The Other Venice (Paperback)

Secrets of the City (Topographics)

By Predrag Matvejevic, Russell Scott Valentino (Translated by)

Reaktion Books, 9781861893376, 112pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2007

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


To know a city is to become intimately intertwined with its nooks, crevices, secret passageways, and dark places where its lifeblood flows—and what city has more of those than Venice? In The Other Venice, Predrag Matvejevic ventures past the infamous canals and cobblestone streets of the tourist’s Venice to find the heart of the ancient Italian metropolis.

A lyric re-imagining of the City of Romance, The Other Venice utterly reconfigures the Venetian landscape, as Matvejevic follows both real and imaginary maps, contemporary and historical, to trace out the details of this sensuous city. He probes into what the ancient metropolis means to its people, the nation, and global culture. But he also finds hints of life in the smallest and most mundane details—ancient bridges, rust-flecked boats, wall sculptures, rivers, and piazzas scattered throughout the city. Each has a little-known story and with Matvejevic as our guide, he reveals the stories behind them all.

The book carries readers to a Venice that has escaped the eyes of writers, artists, and photographers through the centuries, and Matejevic by turns plays a historian, cartographer, anthropologist, and philologist as he unravels elusive artifacts of time past. Arresting black-and-white photographs by renowned photographer Sarah Quill accompany the text, offering a silent testament to Matvejevic’s pilgrimage. A fascinating and beautifully written guide, The Other Venice reminds us that there is always another mystery to uncover in the city of water and stone.

About the Author

Predrag Matvejevic teaches at the New Sorbonne of Paris and the Sapienza in Rome, and has published many books. Russell Scott Valentino is associate professor of Russian and of cinema and comparative literature at the University of Iowa. He has translated books from Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and Croatian, and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Autumn Hill Books."

Praise For The Other Venice: Secrets of the City (Topographics)

The Other Venice is a short book but one of the great books written both about the city and about the inspiration it has evoked down the centuries.”

— Libération