Sunday, June 10, 2012

Venice Reads and Sees

The month of May was been a whirlwind for me.  So many wonderful events in my family topped off by a vacation to Europe, which included my first visit to Venice.  In celebration of that trip, I'd like to highlight some wonderful books and movies set in that magical city for both kids and adults.

Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli

From Publishers Weekly:
Napoli returns to the locale of Stones in Water and For the Love of Venice, this time for a costume drama set in the late 16th century. At 14, Donata Mocenigo and her twin sister watch carefully as their noble parents set about finding a husband for their older sister. Venetian economics dictate that one daughter of a noble family will surely wed, but only with luck will a second daughter be married the remaining daughters either enter convents or care for a married brother's children. Eschewing a traditional romance, Napoli forges a plot with contemporary elements. Donata wants to see Venice and receive the same education as her brothers; she studies the family business and embraces what facts she can uncover about Venetian history and politics. Obtaining a working-class boy's clothes, she disguises herself and sets out on furtive daytime explorations of her beloved city. Soon she is befriended by an attractive young Jewish boy, who helps her find a morning job as a copyist (even though she can't read or write); with help from her sisters, her escapades go unnoticed by her parents. Enjoying the tour of historical Venice and the taste of its complex society and government, readers may not mind Donata's seeming immunity to the mores and prejudices of her day not even when, to avoid an arranged marriage, she anonymously and falsely denounces herself as a convert to Judaism and still earns herself a happy ending. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker

I loved this book, set in 18th century Venice, when I read it years ago.  Now that I've been to Venice I think I have to reread it.  Here's a great review from the Historical Novel Society.

Summertime, starring Katherine Hepburn (1955)

My aunt's favorite movie.  On her recommendation, I downloaded it to watch on the plane.  Wonderful Venice views and the amazing Kate Hepburn.  A win-win!

These titles just brush the surface.  There are so many more.  Please recommend your favorites!