Venice in Context: The Independent Traveler’s Guide to Venice
Robert Wayne has authored, as part of his European series, a fascinating book entitled Venice in Context: The Independent Traveler’s Guide To Venice offering an entirely new concept in travel guidebooks.
With the aid of a CD that is included with the book, the visitor to Venice can now listen to the voice of Dateline NBC announcer Joel Godard, pointing the way to most of the major attractions of Venice. It is similar to audio tours you purchase in some of the most important world museums, where patrons explore the masterpieces on display.
The book, together with the CD, divides itself into 12 tours exploring Venice in the context of its wonderful art and history. The reader will be able to listen and learn about St. Marks’ Square and Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Gate of Paper, Bell Tower of St. Mark, Venice’s Mint, Royal Gardens, Bridge of Sighs, the waterfront, Church of Zacharias, Church of Pieta, School of St. George of the Dalmatians, Church of St. George Major, Church of St. Mary in Glory of the Brothers, Story of the Gondola, Square and Church of St. James and Rialto, Church of St. Mary of Health, Venice’s Customhouse, and the Square and Church of Saints John and Paul. Interwoven with these tours are the narrator’s interesting comments concerning famous artists, musicians, historical figures, famous gondolas, and the Vaporetti System.
Moreover, the book’s vibrant color photos, maps, historical timeline, web sites addresses, glossary, meticulous research and museum information, all enhance its effectiveness.
What is most practical about the guidebook and the CD is that the traveler can now visit these sights at his or her own pace without having to rush off with some tour group. You can re-visit or pause, while visiting any place of interest as many times as your heart desires, and always have at your beck and call the narrative comments of Joel Goddard. No longer do you have to strain yourself to hear and understand the guide, who very often has a tendency to ramble monotonously, and half of the time putting you to sleep.
You don’t even have to take notes, as the combination of the written and spoken words will always be at your fingertips, either for pre-arrival or post-arrival use. As the author states: “this guide has been designed primarily for independent travelers who prefer to enjoy a city on their own terms while making the most of their precious time.”
Travelers, who like to linger at each destination, will probably have the most to gain from this well organized and researched guidebook. This certainly is an excellent addition to the many guidebooks available concerning the historic cities of Europe. I look forward to the next one in the series pertaining to London.
This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s own web site: Bookpleasures