Book Review: In the Name of the Family, by Sarah Dunant

From the official blurb: “It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father's plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with ... VIEW THE POST >>

Old Venice: maritime might

On the underside of Basilica San Marco’s outer arch, a curious series of carvings are presented. At the first glance, they seem grim and muted, lost in the shadow of magnificence. This little example of medieval art constitutes a collection of scenes, surprisingly mundane for this place: ordinary activities of various Venetian craftsmen. Fisherman sits in the boat and dangles his line, while the ... VIEW THE POST >>

Old Venice: before “city of lovers”

What does the name of Venice conjure up in your mind? Gondolas, gliding softly in the mist; enigmatic ladies in crinolines and masks; the gayety and frivolity of Carnival. Passionate affairs. Glorious decadence. Dark mysteries of dagger and cloak. In short, all the images, that captivated European travellers for centuries. But, in fact, these images came into being only during the soft decline of ... VIEW THE POST >>