Recommended Reads for Your Venice Holiday

By Lukas Johannes

The evocative city of Venice, which is shrouded by a network of murky lagoons and descending mists, has captured the imagination of generations of novelists. Once you get your first glimpse of the city during your Venice airport water taxi transfer, it won’t be hard to see why so many books have been set in and around its haunting alleyways, glistening lagoons and beautiful architecture. From light romantic fiction to some of the literary greats, Venice has been the setting for some of the world’s best known and most beloved stories.

Italy Travel Notes – The hidden past of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

The Great Bard himself, William Shakespeare, set one of his most famous plays in the Italian city. Written in the 1590s, this tragi-comic play is most famous for the character Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, and originally the work was titled The Jew of Venice. Now, Shakespeare, as legions of schoolchildren will tell you, is not exactly light reading, so maybe this complex play isn’t the best read to get stuck into during a breezy Venice airport water taxi transfer – so try reading it before you leave home instead.

Death in Venice

Once you’ve arrived at your hotel after landing at Venice airport – water taxi or otherwise – then why not delve into this famous modernist novella, written by the German author Thomas Mann in 1912. It tells the story of an old writer who visits the city on holiday and becomes drawn to the beauty of a young boy called Tadzio.

The Aspern Papers

The Aspern Papers is one of Henry James’ best-known works. Written in 1888 and set in Venice, this novella is a master-class in character development and creating suspense. It tells the story of a one-time mistress of a deceased American poet, who, while living in Venice, surrounds herself with a collection of old love letters.

The Comfort of Strangers

Although the city is never mentioned by name, this 1981 novel by Ian McEwan is undoubtedly set in Venice. A word of caution, however; this macabre and sinister story is not for the faint of heart; and, although a fantastic novel, some details are slightly unbelievable. For example, the couple visiting the city fail to find a restaurant to eat in. For anyone that’s seen the dense cluster of restaurants during a Venice airport water taxi transfer, they will know this to be a virtually impossible scenario.

Death at La Fenice

This book is part of a series of crime novels which are written by Donna Leon and set in Venice. This effort is one of the best in the series and is infused with the history and culture of the city. Lavish operas, homosexuality, Nazism and members of the Venetian aristocracy all interweave in a story which is as chilling as it is evocative. Leon employs her masterful prose which strongly conveys the ethereal and mysterious nature of Venice.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re looking for a Venice airport water taxi, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.

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