The unique ambiance of Venice has attracted tourists, artists, and armchair travelers for hundreds of years. Where else will you find a city surrounded by water, built on pilings, and crisscrossed by canals and bridges? Barbaro was raised in Venice and lived there into his twenties, but only after many years of living around the world in his capacity as a civil engineer did he return to his beloved native city. In this, his 16th book and the first translated into English, Barbaro has produced a lyrical narrative describing both the downside of living in Venice (damp, cold buildings in the winter, an ever-decreasing population) and the city's unique charm (beautiful piazzas, hidden gardens, and stunning architecture). He attempts to convey why he has chosen to live there with his family, despite the inconveniences inherent in a city that is sinking into the sea. Unfortunately, his emotions do not translate well, and we are left with a very personal narrative that does not sufficiently reveal the enchantment and magic that Barbaro clearly feels. Further, the book contains no maps, and the only photographs are the tiny black-and-whites that head up each of the eight sections. Recommended only for specialized Italian or travel collections. Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Paolo Barbaro left Venice in his twenties and worked as a civil engineer around the world before returning to his native city, where he now lives on the Rio di Santa Margherita in the Dorsoduro area. He is an award-winning author of sixteen books, both fiction and non-fiction.