Don’t Look Now, Daphne Du Maurier, 1970
First published in 1970, Don’t Look Nowis the story of a British couple who escape to Venice in the wake their young daughter’s death. A psychologically chilling tale- made into a film with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie- it remains one of Du Maurier’s best-loved works.
A Venetian Affair, Andrea di Robilati, 2003
Compared to Les Liasons Dangereuse when it came out, this beautifully evoked love story is written by the descendant of one of the 18th-century Venetian lovers. Di Robilati researched the affair after discovering love letters and brings to life a golden era in the city through a very intimate story.
Death in Venice, Thomas Mann, 1912
Mann’s tragic novella about a middle-aged author’s trip to Lido and his subsequent fatal obsession with a young boy during a cholera epidemic.
Doctored Evidence, Donna Leon, 2004
This and the addictive series of urbane Comissario Guido Brunetti mysteries are unusual in that even when the criminal is uncovered, justice often gets tangled in the local corruption and red tape.
The Floating Book: A Novel of Venice, Michelle Lovric, 2004
Seductive and erudite story which takes place at the time of the Venetian Renaissance.
The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare, 1594-97
In this “problem play,” sometimes known as a comedy, a merchant becomes indebted to the Jewish moneylender Shylock at the cost of a pound of flesh for nonpayment, coining famous expressions in the English language – and giving rise to charges of anti-Semitism.
Venice is a Fish, Tiziano Scarpa, 2008
Written by a native Venetian poet and novelist, this love letter to the city is evocative, funny and deeply personal, making you want to discover Scarpa’s insider Venice.
The City of Falling Angels, John Berendt, 2005
The author does for Venice what he did in his bestselling nonfiction examination of Savannah, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Paradise of Cities: Venice in the 19th Century, John Julius Norwich, 2003
The author of the acclaimed A History of Venice turns his attention to a particularly fascinating period in the city’s history, drawing heavily on the writings of the writers and artists who visited then such as Browning, Byron and Ruskin.
The Stones of Venice, John Ruskin, 1853
The eminent English Victorian discusses the art and architecture of the city to highlight principles addressed in his earlier work.
Venetian Life, William Dean Howells, 1866
The American author, critic, and American consul to Venice (a reward for his favorable biography of Abraham Lincoln?) wrote a 2-volume examination of the city.
The Thief Lord, Cornelia Funke, 2002
The New York Times Book Review compared this to a Harry Potter set in Venice. Two orphans, Prosper and Bo, learn the secrets of the city of canals and the ways of a magical “thief lord.”
Daughter of Venice, Donna Jo Napoli, 2002
The setting is 16th century Venice and the protagonist is a young girl, born to a noble family. She wishes for nothing more than freedom and one day escapes her palazzo and explores her city.
Casanova, Lasse Hallstrom, 2005
A studly Heath Ledger seduces as the Venetian philanderer who finally meets his match – a liberated Sienna Miller—in a lavish, buoyant production shot on location.
Casino Royale, Martin Campbell, 2006
A major climax occurs in a sprawling Venice palazzo during renovation; needless to say, it’s rubble, along with assorted villains, when Daniel Craig’s James Bond finishes with it.
Don’t Look Now, Nicholas Roeg, 1973
A classic, moody psychic thriller about a married couple (Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie) mourning their young daughter’s drowning death in wintry Venice.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989
Harrison Ford a.k.a. Indiana Jones hunts treasure again, with scenes set in Venice.
The Merchant of Venice, Michael Radford, 2004
There are several productions, but the most recent one stars Al Pacino as the Jewish merchant, Shylock.