Panfido

Translator: Christine Donougher   Cover design: Marie Lane  

The identity of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic, is inseparable from the waters of the lagoon by which she is surrounded. Isabella Panfido takes us on an exploration of those waters that since time immemorial have been Venice’s refuge and defence, visiting some of its many islands (the names of a few - Fisolo, Sant’Arian, Lio Piccolo, San Secondo - will be unknown even to the most assiduous visitors to the city), and introducing us to their elusive magic and their well-kept secrets.

We learn of haunting illusions created by the peculiar geography of the lagoon under certain climatic conditions; of the devastating plague of 1630 that led to the loss of 47,000 Venetian lives over a period of sixteen months; of the destruction by a bitter north wind of baskets full of carefully harvested soft-shelled crabs and their seemingly miraculous rebirth and metamorphosis from one delicacy into another; of thwarted yearnings and ambitions, of jealous rivalries and revenge, of the terrible price of vanity - and much, much more.

An expert guide and consummate storyteller, the author draws on a deep and extensive knowledge of her native city past and present, and on her own personal experiences, weaving together myth and legend, imagination and historical fact, to capture the mystique of the phenomenon that is Venice.

Venice Noir is the winner of two literary prizes: the Latisana per il Nord-Est Prize and the Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Prize.

RRP: £9.99

No. of pages: 196

Publication date: 08.01.2021

ISBN numbers:
978 1 910213 97 1
978 1 912868 391

World English