From time to time, RenaissanceRules posts articles that are based upon the history, geomorphology, culture, architecture, planning, zeitgeist, music and the food (mangia!) of Venice, La Serenissima, always with personal observations based upon my “on the ground” and “in the Lagoon” experiences.  As you read them, you may expect to obtain some education, common and unique insights, and a lot of esoteric thoughts!

Posts are categorized under the headings The Intentional City, Music, Zeitgeist, Churches, Campi, Elements of the City, and Book Reviews.  Do not be surprised to find elements of any of these categories in any of the other posts, because,

The fabric and essence of Venice weave a complex tapestry.

Here is a guide.  As you would do in Venice, wander around to find new sights, insights and pleasures.  Enjoy!


A continuing series of articles that explore the “intentional design” roots, history and continuing development of La Serenissima.

  • The Intentional City              
  • “Moving to the East Side”     
  • Laissez Faire Sprawl or Planned Community?    
  • Knowledge Base for the “New City”
  • Meeting the Challenge of the Lagoon
  • Innovations Old and New               
  • Form, Function and Environment
  • Connecting the Dots                          
  • “Street” Names                                                        
  • Avenues of the Lagoon                   
  • Rivers into the Lagoon                                                                                                                  
  • Rialto – Location, Location, Location               
  • Islands by Any Other Name           
  • Bacon on Venice                                
  • Completing the City: Great Lessons from the Form of Venice
  • Venice- Bold Adaptations with Universal Application
  • The Gates of Altinum                       
  • Venice – Urban Palimpsest and Tomb of Memories
  • Venice’s Master Plan – 1557            


  • Vivaldi and Venice                               ( )
  • Music That Unites                                ( )



(In addition to the articles listed below, articles under Campi usually also address the church at a particular Campo)





1 Response to Venice

  1. Dear Renaissance rules,

    I am writing to let you know that a new book on Venice has just come out that may be of interest. It is available in English and in Italian: Venice, an Odyssey: Hope, anger and the future of cities/Venezia, un’odissea, Speranza, rabbia e il futuro delle città.

    The publisher, La Toletta, in Venice has permitted me to offer you a free copy if you are interested in writing a review or mentioning it in your blog. If you would be so kind as to let me know if this is of interest, and which version you need, I will inform the publisher and a book will be held for you at the bookshop at Dorsoduro 1214 30123 Venice.

    With kind regards,

    Neal E Robbins, or for more information

    Here are some review comments on the book,

    “He defines the work as non-fiction, but in reality, it is a gripping narrative that falls between diary and reflection, between the coming-of-age novel and in-depth report… It is an innovative contribution that puts together (with his capacity in exposition as a journalist and creativity in narration) the eyes of a foreigner and the heart of a “Venetian”…, the volume will certainly be of great interest, whether you are Venetian and/or someone who knows the city.”

    Mario Santi, The Venetian foreigner, 19 June 2021, Ytali online magazine
    “The prose flows and hooks you in. This is travel writing at its best.”

    Anne Garvey, The Cambridge Critique
    “A knowledgeable, sensitive analysis of the environmental, social and economic challenges facing Venice today.”

    Cristina Gregorin, Venice guide and novelist, winner of the Italo Calvino special mention 2019
    “An intimate rediscovery of La Serenissima’s magic that sees it not just as a town or a landscape, but a core of stories, and gets to the reality of Venice for the people who live there.”

    Isabella Panfido, poet and author of Venice Noir: The Dark History of the Lagoons
    “…the layers of knowledge and web of revelations Robbins records in these pages is so easy to read. At the end of this immense work, you are a more cultivated, cultured individual than when you began – but the prose flows and hooks you in. This is travel writing at its best.“

    Anne Gravey, The Cambridge Critique – Discerning Views, Thoughts And Debate On The Cultural Scene
    “Nonfiction essay? A guide? An historical text? An autobiographical story? There’s a bit of everything in this accurate, interesting, original work… Neal is the Venetian Ulysses… With wisdom and judiciousness, Neal confronts the fundamental themes — historical, environmental and social — seeking to overcome cliches, invented traditions, and prejudices….“

    Giorgio Crovato, historian and a director of Ateneo Veneto, the foremost cultural institution of Venice, describes Venice, an Odyssey.
    “I would very much like to recommend… “Venice, an Odyssey” by Neal E. Robbins. … in easy-to-read, unacademic English … A research on history, but primarily on the current situation in Venice with all overwhelming problems … Discussions with “all of Venice”… for anyone like me, struggles with the local papers and the unspeakable local politics … you can better understand developments, connections and perspectives here.”
    [Google translation from German original]

    Brigitte Eckert, Unterwegs in Venedig / Out and about in Venice / Venedig Reiseblog /Venice travel blog

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