Walks Through the Novels
A walking guide to Venice in the company of Donna Leon's much-loved fictional detective Commissario Brunetti
Visitors to Venice might hope to find a Venetian friend who will guide them through the narrow streets, explaining a bit of history here, a story from his youth there, perhaps grumbling about the tourists, occasionally stopping for a glass of prosecco or to gossip with friends...
Brunetti's Venice does all these things as it moves through the famous city with Commissario Guido Brunetti, the much loved Venetian detective of Donna Leon's bestselling novels. Presented as a series of walks through Venice and featuring atmospheric extracts from relevant parts of the novels, it is woven together by a commentary that links Brunetti's emotional and visual responses to places he has known all his life with the inquisitiveness of the visitor.
The first walk starts at La Fenice Opera house - where the very first Brunetti novel began - and ends at the iconic Rialto Bridge. Each consequent route weaves interlinking paths through Venice and catches the secrets, sounds, sights and smells of Venice past and present. Along the way we visit Brunetti's favourite eateries around the Rialto bridge, walk with him from his home in San Polo to the Questura in Castello where he works, cut through Piazza San Marco and accompany him on the vaporetti out to more remote parts of Venice. There are reflections on the art and architecture of Venice, as well as the impressions of writers from Shakespeare and Goethe to Thomas Mann and Jan Morris.
Enchanting and practically useful, Brunetti's Venice is both a walking guide and an evocative narrative of the life of this most magical city for any Brunetti fan.
“The attraction of the walks, even if you've never read the books, is that they take you through some of the most interesting and often least touristy parts of this always fascinating city”
Mail on Sunday
“Throughout this guide, the native view is constantly being set against the tourist view, with Brunettis' own favourite coffee and wine bars, far from the tourist melee, getting a mention. What this book also shows though, is not just the beauty of a city, but the literary opportunities it offers. As has been noted before, the city in a long-running detective series virtually becomes a character on its own, playing a pivotal role in the detecting and solving of crime, and Brunetti's Venice is no exception . . . A sense of intimacy is a feature travel guides struggles to manufacture; this kind of detective guide to a place is intimate from the beginning. Even those unfamiliar with Leon's Brunetti books will succumb to being shown a city by one of its own who loves it in spite of all its corruption and crime, tourist paraphernalia and ignorant crowds.”
“For lovers of the city Sepeda will take her place alongside Jan Morris, John Julius Norwich and JG Links, who wrote an inimitable celebration of pedestrian Venice, Venice for Pleasure”