Who doesn’t love Venice? Oh, I know, if you visit in the hot summer when the crowds are clogging the Piazza San Marco–and even buying a scoop of gelato can set you back ten bucks–you might not fall in love with the city as passionately as my husband and I have. And yes, having espressos at Café Florian where Hemingway reportedly consulted his writer’s muse when staying there set us back $40 (and that was in October, no less!), but hey! I’m a published writer and I absolutely, positively had to sit in those chairs and look out at the same stunning vista he did.
We were blessed with cool weather and went to all the tourist attractions as early as they opened and thus had a perfectly delicious time during our week in Venice last year, even as the Agua Alta was rising.
The city swiftly and expertly put up the boardwalks, and besides, I was reading a gripping Donna Leon mystery novel, Aqua Alta, in my Pensione Accademia each evening before the gently sloshing water in the canal outside my window lulled me to sleep. Long term, the city is in peril, but on this particular visit, it was an experience I’ll remember always…
It was also the perfect way to commemorate 35 years of marriage and a very BIG birthday for both my husband me last year. “A celebration of lions” I called it, adoring all the images of these regal creatures we saw everywhere throughout this water-laced city. We learned that if the lion had his paw on an open book, the Renaissance City State of Venice was at peace; if the lion’s paw was on a closed book, Venice was at war.
Our writer pal, Michael Llewellyn had been this route before us and eventually sent us wonderful images of lions that he’d captured with his “real” camera, in contrast to my iPhone 4.
When we got home from our Grand Tour last fall and decided to launch our own, independent publishing enterprise, the idea of using the concept of the Venetian lion as our colophon (i.e. “logo”) to signify our company instantly appealed to everyone involved.
So we sent a couple of photographic images to our designer and look what Kim Killion came up with…our magnificent Lion’s Paw Press “King of the Beasts” has his foot on three books, not one. And author Llewellyn gave us the best compliment of all. “I wish I’d thought of doing that!”
The icing on the cake is that Book 3 in my “Four Seasons Series” ( Book 1: That Summer in Cornwall, published in Feb of this year; Book 2: That Autumn in Edinburgh, due out next Fall) will be That Winter in Venice, set during the celebrated Carnivale season of exotic costumes and mist rising from the canals…
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