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Who hasn't longed to escape to the enchanting canals and mysterious alleyways of Venice? Globetrotting writer Paula Weideger not only dreamed the dream, she took the leap. In Venetian Dreaming, she charts the course of her love affair with one of the world's most treasured cities.
Weideger's search for a place to live eventually takes her to the Palazzo Donà dalle Rose, one of the rare Venetian palaces continuously inhabited by the family that built it. She weaves the past lives of the family Donà with her own adventures as she threads her way through the labyrinthine city. Art and architecture are a constant presence. Yet even more strongly felt is the passage of time, the panorama of the seasons as reflected in special events -- Carnival, the Film Festival, September's historic regatta, midnight mass at San Marco. We follow Weideger as she explores the Ghetto, the expatriate community, and the lives of locals from noblemen to boatmen. Along the way she encounters everyone from the ghost of Peggy Guggenheim to the Merchant Ivory crowd, and experiences some high drama with the Contessa, her landlady. The resulting memoir is a wry and illuminating, intelligent and tender account of the once grand heritage and now imperiled future of Venice.