Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Weird Venice Seal of Approval: No Vulgar Hotel

No Vulgar Hotel, by Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners), may be the Weird Venice bible. Martin has done a great job capturing all that is "weird" about Venice. From Great Moments in Venetian History (Marin Fuller the only doge, and maybe the only ruler in history, who planned a coup--to get rid of himself!) to Venetian festivals (e.g. Su e Zo i Ponti di Venezia or "Up and Down the Bridges--you get the idea) to famous tourists (from Galileo to Dame Edna), Martin covers all the things that make us Venetophiles. If you don't already have "Venetophilia," you will when you read this book!

Here's what the publisher says about No Vulgar Hotel(and I agree!):
The definitive manual for the hopeless Venetophile.

Love of Venice can strike anyone, not just romantic wusses. Among the toughies with serious cases were Lord Byron, Richard Wagner, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway. Symptoms include:
* Wishing that the movie stars in films set in Venice would move aside so that you can get a better view of the scenery.
* Wondering why people ask if you had good weather when you were there--as if rain could dampen your love.
* Thinking that people who go to Tuscany or Provence must be nuts.
* Believing that the "Per San Marco" street sign with arrows pointing in opposite directions makes perfect sense.
* Consoling yourself when you leave by remembering the generations of Venetian merchants who, as they were borne away from Venice, vowed to be back as soon as they had more money.

There is no cure for this affliction. This is a guide to managing it. 35 illustrations.

P.S. The title comes from Henry James's The Wings of the Dove. Milly Theale says she wants to stay in Venice, "...if possible, no dreadful, no vulgar hotel."

No comments: