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ABOUT THE BOOK MY VENICE
"An intimate look at the Myth, History and the magic of its Arts"
"...I liked the way the city had attracted my attention. But, in order to discover it, I asked it to stop hiding behind its masks. I wanted it real. To allow me to discover its secrets, understand its problems and hold a direct conversation with it. And it was promised to me, and all disguises were thrown off as our conversation began..."
A trip through time, myth, History, the magic of Art and life is what Barbara Athanassiadis manages to achieve with the discerning eye of an experienced traveller. It is the same eye that captured reflections of Italy in her earlier narratives, the books A Year in Tuscany and Feeling Rome.
My Venice is the final book left to complete her unique literary trilogy that approaches time, place and people, both in the past and in the present. Without directing our steps, the author transports us through the canals, the narrow streets and the squares of Venice, and she focuses our attention on works of Nature and Art, drawing on legends and historical omissions.
The “Winged Lion” leisurely embraces the shoulders of our romantic heroine, and the “Seagull’s Flight” even reaches the “Empress Sissy in Venice”. The “Tiny Murano Spheres” roll down and stop before “The Fork of the Byzantine Princess”, “Torcello” flirts with the “Venetian Women in the Harem”…
"Barbara must have been very much in love with Venice, because I know that for many years she has desired to write this book. She visited the city many times in the fall and stayed for long periods in order to internalize all that she describes expertly afterwards, providing the reader with her interesting reflections on the streets, the innumerable bridges and the countless churches, but also a wonderful lesson in History and an eye-catching look at its mysterious and sensual Art. We all know what Venice is for “art lovers”. Reading her book, it is obvious that she had an exclusive dialogue with the Serenissima, in order for its magic to penetrate inside her and then to be able to narrate her intimate relationship within this dreamy city. I particularly liked the point when she asked Venice not to hide behind its masks, but to throw aside its touristic veils and be revealed to her without any secrets."
Lydia Mastronikolis, President of the Friends of the Cultural Association "Hellenic World"
"Attentive to the Venetian glances of Barbara Athanassiadis’ book, I realized an emotional escalation, as the author is quite literal with her title: MY VENICE. This is indeed her own Venice, with the meaning not so much of her subjective glance or the focus on what selectively charms her, but in the particular way she sees things, looking towards the view of many sights, and not really seeing them. She wanders amongst her favorite places and drags my gaze to colors and sensations without guiding it . Just as charmingly, she approximates aspects of everyday life in her extra-literary life, calmly, with a nonchalance and always with a smile. Just as spontaneously, and naturally, she unfolds the myth in which she dresses her wanderings. Motives, thoughts, quests, reactions of her heroes, occur nearly as obviously... By reading her book, we follow the confessional narration of a friend, where the intimacy of her voice is entrusted to our ears."
Helen Kritika , Book Critic
"Through the narration of Barbara Athanassiadis, I discovered in fact that Venice is inside her, hence the title: MY VENICE. While our friendship has bonded us for years, I was truly touched by her book. It's as if she has taken me by the hand and together we stroll this fairytale town; either when the fog envelops it , or when the pink color of its sunset embraces it. Barbara's spontaneous and mature descriptions have spurred my curiosity to such an extent that I feel a strong desire to actually go to Venice and see the places that have inspired her. I consider myself lucky when I fall upon such a book. The narrative makes me travel and look at places I have heard about countless times in a fresh and novel way ... all while I sit comfortably in my armchair."
Zoe Kyriakou, Radio Producer, “Easy 97,2”. Athens, Greece
Barbara Athanassiadis is the author of seven novels, including three travel narratives on Italy: "A Year in Tuscany" (2007), "Feeling Rome" (2009) and "My Venice" (2014), which make up a trilogy on three major Italian cities of Art. She divides her time between Athens and Rome.
Author's website: https://barbaraathanassiadis.com