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City of Fortune
Download the first map in the book again here!
If you are frustrated by the first map in the book (Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean) in which the centre section has been swallowed down the gutter between the two pages, my apologies. You can view or download the map here. It will enable you to see, particularly, where the Venetian island of Negroponte is.
Books to read
There’s precious little for the general reader about Venice’s maritime and colonial exploits but here’s a short list culled from the bibliography:
Jan Morris The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage – a wonderfully evocative ‘cruise’ around Venice’s Mediterranean empire
Frederic Lane Venice: A Maritime Republic – the best general scholarly account of Venice’s maritime adventure and preoccupations. His Venetian Ships and Shipbuilders of the Renaissance is fascinating about the ships, their construction and the Venetian arsenal.
Jonathan Phillips: The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople – a readable general history of the Fourth Crusade
John Julius Norwich: A History of Venice – the best (and almost, strangely, the only) general modern history of Venice in English
Deborah Howard: Venice and the East – a fascinating and highly illustrated work on Venice’s visual interaction with the Islamic world
Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan: Venice Triumphant: the Horizons of a Myth – a readable thematic account of Venice
For anyone interested in first hand-accounts of Venetian seafaring, the following out-of-print works, possibly available through reprints or libraries, are fascinating:
Pietro Casola Canon Pietro Casola’s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the Year 1494
Felix Fabri The Book of the Wanderings of Brother Felix Fabri vol 1
There are also two lively works on Fabri’s travels by H.F.M. Prescott: Jerusalem Journey and Once to Sinai (both out of print).
For a very light travelogue there’s Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage (also available as a DVD) by Francesco da Mosto
It’s possible to view almost all the remaining Venetian castles in Greece on this website:
Places to go
Of course Venice itself. The little-visited maritime museum is particularly interesting:
Venetian forts, harbours and architecture are scattered across the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Adriatic coast of Croatia is particularly heavily influenced by the Venetian style. Otherwise Crete, especially in its three principle cities – Heraklion, Rethimno and Hania (Chania), contains the single most concentrated visible remains of the Stato da Mar.