"Anyone interested in learning what is really going on in Venice should read this book.”—Donna Leon, author of My Venice and Other Essays and Death at La Fenice
What is Venice worth? To whom does this urban treasure belong? This eloquent book by internationally renowned art historian Salvatore Settis urgently poses these questions, igniting a new debate about the Pearl of the Adriatic and cultural patrimony at large. Venetians are increasingly abandoning their hometown—there's now only one resident for every 140 visitors—and Venice's fragile fate has become emblematic of the future of historic cities everywhere as it capitulates to tourists and those who profit from them. In If Venice Dies, a fiery blend of history and cultural analysis, Settis argues that "hit-and-run" visitors are turning landmark urban settings into shopping malls and theme parks. This is a passionate plea to secure the soul of Venice, written with consummate authority, wide-ranging erudition and élan.
Salvatore Settis is an archaeologist and art historian and former director of the Getty Research Institute of Los Angeles and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He is chairman of the Louvre Museum's Scientific Council., Settis, often considered the conscience of Italy for his role in spotlighting its neglect of national heritage, is the author of several books on art history.