|An image from Dream of Venice Architecture (used with the permission of Bella Figura Publications)|
I went to a book signing last week at Libreria Studium, a very good bookstore with an interesting selection of books in English and other languages (in addition to Italian), and one that's often overlooked (not least of all by me in this blog), it seems, in spite of the fact that it's just a few hundred meters from the Basilica San Marco and just down the canal from the Bridge of Sighs.
It's an excellent centrally-located resource for those looking for books in English about Venice and Italy, as well as contemporary and classic literature by American and English writers.
The book signing was for the second in a series of books about Venice that I've also overlooked, probably due to the fact that the last thing I want to do lately is write a book review (the recent one I did on Lucy Hughes-Hallett's lively biography of D'Annunzio began as something else and only accidentally turned into a review of a book I'd read some time before).
But Dream of Venice Architecture, featuring the photography of Riccardo de Cal and a broad selection of original texts written specifically for the volume by acclaimed architects, such as Tadao Ando, Mario Botta and Louise Braverman, and acclaimed writers on architecture such as Witold Rybczynski, merits the attention of anyone interested in the both the long-enduring masterpieces of this city and the more recent ones: in Carlo Scarpa as well as Palladio.
|Photographer Riccardo de Cal, left, with editor and publisher JoAnn Loktov at last week's book signing in Libreria Studium|
And the photos of Riccardo de Cal manage, without straining for effect, to present compelling perspectives on this most photographed of cities. Even his images of, say, Piazza San Marco represent that area in the way it strikes me as someone who lives here--rather than with the alienated and alienating sheen of the tourist-oriented image.
Dream of Venice Architecture, in short, is worth a look.
You can also find out about the first book in the series, entitled simply Dream of Venice, with photos by Charles Christopher and a Foreward by Frances Mayes, here.