Siamo Foresti: My love affair with Venice Paperback – April 13, 2017
When author John Rawlings and his family moved to Venice for a five-month sabbatical, they quickly fell under the spell of La Serenissima (the most serene one), as the city is called. Their stay turned into a season of learning colored and inspired by the history, architecture, art, and culture that surrounded them.
Siamo Foresti—Rawlings’s account of his love affair with Venice—is a combination travel memoir, history book, and city guide that doesn’t sacrifice beauty for fact. Anecdotes about sightseeing and encounters with locals are deftly interwoven with fascinating historical and aesthetic tidbits, pulling you irresistibly into the story. Thematic chapters cover a variety of topics, including the following:
- the canal system and the ferries, gondolas, vaporetti, and other boats that ply the waterways
- the mellifluous Italian language and Rawlings’s valiant efforts to learn it
- the famed Basilica San Marco and lesser-known but striking churches
- the visible traces that the Crusades, Napoleon’s invasion, and other historic events have left on the city
- the delectable food
- the overabundance of tourists (foresti)
- the elusive public bathrooms
Armchair travelers and aficionados of history and art alike will enjoy vicariously visiting Venice via the pages of this book.
About the Author
John Rawlings is an artist and educator who has explored the world extensively. He was born in London but raised in Australia and earned his degree from the University of Guanajuato in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Rawlings fell in love with Italy after living in Florence and Venice for extended periods. He has introduced the beauty of Italy to hundreds of students over the past twenty years while leading arts programs.
A teacher of art and history for over thirty-five years, Rawlings was named the 2014 Association of Community College Trustees Faculty Member of the Year for the North American Western Region.
Rawlings is a sculptor and painter who finds inspiration in found objects and natural materials. His work was displayed at the International Biennale in Egypt in 2006.
Rawlings lives with his wife, Souheir, in northwest Montana.