In case I have not fully driven home the level of nerdiness that reigns supreme here at YiR, I’m going to tell you what the one and only J.R.R. Tolkien had to say about beautiful Venezia: “Venice seemed incredibly lovely, elvishly lovely – to me like a dream of Old Gondor, or Pelargir of the Numenorean Ships, before the return of the Shadow.”
What Tolkien did not mention, however, is that like any tourism hub that specializes in uniquely beautiful things (and boy, does Venice hold the throne in this), Venice can be confusing, and it is increasingly difficult to differentiate what is real from what is a trap. Because of this, when our friends at Italy Book Tours sent over the information on these two must-haves, written by an art historian and cultural guide, I had to jump on board the spotlight tour and share with you guys. Check out the book info we received below, plus a giveaway at the bottom of not just the books but beautiful carnival masks as well!
As always, the happiest of wanderings to you, YiR-ers.
Book Description for Authentic Arts: Venice Travel Guide
Every traveler to Venice wants to go home with a special souvenir–a carnival mask, a piece of Murano glass, a handcrafted piece of lace. But selecting which mask or which goblet to buy can be an intimidating experience. How do you know if you’re buying something authentic, something made in Venice, something made in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if you’re being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the city’s many tourist traps?
Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of the city’s most traditional arts: Murano glass, carnival masks, gondolas, lace, paper, and more. This indispensable guide includes practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on pricing, quality, and value, and with a comprehensive resource guide, Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice is the perfect guide for anyone wanting to bring home the unique traditions of Venice.
Bring Laura Morelli’s guide to Venice with you, and you’ll be sure to come home with the best of Venice in your suitcase.
Book Description for Artisans of Venice: Companion to the Travel Guide
Buyer Beware: Venice is full of tourist traps and mass-produced souvenirs passed off as authentic. Do you know how to tell the treasures from the trash?
In Venice, it’s not easy to tell the treasures from the trash. This is true now more than ever before, as increasing numbers of carnival masks, glass, and other souvenirs flood into Venice, imported from overseas and passed off as authentic. There is no substitute for an educated buyer. Laura Morelli helps you locate the city’s most authentic artisans–those practicing centuries-old trades of mask making, glass blowing, wood turning, silk spinning, and other traditions. Wouldn’t you rather support authentic Venetian master artisans than importers looking to turn a quick profit without any connection to Venice at all?
Venice boasts some of the most accomplished master artisans in the world. Here’s how you can find them.
Laura Morelli leads you beyond the souvenir shops for an immersive cultural experience that you won’t find in any other guidebook. Artisans of Venice brings you inside the workshops of the most accomplished makers of Venetian fabrics, Murano glass and millefiori, carnival masks and masquerade costumes, gondolas, Burano lace, mirrors, marbleized paper, hand-carved frames, and other treasures. This book leads you to the multi-generational studios of some 75 authentic master artisans. If you’re reading on your Kindle device, tablet, or smartphone, you can click directly on their street addresses for an interactive map, and link to their web sites and email addresses directly from the guide. A cross-referenced resource guide also offers listings by neighborhood.
Artisans of Venice is the companion to Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice, A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More. Put both books together and you’ll be the most knowledgeable traveler in Venice!
Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and contributes pieces about authentic travel to national magazines and newspapers. Laura has been featured on CNN Radio, Travel Today with Peter Greenberg, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, House & Garden Magazine, Traditional Home, the Denver Post, Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and other media. Recently her art history lesson, “What’s the difference between art and craft?” was produced and distributed by TED-Ed.Laura has taught college-level art history at Trinity College in Rome, as well as at Northeastern University, Merrimack College, St. Joseph College, and the College of Coastal Georgia. Laura has lived in five countries, including four years in Italy and four years in France.Laura Morelli is the author of the guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, all published by Rizzoli / Universe. The Gondola Maker, a historical coming-of-age story about the heir to a gondola boatyard in 16th-century Venice, is her first work of fiction.Connect with Laura: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ about.me