The Rhythms of Venice

Fog is one of the rhythms of Venice

This essay, an excerpt from Dream of Venice, was written by Marcella Hazan.


The Rhythms of Venice

The rhythms of Venice, its spaces, its structures mirror human life to a degree unmatched by any other major historical city.

Like its human presences, Venice has a distinctly separate waking time and dreamtime.  Her waking hours resound with natural sounds, footfalls echoing off the paving stones, voices in conversations, voices calling, wailing, singing, carousing, boatmen’s cries.

The scale of the city is humanly measurable: its distances are calculated by how long one’s feet will take to reach any destination, while its buildings, even the grandest, are congenially accessible to human needs and respectful of human proportions.

At night Venice’s lights dim, its sounds are submerged in those of slapping water, and it wraps itself in mystery, as does our consciousness when dissolved in sleep.


About Marcella Hazan

Marcella Hazan, more than any other person, was responsible for bringing traditional Italian cuisine into American and British homes. A foremost authority on Italian cooking, eating, and life, she wrote seven books including The Classic Italian Cookbook, Marcella’s Italian Kitchen, and Amarcord: Marcella Remembers. She lived in Venice for 20 years before moving to Florida, where she passed away in 2013.


Dream of Venice Cover Image


Dream of Venice Reviewed in the Huffington Post

“If Venice is a dream state, then a new book about the city built on a lagoon is its vivid interpretation. Dream of Venice is a book full of visions. Some are reverential images captured by Charles Christopher, a copywriter-turned-photographer who spent two weeks there in 2011. Others are prose poetry from the likes of Frances Mayes, Peggy Guggenheim, Patricia Highsmith, Erica Jong, and Woody Allen.”  —J. Michael Welton, Huffington Post, Arts & Culture

To purchase Dream of Venice, visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Book Depository and IndieBound.