Every year for all the thirty they have been married, Louis Begley and Anka Muhlstein have escaped to Venice to write. In Venice for Lovers , the couple has fashioned an homage to the City of Water. In her essay, Muhlstein charmingly describes how becoming friends with restaurateurs has been an unsurpassed means of getting to know the city and its inhabitants--Venetians like Ernesto, whose restaurant they have dinner in every night for many years, and who tells them of the great flood that nearly destroyed the beautiful city. They spend blissful hours at Da Fiore, named by The International Herald Tribune one of the ten best restaurants in the world but which retains its rustic simplicity.
In his novella, Begley writes a story of falling in love with--and in--Venice. His twenty-year-old protagonist is lured to the city by the older woman he adores, only to be left to fend for himself. But he later discovers a lasting love for Venice itself--not an uncommon occurrence, as Begley's brilliant portrayal of the city's place within world literature demonstrates: Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Mann were all illustrious predecessors in whom Venice inspired dreams of love and passion.