New book: The Genius of Venice: Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic, by Dial Parrott ’66 (Rizzoli Ex Libris)
The Author: Parrott has worked as a journalist, teacher, and lawyer. He lives with his wife in South Glastonbury, Conn.
The Book: Parrott explores the history of the Piazza San Marco, Venice’s oldest and most important architectural site and one of the great urban spaces in the world. He gives an account of the development of the entire piazza complex and the history of the Venetian republic. This volume includes more than 100 color photographs and maps. His heroic view of Venice illustrates a city formed out of the void by sheer toil. The Venetians built a city that stands today not merely as an attraction for millions, but as a testament to architectural genius: a shining example of Western communal art.
Opening Lines: “By the fifth century A.D., the architectural marvels of imperial Rome had spread far beyond the great capital itself. Centuries of continual military expansion had led emperors and proconsuls to replicate large portions of Roman material splendor in a host of conquered and colonized cities ranging over three continents from the Black Sea to the coasts of Britain, Spain, and North Africa. … One of the most brilliant examples of this elegant urban civilization was an arc of splendid cities in the northeastern corner of Italy, set slightly inland from the Adriatic Sea.”
Reviews: Publishers Weekly called the book “a fresh, integrated view of one of the most justifiably flocked-to tourist sites in Europe.” The Italian Tribune wrote: “Dial Parrott’s skillful interweaving of research from different periods and disciplines heightens the experience, as if reading several books at once, brought to life with the immediacy of a modern thriller.”
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