Today I’m flying to Venice, Italy. I will be my first time in Venice, and in Italy overall. I’m extremely excited, and as a booklover, I needed to find some inspiring bookish places in Venice and Verona (I’m planning a day trip there) that I’d like to visit during my stay.
Photo credit: My Corner of Italy
This book shop comes up first when you are searching for a beautiful book store in Venice. It’s an amazing store with a bathtub and gondola inside, both filled with books and a staircase made from books! It looks like a gorgeous chaotic bookstore that I’d love to visit.
The plaque shown in the photo above commemorates home of the world’s most famous lover and womanizer – Casanova. Young Casanova for nine years lived in a small house on anonymous valley by Calle Malipiero. Giacomo Casanova later in life written down his adventures in autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. You can learn more about Casanova in a Casanova Museum & Experience (where the most popular room seems to be the one with a bad and shadows behind curtains getting down to business). Another interesting place is the cell of Giacomo Casanova in the Doge’s Palace, where he was supposed to spend 5 years as a punishment for his libertine behaviour that was considered dangerous for social stability, and also because he was considered a charlatan who befriended elderly nobles with his faux magical knowledge. However, Casanova managed to escape this place quite quickly.
Places from the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
From Wikipedia: The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice (Antonio) must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and it is best known for Shylock and the famous “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech on humanity. Also notable is Portia’s speech about “the quality of mercy”. Critic Harold Bloom listed it among Shakespeare’s great comedies.
One of the main settings of the play is the Jewish ghetto in Venice. I didn’t know that Venice was actually the first city to establish such a thing in Europe, and the word itself comes from old Venetian. Another place for the play is the Doge’s Palace, where courthouse scenes take place there.
Harry’s Bar has long been frequented by famous people, and it was a favourite of Ernest Hemingway. Other notable customers have included Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, inventor Guglielmo Marconi, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Richard Halliburton, Truman Capote, Orson Welles, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Princess Aspasia of Greece, Aristotle Onassis, Barbara Hutton, Peggy Guggenheim, Tareq Salahi, George Clooney, The Mundy’s and Woody Allen.
The bar was also briefly mentioned in the second and subsequent editions of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited (in the first edition Waugh simply called the bar “the English bar”) as a frequent haunt of principal characters Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte during their time in Venice.
Biblioteca Marciana – National Library of St Mark’s
A library and Renaissance building in Venice is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in the country, holding one of the greatest classical texts collections in the world. The library is named after St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. It is not to be confused with the State Archive of the Republic of Venice, which is housed in a different part of the city.