Murano, Venice glass

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Rough Guide DIRECTIONS Venice by Jonathan Buckley

car-free, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, place-making

They were producing spectacles by the start of the fourteenth century, monopolized the European manufacture of mirrors for a long time and in the early seventeenth century became so proficient at making coloured crystal that a decree was issued forbidding the manufacture of false gems out of glass, as many were being passed off as authentic stones. The traditional style of Murano glass, typified by the multicoloured floral chandeliers sold in showrooms on Murano and round the Piazza, is still very much in demand. However, in recent years there’s been turmoil in the glass industry, due to an inundation of cheap Murano-style tableware and ornaments from Asia and Eastern Europe. Few of Murano’s 250 glass companies remain in Venetian hands – the long-established firm of Salviati is French-owned, and even Venini has been bought out, by the Royal Copenhagen company. THE LACE MUSEUM 9/29/06 2:46:21 PM The northern islands P L A C E S 146 Lacemaking is still taught at Burano’s Scuola del Merletto (April–Oct 10am–5pm; Nov– March 10am–4pm; closed Tues; e4, or Museum/Venice Card), on Piazza Baldassare Galuppi.

P.75 SAN MARCO: WEST OF THE PIAZZA 9/29/06 2:25:52 PM Venice Idea.indd 31 31 The Rialto Once the most celebrated market in Europe, the Rialto is still a thriving operation, offering a fabulous array of fresh food – plus thousands of souvenir T-shirts. P.104 SAN POLO AND SANTA CROCE Glass No trip to Venice would be complete without a visit to the furnaces and shops of Murano. P.143 THE NORTHERN ISLANDS Lace Lying beyond Murano in the northern lagoon, Burano too has its specialist handicraft – in this case, exquisite lacework. P.145 THE NORTHERN ISLANDS The Mercerie Running from the Piazza to within a few metres of the Rialto Bridge, the Mercerie are the busiest shopping streets in Venice. P.63 SAN MARCO: NORTH OF THE PIAZZA 9/29/06 2:25:58 PM Cafés, cakes and ice cream 32 Europe’s first coffee house opened in Venice in 1683, and nowadays the city has plenty of highquality cafés, plus some wonderful pasticcerie (cake shops), where elbow-room is especially restricted first thing in the morning, when the citizens pile in for a breakfast coffee and cornetto (croissant).

Occupying the seventeenthcentury Palazzo Giustinian (formerly home of the bishop of Torcello), the Museo del Vetro (April–Oct 10am–5pm; Nov– March 10am–4pm; closed Wed; e4, or Museum Pass/Venice Card) features pieces dating back to the first century and examples of Murano glass from the fifteenth century onwards. Perhaps the finest single item is the dark blue Barovier marriage cup, dating from around 1470; it’s on show in room 1 on the first floor, along with some 02 Venice DIR Places.indd 144 splendid Renaissance enamelled and painted glass. A separate display, with some captions in English, covers the history of Murano glass techniques – look out for the extraordinary Murine in Canna, the method of placing different coloured rods together to form an image in crosssection. The other Murano church, and the main reason for visiting the island today, is Santi Maria e Donato (daily 8am–noon & 4–7pm). It was founded in the seventh century but rebuilt in the twelfth, and is one of the lagoon’s best examples of Veneto-Byzantine architecture – the ornate rear apse being particularly fine.


pages: 162 words: 56,627

Top 10 Venice by Gillian Price

call centre, centre right, G4S, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass

However foreign visitors should be warned that hefty fines are imposed for counterfeit goods (see p140). ) Forwarding Goods Home Bargaining commerce have shaped the Venetians into diehard traders, who feign offence when discounts (sconti) are requested but it’s worth a try for cash transactions. It’s worth shopping around as many glass shops stock similar items and prices can vary wildly. Murano (see p109) tends to be more expensive than Venice but you get a free demonstration as well. Venice street seller For more shops in Venice See pp68–9 Virtually all glass shop staff are experts in packaging fragile and bulky items and they can arrange for forwarding overseas by air or sea. Always check that insurance is included. Venice for the Disabled ! Maps Ask at tourist offices (see p134) for the special map of Venice which shows areas and bridges accessible for wheelchairs clearly highlighted in yellow. Bridges (camera a piano terra) may be feasible. Addresses can be found in Tourism for all in the Veneto (see “Local Contact” below). The Venice tourist office has a brochure of suitable available accommodation.

LN from Fondamente Nuove or S Zaccaria • Map H1 £ Murano Long synonymous with glassmaking, Murano developed blowing and fusion techniques to extraordinary heights in the 1500s, and so closely guarded were the trade secrets that skilled craftsmen could migrate only under pain of death. Though Venice’s glass monopoly lasted only until the 17th century, its fame lives on. A visit to the Glass Museum with its 4,000 exhibits is a must (see p40). Don’t be put off by the reps who invite tourists to see a furnace and showroom; it’s a unique opportunity to watch the glassblowers at work and is free of charge. However, if you accept a free boat trip from San Marco to a glass factory, you’re expected to make your own way back by vaporetto if you don’t buy anything. Glassmaking aside, Murano is a lovely place to wander around, with canals, alleyways and friendly islanders. d Vaporetto lines 41 & 42 from Fondamente Nuove, DM from P Roma or seasonal lines • Map G2 Torcello basilica $ Mazzorbo This pretty island of cats exudes a tranquil air as locals tend their vineyards or artichoke fields.

Cesare This talented artist from a ^ Mazzega Vast showrooms display 8B, Murano • Map G2 d Fondamenta da Mula 147, Murano • Map G2 @ ArtStudio Watch glass artist Davide & CAM The first shop you see as d Fondamenta Rivalonga 48, Murano • Map G2 d Piazzale Colonna 1, Murano • Map G2 56 £ Manin Striking etched bowls and e Panificio * Pastificio Giorgio Garbo d Fondamenta Manin 56, Murano • Map G2 d Via S Mauro 336, Burano • Map H1 long line of glassmakers, transforms the ancient art of murrhine glassware into striking modern objects. d Fondamenta Vetrai Penso at work producing marvellous African-inspired glass beads. slender wine glasses from Salviati flank international designer items in this wonderful collection. Collezioni $ Murano A stunning showroom containing contemporary pieces by Carlo Moretti and Venini, alongside classic light fittings by Barovier & Toso.


Fodor's Venice and Northern Italy by Fodor's

car-free, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Murano, Venice glass, trade route, urban planning, young professional

In the afternoon, head for the Fondamenta Nuova station to catch a vaporetto to one or more of the outer islands: Murano, where you can shop for Venetian glass and visit the glass museum and workshops; Burano, known for lace-making and colorful houses; and Torcello, Venice’s first inhabited island, home to a beautiful cathedral. Day 9: Venice Venice is more than a museum—it’s a lively city, and the best way to see that aspect of La Serenissima is to pay a visit to the Rialto Market, where the Venetians buy their fruits and vegetables and, most important, their fish, at one of Europe’s largest and most varied fish markets. Have lunch in one of the excellent restaurants in the market area. On your last afternoon in Venice, allow time to sit and enjoy a coffee or spritz in one of the city’s lively squares or in a café along the Fondamenta della Misericordia in Cannaregio, simply watching the Venetians go about their daily lives.

Le Mercerie , the Frezzeria, Calle dei Fabbri, and Calle Larga XXII Marzo, all leading from Piazza San Marco, are some of Venice’s busiest shopping streets. Other good shopping areas surround Calle del Teatro and Campi San Salvador, Manin, San Fantin, and San Bartolomeo. You can find somewhat less expensive, more varied and imaginative shops between the Rialto Bridge and San Polo and in Santa Croce, and art galleries in Dorsoduro from the Salute to the Accademia. Specialty Stores Art Glass The glass of Murano is Venice’s number-one product, and you’ll be confronted by mind-boggling displays of traditional and contemporary glassware, too much of it kitsch. Traditional Venetian glass is hot, blown glass, not lead crystal; it comes in myriad forms including the classic ornate goblets and chandeliers, to beads, vases, sculpture, and more.

Traditional Venetian glass is hot, blown glass, not lead crystal; it comes in myriad forms including the classic ornate goblets and chandeliers, to beads, vases, sculpture, and more. To make a smart purchase, take your time and be selective. You can learn a great deal without sales pressure at the Museo del Vetro on Murano; unfortunately you’ll likely find the least-attractive glass where public demonstrations are offered. Although prices in Venice and on Murano are comparable, shops in Venice with wares from various glassworks may charge slightly less. TIP A “free” taxi to Murano always comes with sales pressure. Take the vaporetto that’s included in your transit pass, and if you prefer, a private guide who specializes in the subject but has no affinity to any specific furnace. Domus (Fondamenta dei Vetrai, Murano 82 | 30141 | 041/739215) has a selection of smaller objects and jewelry from the best glassworks. For chic, contemporary glassware, Carlo Moretti is a good choice; his designs are on display at L’Isola (Campo San Moisè, San Marco 1468 | 30124 | 041/5231973 | www.carlomoretti.com).


pages: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

The density of Murano meant that new ideas were quick to flow through the entire population. The glassmakers were in part competitors, but their family lineages were heavily intertwined. There were individual masters in the group that had more talent or expertise than the others, but in general the genius of Murano was a collective affair: something created by sharing as much as by competitive pressures. A section of a fifteenth-century map of Venice, showing the island of Murano By the first years of the next century, Murano had become known as the Isle of Glass, and its ornate vases and other exquisite glassware became status symbols throughout Western Europe. (The glassmakers continue to work their trade today, many of them direct descendants of the original families that emigrated from Turkey.) It was not exactly a model that could be directly replicated in modern times: mayors looking to bring the creative class to their cities probably shouldn’t consider forced exile and borders armed with the death penalty.

It was not exactly a model that could be directly replicated in modern times: mayors looking to bring the creative class to their cities probably shouldn’t consider forced exile and borders armed with the death penalty. But somehow it worked. After years of trial and error, experimenting with different chemical compositions, the Murano glassmaker Angelo Barovier took seaweed rich in potassium oxide and manganese, burned it to create ash, and then added these ingredients to molten glass. When the mixture cooled, it created an extraordinarily clear type of glass. Struck by its resemblance to the clearest rock crystals of quartz, Barovier called it cristallo. This was the birth of modern glass. — WHILE GLASSMAKERS such as Barovier were brilliant at making glass transparent, we didn’t understand scientifically why glass is transparent until the twentieth century. Most materials absorb the energy of light. On a subatomic level, electrons orbiting the atoms that made up the material effectively “swallow” the energy of the incoming photon of light, causing those electrons to gain energy.

Ironically, most of these applications ignored silicon dioxide’s strange capacity to transmit light waves: most objects made of fiberglass do not look to the untutored eye to be made of glass at all. During the first decades of innovation with glass fibers, this emphasis on nontransparency made sense. It was useful to allow light to pass through a windowpane or a lens, but why would you need to pass light through a fiber not much bigger than a human hair? The transparency of glass fibers became an asset only once we began thinking of light as a way to encode digital information. In 1970, researchers at Corning Glassworks—the Murano of modern times—developed a type of glass that was so extraordinarily clear that if you created a block of it the length of a bus, it would be just as transparent as looking through a normal windowpane.


pages: 254 words: 78,000

The Planet on the Table by Kim Stanley Robinson

complexity theory, Murano, Venice glass

In no more than twenty minutes they were east of Murano, skirting its edge. Murano, like Venice an island city crossed with canals, had been a quaint little town before the flood. But it didn’t have as many tall buildings as Venice, and it was said that an underwater river had undercut its islands. In any case, it was a wreck. The two Japanese chattered with excitement “Can we visit to that city here, Carlo?” asked Hamada. “It’s too dangerous,” Carlo answered. “Buildings have fallen into the canal.” They nodded, smiling. “Are people live here?” Taku asked. “A few, yes. They live in the highest buildings on the floors still above water, and work in Venice. That way they avoid having to build a roof-house in the city.” The two faces of his companions expressed incomprehension. “They avoid the housing shortage in Venice,” Carlo said.

After the laughter receded, Carlo said, “Hasn’t all the rain drowned some of your cities too?” “What’s that here?” “Don’t you have some Venices in Japan?” But they didn’t want to talk about that. “I don’t understand… No, no Venice in Japan,” Hamada said easily, but neither laughed as they had before. They sailed on. Venice was out of sight under the horizon, as was Murano. Soon they would reach Burano. Carlo guided the boat over the waves and listened to his companions converse in their improbable language, or mangle Italian in a way that alternately made him want to burst with hilarity or bite the gunwale with frustration. Gradually Burano bounced over the horizon, the campanile first, followed by the few buildings still above water. Murano stiIl had inhabitants, a tiny market, even a midsummer festival; Burano was empty. Its campanile stood at a distinct angle, like the mast of a foundered ship.

He had to go where the waves were going, he realized; and if they missed Murano and Venice, that meant the Adriatic. As the waves lifted and dropped him, he grimly contemplated the thought. His mast alone acted like a sail in a wind of this force; and the wind seemed to be blowing from a bit to the west of north. The waves—the biggest he had ever seen on the Lagoon, perhaps the biggest ever on the Lagoon—pushed in about the same direction as the wind, naturally. Well, that meant he would miss Venice, which was directly south, maybe even a touch west of south. Damn, he thought. And all because he had been angered by those two Japanese and the Teotaca. What did he care what happened to a sunken mosaic from Torcello? He had helped foreigners find and cart off the one bronze horse of San Marco that had fallen… more than one of the stone lions of Venice, symbol of the city… the entire Bridge of Sighs, for Christ’s sake!


Italy by Damien Simonis

active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, bike sharing scheme, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, discovery of the americas, Frank Gehry, haute couture, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, large denomination, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, period drama, Peter Eisenman, Skype, spice trade, starchitect, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Architecture buffs stop by to see the Renaissance Chiesa di San Michele in Isola (Map) begun by Codussi in 1469, and cemetery extensions in the works by David Chipperfield Architects, based on the firm’s completed Courtyard of the Four Evangelists: a rather gloomy bunker, with a concrete colonnade and basalt-clad walls engraved with the Gospels. Murano Venetians have been working in crystal and glass since the 10th century, but due to the fire hazards of glass-blowing, the industry was moved to the island of Murano (off Map) in the 13th century. Woe betide the glass-blower with wanderlust: trade secrets were so jealously guarded that any glass-worker who left the city was guilty of treason and subject to assassination. Today they ply their trade at workshops along Murano’s Fondamenta dei Vetrai marked by ‘Fornace’ (Furnace) signs, secure in the knowledge that their wares set a standard that can’t be replicated elsewhere. To ensure glass you buy in Venice is handmade in Murano and not factory-fabricated elsewhere, look for the heart-shaped seal guarantee. Since 1861, Murano has displayed its glass-making prowess at the Museum of Glass (Museo del Vetro; 041 73 95 86; www.museiciviciveneziani.it; Fondamenta Giustinian 8; adult/EU senior & student 6-14yr/with Civic Museum Pass or VENICEcard & child under 6yr €5.50/3/free; 10am-6pm Thu-Tue Apr-Oct, to 4pm Thu-Tue Nov-Mar).

Stop for lunch at an authentic Cannaregio osteria (bistro; Click here), and pause at Palazzo Querini Stampalia, for an ombra (glass of wine) in the Carlo Scarpa—designed garden before your Interpreti Veneziani concert. Island-hop your fourth day away, with blown-glass shopping in Murano, lunch in Burano and mosaics and bucolic splendour in Torcello. One Week Now you’ll get to be a regular at your favourite cafes and osterie, recognise the local specialities at the Rialto Market and find yourself striking up conversations in Venice’s sociable campi (squares). Sign up for a course, plan your days around a theme – Tiepolo ceilings, Lido beaches, cicheti (bar snacks), opera – or close your map and follow your instincts through Venice’s labyrinthine calli (lanes). Escape for a day to the Veneto countryside, villa-hopping or wine-tasting like a Venetian on vacation

Escape for a day to the Veneto countryside, villa-hopping or wine-tasting like a Venetian on vacation. * * * Return to beginning of chapter ORIENTATION Impossible though it seems, Venice is built on 117 small islands connected by 400 bridges over 150 canals. Across the expanse of shallow waters of the Laguna Veneta to the north are Murano, Burano and Torcello. To the east, the 10km Lido di Venezia serves as a breakwater for Venice, and to the south Palladio’s white marble edifices gleam from San Giorgio Maggiore and Giudecca. Since 1171, Venice has been divided into six sestieri (districts): Cannaregio, Castello, San Marco, San Polo, Dorsoduro and Santa Croce. Although you can take a train or bus into Venice and a car ferry to the Lido, the only ways to navigate Venice are on foot or by boat (Click here). Directions to Piazza San Marco, the Rialto and Accademia are signposted on yellow signs – but the best adventures begin by ignoring those signs and wandering Venice’s backstreets.


pages: 466 words: 146,982

Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden

big-box store, buy low sell high, centre right, colonial rule, Columbine, Costa Concordia, double entry bookkeeping, facts on the ground, financial innovation, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass, spice trade, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Numerous other specialty industries also developed in the lagoon, including leatherwork and jewelry. Lace made on the island of Burano soon became coveted across Europe, just as it remains among tourists today. This century also saw the rapid development of the glass industry on Murano. Venetian glass gained a wide reputation for excellence and the artistic skill of Murano’s glassblowers became legendary. Aside from producing glassware and decorative items, the craftsmen also created precision hourglasses, crucial in an age of oceanic voyages. Education levels in Venice had always been among the highest in Europe. Merchants, after all, must be able to read, write, and count. By the late fourteenth century a humanistic education, preferably at the University of Padua, was becoming a standard for Venetian patrician men.

Likewise, in the movie Summertime (1955) another single American woman, Jane Hudson, played by Katharine Hepburn, is seduced as much by Venice as by the intriguing Renato de Rossi (Rossano Brazzi). Summertime was the first mass-market film to use the cityscape of Venice as a crucial element in its story. Jane strolls through the Piazza San Marco, buys Murano glass, shops for fashionable clothes, and visits the brightly colored island of Burano. Yet, like the dark Venice of eighteenth-century myth, the romantic Renato has a terrible secret. He is married. Although Jane suspects that he has simply used her, she nevertheless remains with him until her departure. In these movies, as in works of fiction for three centuries, Venice retained its image as enchanting, mysterious, and decadent. It was a place that powerfully attracted its visitors, who quickly came under its seductive spell. In Summertime’s most famous scene, Katharine Hepburn, while attempting to take a photo, careens backward into a canal near San Barnaba.

Having thus manufactured both a hero and a villain, it sent a delegation to Murano, where a Liberty Tree was planted and the mortal remains of Doge Gradenigo scattered to the winds. The Venetian supporters of the Municipality were not traitors. They truly believed that Venice would rise again as a democratic city. As nationalism spread across Europe, it kindled the dream of a united Italy in Italians across the shattered peninsula. Venice’s democrats had every reason to believe that a new Venice, remade in the image of the Enlightenment and supported by the French, would rise to become the leader of a new Italy. They were, however, badly deceived. The French brought words of Liberal revolution, but in truth they remained in Venice only to safeguard it as diplomatic currency. In the Treaty of Campoformio, signed on October 18, 1797, Napoleon handed over all the former Venetian mainland territories to the Hapsburgs, just as he had promised in the Preliminaries of Leoben some months earlier.


pages: 337 words: 40,257

Pocket Milan & the Lakes by Lonely Planet, Paula Hardy

G4S, haute cuisine, Murano, Venice glass, plutocrats, Plutocrats, starchitect

Sala d’Artista Of the original apartment only four rooms survived WWII bombs and have been refurbished in exquisite detail: the Stucco Room, in its Rococo style; the Black Room, originally clad in mahogany and ivory; the Antique Murano room, Gian Giacomo’s bedroom; and the Byzantine-influenced Dante study where Pezzoli kept his prized possessions. The Collection As a collector, Gian Giacomo focused on his passion for arms, the decorative arts and Renaissance paintings. Wander from room to room and admire Lombard Renaissance masters Foppa, Bergognone and Luini; Tuscan and Venetian greats including Botticelli, Bellini, Mantegna and Piero della Francesca; and the beautiful Portrait of a Young Woman by del Pollaiolo, which is now the museum’s icon. Between them you’ll have to skirt around display cases of Venetian glass, 18th-century porcelain and cabinets gleaming with jewellery. Top Tips › Unlike most other museums, which close on Monday, Poldi Pezzoli is closed on Tuesday. › Aside from the Sala d’Artista, the museum has a unique collection of time pieces in a separate exhibit. › Guided tours in a variety of languages are available for both groups and individuals.

More than 1700 of them were gathered by sculptor Pompeo Leoni, enough to make up 12 volumes so heavy they threatened the preservation of the drawings themselves. The sheets have now been unbound and are displayed in softly lit glass cases in Bramante’s sacristy. Top Tips › Reservations to view Il Cenacolo must be made weeks, if not months, in advance. Or you can take a city tour that includes a visit. › Once booked, you’ll be allotted a strict visiting time. If you’re late, your ticket will be resold. › Multilingual guided tours (€3.25) are on offer and also need to be reserved in advance. › Drawings from da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus are displayed in the Sagrestia Bramantesca. Take a Break Enjoy an espresso and slice of artisanal panettone beneath the Murano chandeliers of Art-Deco Biffi (Click here). Follow Leonardo’s divine dining experience with an eight-course cheese and salami tasting at Boccondivino (Click here).

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez (1859) FOTOTECA STORICA NAZIONALE © The 19th Century By the time you reach the final rooms and the early 19th century, when the gallery itself was gaining prominence, the artwork becomes lighter, imbued with the Romanticism and patriotism of post-unified Italy. Breeze through Canaletto’s atmospheric views of Venice to Francesco Hayez, pet portrait artist for the Lombard nobility and a director at the Academy. They include the intense and luminous Il Bacio (The Kiss; 1859), one of the most reproduced artworks in the gallery, which came to symbolise the hopes of the Risorgimento. Top Tips › You’ll need at least half a day to cover the gallery’s 38 rooms at a reasonable pace. › The gallery is upstairs on the 1st floor. Stairs are behind Canova’s bronze statue of Napoleon posing as a demigod in the courtyard. › Audio guides are available in Italian, French, English, Spanish and German for €5. › Don’t miss the glass-walled restoration laboratory, where you can see conservators at work. Take a Break The Pinacoteca’s treasures can be overwhelming, so head downstairs and join life-drawing students for a post-class Peroni.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

“We don’t see many Americans anymore. Welcome to our shop.” His name was Brian Tottle. He was British, married to an Italian, and a twenty-six-year veteran of the Venetian glass industry. After we bought a wine carafe, I asked him what had happened to the glass business in Venice. “Mass tourism,” he said. “Cruises, bus tours, they take tourists in boats to the island to so-called glass factories where they are taken into showrooms. Real glass factories are closed to the public,” he said. High-pressure salesmen tell tourists they can buy the glass at a “50 percent discount,” but still they pay more than twice what it’s worth. It isn’t Murano glass. It’s shoddy glass mass-produced somewhere else: Taiwan, China, Russia, the Czech Republic—who knows. “We’ve complained to the authorities that this is false merchandising.

First, they want authorities to enforce all the laws against cheap foreign copies pretending to be fine Venetian crafts. Murano blown glass has been undercut by cheap foreign copies, leading to more local unemployment. Kempinski Hotels recently bought up one of those abandoned factories on the island of Murano. The press release announcing this new hotel said: “This veritable gem of a building offers dazzling vistas across the lagoon to Venice and is directly connected to Rio dei Vetrai Canal. Apart from its outstanding location, the hotel will feature approximately 150 rooms and suites, a sun terrace, bar with a terrace, café, spa area and fitness center, a ballroom as well as meeting and convention facilities.” With factories transformed to hotels, “Murano glass” as well as souvenir masks are more likely to be mass-produced in China than made in Italy.

We wanted to buy a beautiful piece of Murano glass and instead we ran into blocks of brand-name fashion stores that rivaled the Champs-Élysées of Paris. Familiar Italian names like Prada, Armani, Gucci and Ferragamo were joined by Dior and Burberry. The night before, we had dined at the fabled Osteria da Fiore, an extraordinary one-star restaurant that uses Murano glasses, which enchanted Bill. He asked for the name of the shop where we could buy a good piece of glass. There it was—the Venetian gallery called L’Isola—the one local artisan showroom buried in the midst of those high-end boutiques that you can find in any major shopping city of the world. We walked in and were stunned. Bright oranges, purples, greens and yellows swirled in playful patterns on perfectly formed goblets, vases and water glasses. I spoke in my mangled French-Spanish hoping to hit upon a word that would sound Italian.


pages: 493 words: 172,533

The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson by Kim Stanley Robinson

Albert Einstein, butterfly effect, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, late capitalism, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Feynman

In no more than forty minutes they were east of Murano, skirting its edge. Murano, like Venice an island city crossed with canals, had been a quaint little town before the flood. But it didn’t have as many tall buildings as Venice, and it was said that an underwater river had undercut its islands; in any case, it was a wreck. The two Japanese chattered with excitement. “Can we visit to that city here, Carlo?” asked Hamada. “It’s too dangerous,” Carlo answered. “Buildings have fallen into the canals.” They nodded, smiling. “Are people live here?” Taku asked. “A few, yes. They live in the highest buildings on the floors still above water, and work in Venice. That way they avoid having to build a roof-house in the city.” The faces of his two companions expressed incomprehension. “They avoid the housing shortage in Venice,” Carlo said.

After the laughter receded, Carlo said, “Hasn’t all the rain drowned some of your cities too?” “What’s that here?” “Don’t you have some Venices in Japan?” But they didn’t want to talk about that. “I don’t understand… No, no Venice in Japan,” Hamada said easily, but neither laughed as they had before. They sailed on. Venice was out of sight under the horizon, as was Murano. Soon they would reach Burano. Carlo guided the boat over the waves and listened to his companions converse in their improbable language, or mangle Italian in a way that alternately made him want to burst with hilarity or bite the gunwale with frustration. Gradually, Burano bounced over the horizon, the campanile first, followed by the few buildings still above water. Murano still had inhabitants, a tiny market, even a midsummer festival; Burano was empty. Its campanile stood at a distinct angle, like the mast of a foundered ship.

He had to go where the waves were going, he realized; and if they missed Murano and Venice, that meant the Adriatic. As the waves lifted and dropped him, he grimly contemplated the thought. His mast alone acted like a sail in a wind of this force; and the wind seemed to be blowing from a bit to the west of north. The waves—the biggest he had ever seen on the Lagoon, perhaps the biggest ever on the Lagoon—pushed in about the same direction as the wind, naturally. Well, that meant he would miss Venice, which was directly south, maybe even a touch west of south. Damn, he thought. And all because he had been angered by those two Japanese and the Teotaca. What did he care what happened to a sunken mosaic from Torcello? He had helped foreigners find and cart off the one bronze horse of San Marco that had fallen… more than one of the stone lions of Venice, symbol of the city… the entire Bridge of Sighs, for Christ’s sake!


pages: 615 words: 189,720

Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson

clockwork universe, dark matter, Dava Sobel, gravity well, Johannes Kepler, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres

“Mother of God.” There in the middle of the glass swam the old man’s wrinkled face, half-bright and half-shadowed, as close as if Galileo could touch him, and they were fifty feet apart or more. The image burned into Galileo’s mind—the artisan’s familiar gap-toothed grin shimmery and flat, but big and clear—the very emblem of their many happy days in the workshop, trying new things. “My God!” he shouted, deeply surprised. “It works!” Mazzoleni hurried out to give it a try. He rotated the frames, looked through it backwards, tipped the frames, moved them back and forth on the tube. “There are blurry patches,” he noted. “We need better lenses.” “You could order a batch from Murano.” “From Florence. The best optical glass is Florentine. Murano glass is for colored trinkets.” “If you say so.

After everyone had had a first look, he spotted terra-firma towns even more distant than Padua, which itself was twenty-five miles away: Chioggia to the south, Treviso to the west, even Conegliano, nestled in the foothills more than fifty miles away. Moving to the northern arches, he trained the glass on various parts of the lagoon. These views made it clear that many of the senators were even more amazed to see people brought close than they had been buildings; perhaps their minds had leaped as quickly as Galileo’s servants to the uses of such an ability. They gazed at worshippers entering the church of San Giacomo in Murano, or getting into gondolas at the mouth of the Rio de’ Verieri, just west of Murano. Once one of them even recognized a woman he knew. After that round of viewing, Galileo lifted the device, helped now by as many hands as could touch the tripod, and the whole assembly shifted together to the easternmost arch on the southern side of the campanile, where the glass could be directed over the Lido and the fuzzy blue Adriatic.

Now he wandered around through the familiar faces, moving by habit. But he was distracted. It would be a good thing to be able to see distant objects as if they were close by. Several obvious uses sprang to mind. Military advantages, in fact. He made his way to one of the lens-makers’ tables, humming a little tune of his father’s that came to him whenever he was on the hunt. There would be better lenses in Murano or Florence; here he found nothing but the usual magnifying glasses that one used for close work. He picked up two, held them in the air before his right eye. St. Mark’s lion couchant became a flying ivory blur. It was a poorly done bas relief, he saw again with his other eye, very primitive compared to the worn Roman statues under it on either side of the gate. Galileo put the lenses back on their table and walked down to the Riva San Biagio, where one of the Padua ferries docked.


pages: 317 words: 76,169

The Perfect House: A Journey With Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio by Witold Rybczynski

A Pattern Language, financial independence, Frank Gehry, invention of the printing press, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass, trade route

Associating the villa suburbana with antiquity, he quoted an ancient Roman poet on the pleasures of villa life: How in the country do I pass the time? The answer to the question’s brief: I lunch and drink, I sing and play, I wash and dine, I rest. Meanwhile I Phoebus quiz And Muses frisk.8 Venice was larger than Florence, and being built on the water was more crowded and unhealthy. To temporarily escape such conditions, wealthy Venetians built summer houses on the island of Murano, next to the glass factories whose hot exhausts were curiously believed to be beneficial to one’s health. The island of Giudecca was another favorite location.9 Eventually, villa builders moved farther out, and the banks of canals such as the Brenta, which provided convenient access from the city, likewise filled up with summer retreats.

Marc’antonio, an amateur sculptor, also had a passion for architecture, so much so that he was later nicknamed “The Builder.”I The Barbaro brothers were connoisseurs and Palladio’s friends, but this did not necessarily make them ideal clients. I can well imagine them bombarding him with suggestions, especially Daniele, who had considerable architectural experience. In Padua, he had laid out the university’s new botanical garden—one of the first in Europe. In Venice, he had planned the iconographic program for the ceiling of the main council chamber in the Doge’s Palace, and personally designed a palazzo on the island of Murano (probably with the help of either Palladio or Sanmicheli).4 He also knew many architects and it has been suggested that he canvassed their advice about his proposed villa.5 Such opinionated clients, no matter how well-intentioned, considerably complicate an architect’s job. Palladio later wrote that architecture was a “profession everyone is convinced they know something about.”6 He must have been thinking of the Barbaro brothers.

., 92, 172 Kent, William, 137, 139, 214 Kildare House (Dublin), 173, 174 La Malcontenta, see Villa Foscari Lanci, Francesco Maria, 253 Landmark Trust, 226, 230 La Rocca, 211, 215, 216 La Rotonda, see Villa Almerico League of Cambrai, 11, 21 Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret), 9, 69, 92, 118, 130 Leoni, Giacomo, 136, 137, 218 Lewis, Douglas, 28 Ligorio, Pirro, 148 Loggia del Capitaniato, 221–22 loggias, curved, 179, 181–82 Longair, Malcolm, 111 Loredan, Lucietta, 176, 179, 191 Loredan, Zorzi, 176, 179 Louvre, 99 Lusławice, 253 McCarthy, Mary, 163 Maganza, Giambattista, iv, 83, 116, 224, 251 Mann, Thomas, 230 marmorino, 104–5, 114 Marta dalla Gondola, 10 mascheroni, 83, 153, 157, 264 masques, 133 measurement, Vicentine standards of, 110n, 233–34, 244 Medici, Lorenzo de’, 57 Mereworth Castle (Kent), 214, 215, 217, 243 metopes, 262 Michelangelo Buonarroti, 10, 21, 43, 84, 105, 117, 187, 247 Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 9, 71, 92 Mocenigo, Leonardo, 179, 181, 200 modillions, 3, 172, 264 moldings, 41–42, 114, 172, 208, 208, 263, 265, 266 Monte Bèrico, 12, 201, 205 Monticello (Virginia), xvii, 217 Moro, Battista, del, 27 Morris, Robert, 138–39, 140, 141 Mount Airy (Virginia), 139, 182 Mount Vernon (Virginia), 4, 182 Murano, island of, 103 Museo Civico (Vicenza), 95 National Gallery (Berlin), 71 National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), 99 Nuthall Temple, 216, 217 nymphaeum, 148, 162–63, 185 oculi, 65, 66, 67, 69–70, 80, 87, 92, 205, 206–7, 264 Odeo, 19 Of Built Things (Alberti), 13, 40 ogee molding (cyma recta), 208 Olympic Academy, 211 order, architectural, 18, 54–55, 80, 262, 264, 265, 266 Ospedale degli Innocenti, 40, 92 Padovano, Gualtiero, 27, 28 Padua: architecture of, 18, 19 University of, 18, 19, 147, 151 in Venetian Republic wars, 11 Pagliarino, Bartolomeo, 71 Palazzo Antonini, 12, 155, 265 Palazzo Barbaran, 221 Palazzo Canossa, 69 Palazzo Chiericati, 95–98, 97, 103, 116, 157, 187, 261 Palazzo Civena, 39, 56, 157 Palazzo da Porto, 73, 157, 186 Palazzo della Ragione (Vicenza), 74 Palladio’s Basilica reconstruction of, 75–84, 76, 82, 84, 85, 96, 116, 176, 220, 221, 223, 229, 266 Palazzo delle Trombe, 229 Palazzo del Tè, 21 palazzos, terminology of, 39n Palladian (Venetian) windows, see serlianas Palladio, Allegradonna, 15, 17, 67 Palladio, Andrea: ancient Roman architecture admired by, 13, 39–42, 59, 198, 209 archaeological field sketches of, 41–42, 205, 245 architectural treatise of, see Quattro libri dell’architettura birth of, 10, 11 children of, 17, 116, 177, 222 commemorative statues of, 223 construction overseen by, 177, 178 D.


pages: 470 words: 118,051

The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

invisible hand, Murano, Venice glass, trade route

One topped by a winged lion, the other by Saint Todaro slaying a dragon. It was here that traitors died. “Why kill them if they know nothing?” “What do you know about Murano?” “Little enough. You don’t encourage strangers.” “The glassmakers’ island has its own courts and cathedral, its own coinage, its own bishop. It even has its own Golden Book. A good portion of Venice’s wealth comes from its secrets.” Captain Roderigo paused to let that sink in. “It’s the only place in the world where artisans are patrician and skill with your hands earns you the right to wear a sword in public.” “This comes at a price?” Honesty kept Roderigo from lying. Glass-blowers couldn’t leave Murano without permission and the penalty for a Muranesq caught trying to abandon Venice was death. “Didn’t you need your Prior’s permission to leave Cyprus?” he added, refusing to concede the point entirely.

An ornate one on the Grand Canal and a slightly less grand, but more often used, one on Rio della Fornace. While the land door was close enough to Dogana to be walked in minutes. Of course, everywhere in the city was within walking distance of everywhere else. Since Atilo didn’t trade, which made him rare in Venice, his colonnaded cortile was empty and his servants few. He entertained in the piano nobile, a wood-panelled first-floor reception room with alternating black and white tiles, huge fireplace and long windows stretching from floor to high ceiling. Furniture was sparse but the walls had Murano mirrors. And a painting of Atilo as a young admiral, by Gentile da Fabriano, held pride of place among round-faced madonnas and anguished saints. A huge Persian carpet covered much of the tiling. Directly above one corner of the piano nobile were the separate chambers where Atilo and Desdaio slept.

Atilo shut his mouth, wondering where Alexa was and why he was alone with the Regent, without even the duke swinging his feet and humming to provide legitimacy for this meeting. “Not in so many words,” Alonzo added. “She said you seemed surprisingly fond of him for you. I simply read between her words. Although your response confirms it.” The Regent beamed, pleased with his cunning. “My lord… The reason I’m here?” “All in good time,” Alonzo said, picking a honey-glazed almond from a Murano glass salver and sucking off its sweetness. “The duchess would be upset if I started without her.” As if on cue, halberds slammed on the marble outside as guards came to attention and a door swung open. Duchess Alexa took one look at Alonzo behind the table and Atilo standing there in front of it and scowled. “I thought the meeting was at six.” “Did we say that?” The Regent sounded surprised. “I confess, I thought it was half an hour earlier.


pages: 266 words: 78,689

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Las Vegas by Mary Herczog, Jordan S. Simon

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, Saturday Night Live, young professional

The Caesars Palace entrance is a riot of gilt bas-relief, carved and mirrored ceilings, friezes, and reclining marble nudes alongside black marble floors and crystal chandeliers. After more than 30 years, it’s still Vegas glitz at its best. But for sheer camp, nothing exceeds the excess of Excalibur, with its mock medieval stained-glass ceiling, glowing dragons, brightly colored heraldic flags, suits of armor on wooden horses, and amazing turreted chandeliers. The majestic 70-foot rotunda dome in the Venetian’s lobby glistens with 24K gold leaf and a montage of 21 Renaissance paintings. The tile floors are the real thing, scavenged from condemned palazzi. Marble and Murano glass gleam everywhere, and a photo of Venice canals provides a trompe l’oeil effect behind the reception desk. Less awesome, but handsome all the same, is New York–New York’s registration area, with its Art Deco bronze touches, ’40s Times Square photos, and a marvelous mural of the New York skyline at dawn.

Expect descriptions of “my infamous cavity searches with both hands tied behind my back” and the like. Go, girl. Restrooms... Every hotel casino and lobby has facilities, some quite ornate. Favorites: Via Bellagio (the hotel’s shopping arcade), with gold-plated fixtures; New York– New York’s Rockefeller Restroom (Murano glass chandeliers and wall sconces, gilded mirrors, silk flowers, custom tile work, and portraits of Mae West over marble and painted fireplaces); and the beaded, translucent glass bathrooms with TV screens outside Mandalay Bay’s China Grill. Taxis... Several taxicab companies serve the Las Vegas Valley. Fares are fairly stratospheric (meters drop at $2.70, generally, and then $1.80 for every mile thereafter or min. of waiting time). Try Desert Cab Company (tel 702/3862687); Yellow/Checker Cab/Star Company (tel 702/8732000); and Whittlesea Taxi (tel 702/384-6111).

The cozy oak-paneled warren of rooms at Mon Ami Gabi set the stage for l’amour; there are atmospheric black and white photos of sidewalk cafes inside, and the real thing outside, beneath the “Eiffel Tower” with a breathtaking view of Bellagio’s dancing fountains across the Strip. Water walls and fountains provide a soothing backdrop for conversation at Café Lago, especially on or beside the patio, which overlooks Caesars’ illuminated Garden of the Gods pool complex. Another romantic touch: top-flight pianists, including acclaimed David Osborne (a Bobby-Short-in-the-making). Posh Valentino features dimly lit private nooks, rose or tangerine velvet curtains, and Murano glass flowers and lighting fixtures. Lovers can lock gazes here over a superlative bottle of Gaja Barbaresco and refined risotto (perhaps with dried berries and bacon-wrapped quail). DINING 68 brass-and-wood sconces, and towering floral arrangements impart the feel of a plush boardroom; for serious dealhammering, head for the Swan Court area, just nine tables and four booths surrounded by picture windows overlooking a waterfall, swan-filled pool, and gardens.


The Map of Knowledge: How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found: A History in Seven Cities by Violet Moller

Book of Ingenious Devices, British Empire, double entry bookkeeping, Johannes Kepler, Murano, Venice glass, Republic of Letters, spice trade, the market place, trade route, wikimedia commons

The city grew, but not in the same haphazard, sprawling way as cities on the mainland. Every new row of houses, every canal, every campo had to be carefully planned. Like Baghdad and Córdoba, Venice zoned different types of manufacture in different areas, its island structure perfectly suited to this form of town planning, a novelty in Europe at the time. This idea was probably brought back to Venice by merchants who had visited those cities and been impressed by their design and organization. The island of Murano became the centre of glass-making when the foundries were moved there, in the thirteenth century, to protect the city from fire – the roaring furnaces that smelted the glass posed a danger to its tightly packed, wooden buildings. From the twelfth century onwards, the north-eastern corner of the city was home to the Arsenale (from the Arabic dar sina’a, meaning ‘place of construction’), the Venetian shipyard, where a community of workers known as arsenalotti, numbering somewhere between 6,000 and 16,000 men, built ships of every kind, which were sold and sailed around the globe.

., Salernitan doctor ref1 Mattheus Platearius ref1 medicine anaesthetics ref1, ref2 anatomy ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13 Antidotarium Nicolai ref1, ref2 books ref1 books preserved in Córdoba ref1 botanical remedies ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Cassiodorus’ work ref1 Circa instans (on remedies) ref1, ref2 court physicians ref1 ‘cupping’ Plate ref1 diagnosis ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, Plate ref5 diseases ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 dissection ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 education ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 encyclopaedia (The Comprehensive Book on Medicine) ref1 European medical curriculum ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 ‘exact science’ ref1 four humours ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 gynaecology ref1 Jewish doctors in Spain ref1 Leoniceno’s collection of texts ref1 need for ref1, ref2 ophthalmology ref1, ref2 oral knowledge ref1 pagan shrines ref1 pharmacology ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 qualification system ref1 remedies ref1, ref2, Plate ref3 study ref1 surgery ref1, ref2, ref3, Plate ref4 survival of medical texts ref1 treatment of wounds ref1, ref2, ref3, Plate ref4 Menelaus, Spherics ref1 Mesopotamia ref1 Michael, Bishop of Taragona ref1 Michelangelo ref1 microscope ref1 Middle Collection/Little Astronomy ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4n, ref5 Minerva ref1 monasteries accommodation for travellers ref1 Bec ref1 Benedictine ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Bobbio ref1 in Byzantine Empire ref1 Carolingian ref1 centres of book production ref1 education ref1, ref2 foundation ref1 in France ref1 Galen’s works ref1 libraries ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 lifestyle ref1 Montecassino ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Mount Athos ref1 Nestorian ref1 Orthodox ref1 physic gardens ref1, ref2 scriptoria ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 search for texts in ref1, ref2n in Sicily ref1 in Spain ref1n, ref2 survival of scientific texts ref1 in Toledo ref1, ref2 Vivarium ref1, ref2 Montecassino, monastery Abbot Desiderius ref1, ref2 Constantine’s work at ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, Plate ref5 foundation ref1, ref2 library ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 road to ref1, ref2, ref3 sacked and rebuilt ref1 scriptorium ref1, ref2, ref3, Plate ref4 Montefeltro, Duke Federigo da ref1 Moro, Cristoforo ref1 Muhammad, Prophet ref1, ref2, ref3 Mukaddasi ref1 al-Munajjim ref1 al-Muqtadir, Caliph ref1 Muslim conquests ref1 al-Mustasim, Caliph ref1 al-Mutadid, Caliph ref1 al-Mutawakkil, Caliph ref1 Naples ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 navigation ref1, ref2, ref3 Nawbakht ref1 Nemesius, Bishop of Emesa ref1, ref2 Niccoli, Niccolò ref1, ref2 Niccolò da Reggio ref1 Nicholas, Byzantine monk ref1 Nicholas V, Pope ref1 Nisbis, school of ref1, ref2 Nutton, Vivian ref1, ref2 Ostrogoths ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor ref1 Oxford ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6n Oxyrhynchus ref1, ref2 Pacioli, Luca ref1, ref2, Plate ref3 Padua, university anatomy theatre ref1n chair of Greek ref1 Copernicus’ studies ref1 curriculum ref1 job offers refused ref1 lectures by Regiomontanus ref1 Leoniceno’s career ref1 students from Venice ref1 teaching of medicine ref1, ref2 paganism ref1 Palermo Cathedral ref1, ref2, ref3 coronation of Roger II ref1 court ref1, ref2, ref3, Plates ref4, ref5 cultural exchange ref1, ref2, ref3 description of city ref1 harbour ref1 libraries ref1 Martorana Church ref1, Plate ref2 mosaics ref1 Norman Palace ref1, ref2, Plate ref3 Norman power base ref1 scholars ref1 scientific texts ref1 translations ref1 Paracelsus ref1 Paul of Aegina ref1, ref2, ref3n Pergamon Altar of Zeus ref1, ref2 Galen’s education ref1, ref2, ref3 decline ref1 library ref1, ref2 shrine of Asclepius ref1, ref2 Persia ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Persian language (Pahlavi), translation from ref1, ref2, ref3 Peter the Deacon ref1 Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny ref1 Petrarch ref1, ref2 Petronellus ref1 Peurbach (Peuerbach), Georg von ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Peyrard, François ref1, Plate ref2 philosophy ref1 Pinakes ref1 Pisa ref1, ref2 Pius II, Pope ref1 Plato Academy in Athens ref1, ref2, ref3 Bessarion’s work ref1 depiction ref1, Plate ref2 influence ref1, ref2 Phaedo ref1 Timaeus ref1 Plato of Tivoli ref1 Pliny the Elder ref1, ref2, ref3 Plutarch ref1, ref2 Poggio Bracciolini ref1, ref2, Plate ref3 printing press ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Proclus, De motu ref1 Ptolemaic dynasty 437 Ptolemy, Claudius in Alexandria ref1, ref2 The Almagest see The Almagest approach to the universe ref1 character ref1 corrections to his work ref1, ref2 depiction ref1, Plate ref2 Geographia ref1 calculation of earth’s circumference ref1 Euclid’s influence ref1 Handy Tables (Zij) ref1 influence ref1, ref2, ref3 instruments ref1 model of the universe ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 observations ref1 Optica ref1 Planisphaerium (‘Star Chart ’) ref1, ref2 printed editions ref1 ‘scientific method’ ref1 searches for copies of his works ref1 survival of his work ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 system of the seven climes ref1 theories disproved ref1, ref2 writings translated ref1, ref2, ref3 Ptolemy I Soter ref1, ref2n, ref3 Pythagoras ref1, ref2 Quintilian ref1 Rabelais ref1 Rahman I, Emir Córdoba building programme ref1, ref2 death ref1 emirate of Córdoba ref1, ref2 escape from Abbasids ref1, ref2, ref3 journey to Spain ref1, ref2 life in Damascus ref1 love of plants ref1, ref2 religious tolerance ref1 victories in Spain ref1 victory over Abbasid forces (763) ref1 writings ref1 Rahman II Emir, ref1, ref2 Rahman III, Emir ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Raphael ref1, ref2, ref3, Plate ref4 Ratdolt, Erhard ref1, ref2, Plates ref3, ref4 Ravenna ref1 Raymond, astronomer in Marseilles ref1 al-Razi (Rhazes) achievements ref1, ref2 appearance and character ref1 influence ref1, ref2 Kitab al-Hawi (Liber continens) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 importance of his work ref1n, ref2n, ref3 translations of his work ref1, ref2 Recemund, Bishop of Elvira ref1 Regiomontanus (Johann Müller) ref1, ref2 Epitome of the Almagest ref1, ref2, Plate ref3 Reuchlin, Johann ref1 Rheticus, Georg Joachim ref1 Rhodes ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4n Robert II, Duke of Normandy ref1 Robert of Chester ref1, ref2 Robert of Ketton ref1, ref2 Rodrigo, Archbishop of Toledo ref1 Roger I (de Hauteville), Count of Sicily ref1, ref2, ref3 Roger II, King of Sicily ref1n, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, Plates ref6, ref7 Roger of Salerno, Chirurgia Plate ref1 Roman Empire ref1, ref2 Romance languages ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Rome Bessarion’s scriptorium ref1, ref2 education ref1 Galen’s work ref1, ref2 Greek émigrés from Constantinople ref1, ref2 Vatican Library ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Rueda de Jalón ref1 Rusafa, Umayyad palace ref1 al-Saffah ref1, ref2 al-Saffar ref1 Sa‘id al-Andalusi ref1, ref2, ref3 Saif al-Dawla ref1 Salerno ‘anonymous scholar’ ref1, ref2, ref3 canon of medical theory ref1 centre of medical learning ref1, ref2, ref3 Constantine’s medical treatment ref1 Constantine’s return with medical texts ref1, ref2 Duchy of Benevento ref1 female doctors ref1 herb gardens ref1 medical texts used for teaching ref1, ref2 Norman conquest (1077) ref1, ref2 Schola Medica Salernitana ref1, ref2, ref3 scholars ref1, ref2 site ref1 treatment of wounded crusaders ref1, ref2 view of (19th century) ref1 Salutati, Coluccio ref1, Plate ref2 al-Samh ref1 Sassanian dynasty ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 The School of Athens fresco (Raphael) ref1, ref2, ref3, Plate ref4 Scot, Michael ref1, ref2 Septuagint ref1 Severus Sebokht ref1, ref2 Seville ref1, ref2, ref3 Shapur I, Persian king ref1 Sicily agriculture ref1, ref2 ‘anonymous scholar’ ref1, ref2, ref3 Arab conquest ref1 dangers of sea crossing ref1, ref2 Greek language ref1, ref2n, ref3 Greek settlers ref1 history of invasions ref1 landscape ref1, ref2 map Plate ref1 medical ideas and methods ref1 meeting point for cultures ref1, ref2 Norman conquest ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 polyglot culture ref1, ref2 religion ref1, ref2 Roman province ref1, ref2 rural population ref1 trade hub ref1 united with Southern Italy ref1, ref2 Silk Roads ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Simplicius, student ref1 slaves al-Ándalus ref1, ref2, ref3 Baghdad ref1, ref2, ref3 copying texts ref1 mothers of caliphs ref1, ref2 trade ref1 Smyrna, medical school ref1 Spain, reconquest ref1, ref2 Stephen of Antioch ref1 Stobaeus ref1 Strabo ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Syracuse Cathedral ref1, Plate ref2 Syria Abbasid conquest ref1 Christianity ref1, ref2, ref3n dispersal of texts ref1 émigrés ref1 Galen’s medical texts ref1, ref2 mathematics ref1 Muslim conquests ref1 Nisbis school ref1 Rahman’s memories ref1, ref2 texts translated into Syriac ref1 trade routes ref1 Umayyad rule ref1 Syriac language ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 al-Tabari ref1, ref2, ref3 Tabula Rogeriana ref1 Tancred, King of Sicily ref1 Tancred, regent of Antioch ref1 Tancred de Hauteville ref1, ref2 telescope ref1 Thabit ibn Qurra Book of Talismans ref1 revision of Ishaq’s translations ref1, ref2, ref3 son ref1 theories ref1 Thabit ibn Sinan ref1 Theodoric, Ostrogothic King of Italy ref1, ref2 Theon of Alexandria ref1, ref2n Theophilus of Edessa ref1 Thierry of Chartres ref1, ref2 Toledo Arab occupation ref1 books from Córdoba ref1 Cathedral ref1, ref2, ref3 Cathedral Library ref1 centre for transmission of scientific knowledge ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 city (15th century) ref1 fall to Alfonso of Castile (1085) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Frankish quarter ref1, ref2 Galenic books in private collection ref1 Gerard of Cremona’s work ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 independent taifa state ref1 libraries ref1 metalworking industry ref1, Plate ref2 Roman bridge ref1 Roman city of Toletum ref1 scholars travelling to ref1, ref2 site ref1 translation programme ref1, ref2 translation of Ptolemy’s works ref1 translation of Zahrawi’s work ref1 Visigoth capital ref1 Toscanelli ref1 translation collections of texts ref1, ref2 into vernacular languages ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 word-for-word style ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Trotula ref1 al-Tusi ref1 Umayyad dynasty caliphate of Córdoba ref1 caliphate in Damascus ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 centre of learning in Córdoba ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 city of Córdoba ref1 emirate of Córdoba ref1 fall (1031) ref1 influence ref1 massacre by Abbasids ref1, ref2, ref3 Rahman’s escape from Abbasids ref1, ref2, ref3 rivalry with Abbasids ref1, ref2, ref3 structure of state ref1 Toledo status ref1 tolerant regime ref1 Urban II, Pope ref1 Urso, scholar ref1 Valla, Giorgio ref1 Valla, Lorenzo ref1 Vandals ref1, ref2 Velia ref1 Venice Arsenale ref1, ref2 Ca’ d’Oro ref1, ref2 description of city ref1 Doge ref1, ref2, ref3 Doge’s Palace ref1, ref2 early history ref1 Fondaco dei Tedeschi ref1, ref2 Fourth Crusade ref1 German community ref1, ref2 glass-making ref1 Grand Canal ref1, ref2, ref3 Greek community ref1 libraries ref1, ref2 map (12th century) ref1 map (15th century) ref1 Marciana Library ref1, ref2n, ref3 Murano ref1 Piazza San Marco ref1, ref2 planning ref1 printing presses ref1, ref2 republic ref1 Rialto Bridge ref1, ref2 San Giorgio Maggiore ref1 school of philosophy ref1 shipyard ref1 site ref1 tourism ref1 trade ref1 Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare ref1 Vesalius, Andreas challenge to Galenic anatomy ref1, ref2 De humani corporis fabrica ref1, ref2, ref3 discoveries ref1 at Padua University ref1n work on human cadavers ref1 Visigoths Córdoba palace ref1 learning ref1 persecution of Jews ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 religion ref1, ref2 rule over Hispania ref1, ref2 surrender ref1 Toledo capital ref1 Vivarium, monastery ref1, ref2 William, Bishop of Syracuse ref1 William II, Duke of Apulia ref1 William I, King of Sicily ref1, ref2, ref3 William II, King of Sicily ref1 William ‘Iron Arm’ de Hauteville ref1 Ximénez de Cisneros, Cardinal ref1 Yahya, tutor to Harun al-Rashid ref1, ref2 al-Ya’qubi ref1 Yuhanna ibn Masawayh ref1 al-Zahrawi (Albucasis) education ref1 Kitab al-Tasrif (The Method of Medicine) ref1 practical approach ref1 recipe for anaesthesia ref1, ref2 surgical instruments ref1, ref2 translations of works ref1 treatise on surgery and instruments ref1, ref2 Zaragoza ref1, ref2, ref3n, ref4 al-Zarqali ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, Plate ref5 Ziryab, Persian singer ref1 Zoë, Empress ref1 Zoroastrianism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4n 1.

In the Middle Ages, visitors stayed much longer, often settling and making Venice their home for several years, encouraged by the city’s atmosphere of acceptance and enterprise. In the twelfth century, a steady stream of German merchants began to arrive, establishing themselves in the busy area near the Rialto Bridge, where, in 1228, they built their headquarters, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. These adventurous northerners were part of a tide of immigrants swelling the population of Venice, which, by 1300, had reached 120,000.1 The other significant community of foreigners was that of the Greeks, who came to live and trade in Venice in large numbers. They brought their ancient culture and language with them, and might well have been one of the reasons that the poet and scholar Petrarch came to Venice in 1351. He wanted to learn Greek so that he could translate the classical texts he had collected on his travels, which would provide the foundation of the movement that became known as humanism.


pages: 111 words: 33,121

Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

Murano, Venice glass

He remembered reading about a film producer in Rome who had fallen off a houseboat into the Tiber and who had died the next day from swallowing water. Would that happen in Venice? Was the whole city surrounded by poison? And then what was it that the proprietor of the restaurant had said about the sea? Was that poisonous too? He walked on, but the image of the two men in white stayed in his mind, and he resolved to ask the manager of the hotel all about it if he had the opportunity that evening. Then he could warn the Prinzels about swimming, if need be. No opportunity presented itself to talk to any of the hotel staff before dinner, so the topic did not come up at the table. The Prinzels had had an exhausting day, with a trip to Murano and several circumnavigations of the city on vaporetti. Ophelia had insisted upon a gondola ride, which Prinzel had eventually agreed to, but it had not been a success as the gondolier had apparently deliberately splashed Prinzel with water, or so Prinzel alleged.

Von Igelfeld felt a warm rush of satisfaction; he knew that to the proprietor he was no more than a client whose name had happened to lodge in the mind, but he felt as if he was amongst friends. A bottle of chilled wine from the hills was produced and the proprietor filled a glass for himself as well as for von Igelfeld. ‘We are so glad to see you,’ he said, raising his glass in toast. ‘There are fewer people coming these days. This summer there were virtually no Germans in Italy. It was terrible!’ ‘No Germans!’ Von Igelfeld was astonished at the hyperbole, but the proprietor seemed serious. ‘They are keeping away from Venice for some reason,’ he went on. ‘They say it is something to do with the sea.’ ‘Is there anything wrong with the sea?’ von Igelfeld asked, thinking of the beach at the Grand Hôtel des Bains. There had been people on it, hadn’t there?

His mind was on his meeting with Malvestiti – normally such a warm occasion – this year an encounter which left him filled with nothing but feelings of foreboding. He had realised that his friend had not in fact provided the answers to the real question which he had asked. Everybody knew that Venice was sinking – that was not the point. The real question was what was wrong with the water? He gazed out at the sea, now becoming dark with the setting of the sun. It looked so beautiful, so maternal, and yet there must be something very wrong with it. Von Igelfeld sipped on his drink, a cold glass of beer, noticing with satisfaction that the label on the bottle said ‘Brewed in Belgium’. That must be safe; there was nothing threatening about Belgium. Ineffably dull, perhaps; but not threatening. Taking a further sip of his beer, von Igelfeld glanced down the terrace.


pages: 618 words: 159,672

Fodor's Rome: With the Best City Walks and Scenic Day Trips by Fodor's Travel Publications Inc.

call centre, Donald Trump, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, low cost airline, Mason jar, mega-rich, Murano, Venice glass, starchitect, urban planning, young professional

There’s a fun, unique, and diverse inventory of 1960s- and ’70s-style apparel and googly sunglasses at Vestiti Usati Cinzia, beloved by private clients, costume designers, and fashion designers and stylists alike. You’ll find lots of flower power, embroidered tops, and psychedelic clothing here, along with trippy boots and dishy bubblegum pink shoes that Twiggy would have loved. | Via del Governo Vecchio 45 | 00186 | 06/6832945. Ceramics and Decorative Arts Arte del Vetro Natolli Murano. Specializing in handblown Venetian art glass pieces, including Murano glass jewelry (necklaces and pendants), tableware, glass vases, and extravagant chandeliers, at Arte del Vetro Natolli Murano every individual piece is handcrafted from the furnaces of master glassmakers using ancient techniques kept alive by the island’s artisans since 1291. Some limited-edition designs show not only the craftsman’s mastery of the art form but the artisan’s love for the vibrant aesthetic of the glassmaking tradition. | Corso Rinascimento 53/55 | 00186 | 06/68301170.

Rome in the summer has an abundance of stone fruits and seasonal treats (fresh plums, apricots, and figs are nothing like their dried counterparts and should be tasted to be believed), and great citrus in cooler months, like the sweet-tasting, beautiful blood oranges arriving daily from Sicily, which are often fresh-squeezed and served in tall glasses at Roman caffè. EATING LOCAL Like the Florentines with their cuisine and the Milanese with theirs, Romans go out to eat expecting to “eat local.” Forget about Thai stir-frys or Brazilian-style steaks, even the bollito (boiled meats) from Bologna or the cuttlefish risotto from Venice are regarded as “foreign” food. But Rome is the capital city, and the influx of immigrants from other regions of the country is enough to insure there are more variations on the Italian theme in Rome than you’d find anywhere else in the country: Sicilian, Tuscan, Pugliese, Bolognese, Marchegiano, Sardinian, and northern Italian regional cuisines are all represented.

Film Da Venezia a Roma Festival. Immediately following the finale of the Venice Film Festival in September, Da Venezia a Roma brings the award-nominated films to Rome for a two-week review. Widely distributed films and art house specials like Melancholia make fleeting screen appearances months before international release in Italy. Films are shown in original language with Italian subtitles when necessary. The festival has grown to include lectures and appearances by directors, producers and actors. Check out the local press or the website for more details. | www.agisanec.lazio.it/venezia.html. Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma. In October, cinephiles head to Rome for the International Festival of Film, designed to compete with Venice, London, Cannes, and New York. Two dedicated weeks see award-winning and art house films, blockbuster and experimental movies, shorts, celebrity sightings, technical lectures, and awards for best films and silver-screen icons both past and present.


pages: 363 words: 108,670

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, cognitive dissonance, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Murano, Venice glass, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Peace of Westphalia, retrograde motion

Soon after Galileo’s departure, Marina married Giovanni Bartoluzzi, a respectable citizen closer to her own social station. Galileo not only approved of their union but also helped Bartoluzzi find employment with a wealthy Paduan friend of his. Still, Galileo continued sending money to Marina for Vincenzio’s support, and Bartoluzzi, in turn, kept Galileo supplied with lens blanks for his telescopes, procured from the renowned glassworks on the Island of Murano, within the waterways of Venice, until Florence proved a source of even better clear glass. Galileo rented a house in Florence “with a high terraced roof from which the whole sky is visible,” where he could make his astronomical observations and install his lens-grinding lathes. While waiting for the place to become available, he stayed several months with his mother and the two little girls in rooms he let from his sister Virginia and her husband, Benedetto Landucci.

Though few Italians had seen one firsthand, spectacle makers in Paris were already selling them in quantity. Galileo immediately grasped the military advantage of the new spyglass, although the instrument itself, fashioned from stock spectacle lenses, was little more than a toy in its first incarnation. Seeking to improve the spyglass by augmenting its power, Galileo calculated the ideal shape and placement of glass, ground and polished the crucial lenses himself, and traveled to nearby Venice to show the doge, along with the entire Venetian senate, what his contrivance could do. The response, he reported, was “the infinite amazement of all.” Even the oldest senators eagerly scaled the highest bell towers of the city, repeatedly, for the unique pleasure of discerning ships on the horizon—through the spyglass—a good two to three hours before they became visible to the keenest-sighted young lookouts.

Italy possessed no national standards in the seventeenth century, leaving distances open to guesstimate gauging by flea’s eyes, hairbreadths, lentil or millet seed diameters, hand spans, arm lengths, and the like. Even a braccio differed in dimension depending on whether it was measured in Florence, Rome, or Venice, and so Galileo delineated his own arbitrary units along the length of his experimental apparatus. As long as these units matched one another, he could use them to establish fundamental relationships. To clock the rolling time of the balls, Galileo literally weighed the moments. “For the measurement of time,” Salviati continues in his experimental description, “we employed a large vessel of water placed in an elevated position; to the bottom of this vessel was soldered a pipe of small diameter giving a thin jet of water, which we collected in a small glass during the time of each descent, whether for the whole length of the channel or for a part of its length; the water thus collected was weighed, after each descent, on a very accurate balance [against grains of sand]; the differences and ratios of these weights gave us the differences and ratios of the times, and this with such accuracy that although the operation was repeated many, many times, there was no appreciable discrepancy in the results.”


Fodor's Dordogne & the Best of Southwest France With Paris by Fodor's Travel Publications Inc.

call centre, glass ceiling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, haute cuisine, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, urban planning, young professional

Pros: large rooms great for families; Wi-Fi; easy walk to the Marais and Les Halles districts. Cons: on a very busy, noisy street; not the most attractive part of central Paris; drab decor. | 39 rue de Turbigo,Beaubourg/Les Halles | 75003 | 01–48–87–45–60 | www.hotelbellevue75.com | 59 rooms | In-room: no a/c, Wi-Fi hotspot. In-hotel: bar | AE, DC, MC, V | BP | Station: Réaumur-Sébastopol, Arts et Métiers Murano Urban Resort. $$$$ | As the epicenter of Parisian cool migrates eastward, it’s no surprise that a design-conscious hotel has followed. On the trendy northern edge of the Marais, this cheeky hotel that dares to call itself a resort combines Austin Powers playfulness with serious 007-inspired gadgetry. A psychedelic elevator zooms guests to ultraviolet-light hallways, where they enter pristine white rooms via fingerprint sensor locks.

Hot–cool Pershing Hall (49 rue Pierre Charron, Champs-Élysées, 8e | 75008 | 01–58–36–58–36 | Station: George V) has a stylish lounge bar with muted colors and an enormous “wall garden” in the courtyard. Colin Field, the best barman in Paris, presides at the Hemingway Bar & The Ritz Bar (15 pl. Vendôme, Louvre/Tuileries, 1er | 75001 | 01–43–16–30–30 | Station: Opéra), but with a dress code and cognac aux truffes on the menu, Hemingway might raise an eyebrow. Across the hallway is the reopened Ritz Bar (formerly the Cambon), a soigné setting where Cole Porter composed “Begin the Beguine.” Murano Urban Resort (13 bd. du Temple, République, 3e | 75003 | 01–42–71–20–00 | Station: Filles du Calvaire) is Paris’s epitome of space-age-bachelor-pad-hipness du jour with a black-stone bar, candy-color walls, and packed nightly with beautiful art and fashion types. Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Contents Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Contents The Best Shopping Neighborhoods | Department Stores | Markets | Shopping Arcades | Specialty Stores Updated by Jennifer Ditsler-Ladonne THE BEST SHOPPING NEIGHBORHOODS AVENUE MONTAIGNE Shopping doesn’t come much more chic than on Avenue Montaigne, with its graceful town mansions housing some of the top names in international fashion: Chanel, Dior, Céline, Valentino, Krizia, Ungaro, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more.

George V,Champs-Élysées,8e | 01–44–43–00–44 | Station: George V | 6 Galerie Vivienne,Opéra/Grands Boulevards,2e | 75002 | 01–42–86–05–05 | Station: Bourse) first made headlines with his celebrated corset with the ironic i-conic breasts for Madonna, but now sends fashion editors into ecstasy with his sumptuous haute-couture creations. Designer Philippe Starck spun an Alice in Wonderland fantasy for the boutiques, with quilted cream walls and Murano mirrors. GIFTS FOR THE HOME Maison de Baccarat (11 pl. des États-Unis,Trocadéro/Tour Eiffel, 16e | 75016 | 01–40–22–11–00 | Station: Trocadéro) was once the home of Marie-Laure de Noailles, known as the Countess of Bizarre; now it’s a museum and crystal store of the famed manufacturer. Philippe Starck revamped the space with his signature cleverness—yes, that’s a chandelier floating in an aquarium and, yes, that crystal arm sprouting from the wall alludes to Jean Cocteau (a friend of Noailles).


Europe: A History by Norman Davies

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, centre right, charter city, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of DNA, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equal pay for equal work, Eratosthenes, Etonian, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial independence, finite state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, global village, Honoré de Balzac, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land reform, liberation theology, long peace, Louis Blériot, Louis Daguerre, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, popular capitalism, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, spinning jenny, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Transnistria, urban planning, urban sprawl

A leaning gold cross, which replaced the original in 1551 at the time of the first Habsburg coronation, precariously surmounts the whole.3 What is certain is the aptness of the quality with which the Crown is said to be most strongly endowed—its inadmissibility, ‘its incapacity to be permanently lost’.4 MURANO MURANO is an island in the Venetian lagoon. It is the site of a Romanesque church, Santa Maria e Donato, dating from 999, and the glassworks of the former Venetian Republic. Glass-making has been practised in Europe since ancient times, but Greek and Roman glass was coarse in texture and opaque in colour. It was only at Murano, near the turn of the thirteenth century, that the glass-masters created a product that was both tough and transparent. For several decades the formula remained secret; but then it leaked to Nuremberg, whence it spread to all corners of the continent. Transparent glass made possible the science of optics, and was crucial in the development of precision instruments.

(There is a portrait of the Emperor Henry VII (d. 1313) wearing spectacles in one of the stained glass windows of Strasbourg cathedral.) Glass windows gradually came into fashion between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, first in churches and palaces and later in more humble dwellings. Glass flasks, retorts, and tubes facilitated the experiments of alchemy, later of chemistry. Glassclochesand greenhouses transformed market-gardening. The microscope (1590), telescope (1608), barometer (1644), and thermometer (1593), all glass-based, revolutionized our views of the world. The silvered mirror, first manufactured at Murano, revolutionized the way we see ourselves. The social consequences of glass were far-reaching. The use of spectacles extended the reading span of monks and scholars, and accelerated the spread of learning.

Norbert Elias, über den Prozess der Zivilisation: soziogenetische und psy-chogenetische Untersuchungen (Basle, 1939), i; trans, as The History of Manners (Oxford, 1978), 68 if. 2. Ibid. ch. 2, vii, ‘On Spitting’. 3. Ibid. 129. 4. Ibid. 85–162. 5. Ibid. MOUSIKE 1. After A. Isacs and E. Martin (eds.), Dictionary of Music (London, 1982), 247–8 (mode), 337–8 (scale). MURANO 1. L. Zechin, Vetro e vetrai di Murano: studi sulla storia del vetro (Venice, 1987); also M. Dekówna, Szkło w Europie wczeŚnoŚredniowiecznej (Wroclaw, 1980). NEZ 1. Desmond Morris et al, Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, ‘The Nose Thumb’ (London, 1979), a survey confined to Western Europe, 25–42. 2. See J. Bremmer and H. Roodenburg (eds.), A Cultural History of Gesture (Oxford, 1993). NIBELUNG 1. W. Huber, Aufder Suche nach den Nibelungen (Gütersloh, 1981), 20. 2.


Fodor's Normandy, Brittany & the Best of the North With Paris by Fodor's

call centre, car-free, glass ceiling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Kickstarter, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, urban planning, young professional

Pros: large rooms great for families; Wi-Fi; easy walk to the Marais and Les Halles districts. Cons: on a very busy, noisy street; not the most attractive part of central Paris; drab decor. | 39 rue de Turbigo, Beaubourg/Les Halles | 75003 | 01–48–87–45–60 | www.hotelbellevue75.com | 59 rooms | In-room: no a/c, Wi-Fi hotspot. In-hotel: bar | AE, DC, MC, V | BP | Station: Réaumur-Sébastopol, Arts et Métiers Murano Urban Resort. $$$$ | As the epicenter of Parisian cool migrates eastward, it’s no surprise that a design-conscious hotel has followed. On the trendy northern edge of the Marais, this cheeky hotel that dares to call itself a resort combines Austin Powers playfulness with serious 007-inspired gadgetry. A psychedelic elevator zooms guests to ultraviolet-light hallways, where they enter pristine white rooms via fingerprint sensor locks.

Hot–cool Pershing Hall (49 rue Pierre Charron, Champs-Élysées, 8e | 75008 | 01–58–36–58–36 | Station: George V) has a stylish lounge bar with muted colors and an enormous “wall garden” in the courtyard. Colin Field, the best barman in Paris, presides at the Hemingway Bar & The Ritz Bar (15 pl. Vendôme, Louvre/Tuileries, 1er | 75001 | 01–43–16–30–30 | Station: Opéra), but with a dress code and cognac aux truffes on the menu, Hemingway might raise an eyebrow. Across the hallway is the reopened Ritz Bar (formerly the Cambon), a soigné setting where Cole Porter composed “Begin the Beguine.” Murano Urban Resort (13 bd. du Temple, République, 3e | 75003 | 01–42–71–20–00 | Station: Filles du Calvaire) is Paris’s epitome of space-age-bachelor-pad-hipness du jour with a black-stone bar, candy-color walls, and packed nightly with beautiful art and fashion types. Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Contents Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Contents The Best Shopping Neighborhoods | Department Stores | Markets | Shopping Arcades | Specialty Stores The Best Shopping Neighborhoods Avenue Montaigne Shopping doesn’t come much more chic than on Avenue Montaigne, with its graceful town mansions housing some of the top names in international fashion: Chanel, Dior, Céline, Valentino, Krizia, Ungaro, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more.

George V, Champs-Élysées, 8e | 01–44–43–00–44 | Station: George V | 6 Galerie Vivienne, Opéra/Grands Boulevards, 2e | 75002 | 01–42–86–05–05 | Station: Bourse) first made headlines with his celebrated corset with the ironic i-conic breasts for Madonna, but now sends fashion editors into ecstasy with his sumptuous haute-couture creations. Designer Philippe Starck spun an Alice in Wonderland fantasy for the boutiques, with quilted cream walls and Murano mirrors. Gifts for the Home Maison de Baccarat (11 pl. des États-Unis, Trocadéro/Tour Eiffel, 16e | 75016 | 01–40–22–11–00 | Station: Trocadéro) was once the home of Marie-Laure de Noailles, known as the Countess of Bizarre; now it’s a museum and crystal store of the famed manufacturer. Philippe Starck revamped the space with his signature cleverness—yes, that’s a chandelier floating in an aquarium and, yes, that crystal arm sprouting from the wall alludes to Jean Cocteau (a friend of Noailles).


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The Venetians tended to exchange bulky goods like iron and timber, plus human slaves, for the spices and textiles desired from the east. It was also able to sell its glass products, whose manufacture was shifted to Murano in the lagoon area from 1291 onwards because of the fire risk. (The first eyeglasses appeared in the late 13th century, an unsung advance in human wellbeing.) Murano was the leading European centre for glassmaking for the next three centuries. Trading trips were famously risky operations. A failed voyage is the centrepiece of the plot of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, while the phase “when my ship comes in” stems from the idea that the safe arrival of a cargo was a welcome bonus. For the investor, the answer, where possible, was to split one’s capital among as many voyages as possible. In Venice, ownership of the ships and cargoes were divided into shares called loca.

But a shortage of labour in the wake of the Black Death resulted in the growing use of slave labour, particularly on the islands of Crete and Cyprus.14 As the Portuguese started to explore the west coast of Africa in the first half of the 15th century, they discovered the islands of Madeira and the Azores. They also started to buy slaves from Africa, trading them for European goods such as textiles, glass from Venice, wine and sherry, and metal implements like knives and swords.15 And they established sugar plantations on the island of Madeira, worked by slaves from the Canary Islands and Africa. Madeira experienced a phenomenal boom and bust, with sugar production rising from 280 tons in 1472 to 2,500 tons in 1506, before falling 90% by 1530. In the process, Madeira, whose name means island of wood, was almost completely deforested, since sugar production required massive amounts of energy.16 After the discovery of the Americas, the Portuguese first planted sugar cane in Brazil in 1516, and started to produce a commercial crop after 1550.

The result was that European citizens were able to buy a wider range of goods than before, and that Byzantine, Islamic and Asian merchants earned higher prices because of this new source of demand. Trade between regions enhanced general prosperity. Italian cities The Italian root of words like commendia shows where the “commercial revolution” developed. A group of Italian cities led the way – Venice, Genoa, Amalfi and Bologna. Venice benefited from its ability to trade with both the Byzantine empire of Constantinople and the Islamic caliphate in Egypt. The city gave naval aid to Byzantium in 1080 and was rewarded with a special charter called the Golden Bull, which gave the city trading privileges and exemptions from tolls.9 Venice also seized control of Constantinople in 1204 under the Fourth Crusade, and its Latin empire lasted until 1261. Constantinople was a great prize because of its wealth and its trading links with the Middle East and Asian markets.


Rome by Lonely Planet

bike sharing scheme, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, double helix, G4S, Index librorum prohibitorum, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, low cost airline, Murano, Venice glass, Skype, urban planning

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella Cosmetics Offline map Google map (Corso del Rinascimento 47; Corso del Rinascimento) Step in for the scent of the place, if nothing else. This bewitching shop – the Roman branch of one of Italy’s oldest pharmacies – stocks natural perfumes and cosmetics as well as herbal infusions, teas and pot pourri, all carefully shelved in wooden cabinets under a giant Murano-glass chandelier. It was founded in Florence in 1612 by the Dominican monks of Santa Maria Novella, and many of its cosmetics are based on original 17th-century herbal recipes. Nardecchia Antiques Offline map Google map (Piazza Navona 25; Corso del Rinascimento) You’ll be inviting people to see your etchings after a visit to this historic Piazza Navona shop, famed for its antique prints. Nardecchia sells everything from 18th-century etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi to more affordable 19th-century panoramas.

Hotel Columbia Hotel €€ Offline map Google map ( 06 488 35 09; www.hotelcolumbia.com; Via del Viminale 15; d €160-188; Termini or Repubblica; ) In a workaday area that’s an aria from the Opera House, the friendly Columbia sports a polished look with beamed or exposed stone ceilings and dark-wood cabinets. The white-walled rooms are bright and surprisingly full of character – some have beautiful Murano crystal chandeliers. The breakfast is good, and in summer is served on the pretty roof terrace. Radisson Blu Hotel €€ Offline map Google map ( 06 44 48 41; www.radissonblu.com/eshotel-rome; Via Filippo Turati 171; d €190-225; Vittorio Emanuele; ) The Radisson Blu’s location is not the best, but it’s a popular choice with business travellers and design-conscious customers who appreciate the advance deals, sci-fi decor and hi-tech gadgetry – though the standard rooms verge on the silly, with their central bathroom cubes.

In 1559 the Church published the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books) and began to persecute intellectuals and freethinkers. Galileo Galilei (1564−1642) was forced to renounce his assertion of the Copernican astronomical system, which held that the earth moved around the sun. He was summoned by the Inquisition to Rome in 1632 and exiled to Florence for the rest of his life. Giordano Bruno (1548−1600), a freethinking Dominican monk, fared worse. Arrested in Venice in 1592, he was burned at the stake eight years later in Campo de’ Fiori. The spot is today marked by a sinister statue. The patron saints of Rome, Peter and Paul, were both executed during Nero’s persecution of the Christians between 64 and 68. Paul, who as a Roman citizen was entitled to a quick death, was beheaded, while Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill. Despite, or perhaps because of, the Church’s policy of zero tolerance, the Counter-Reformation was largely successful in re-establishing papal prestige.


pages: 292 words: 92,588

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Airbnb, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, desegregation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, fixed income, Frank Gehry, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Much of the discussion was about another kind of flood—the flood of tourists, especially those brought in by the giant cruise ships that now invade the Venice lagoon like beasts from another planet. About 20 million tourists visit Venice every year, overwhelming the historic city’s 56,000 residents. “We are drowning in tourists,” one shopkeeper told me. “But we need them to survive.” As Da Mosto and I walked around the piazza, she told me that the cruise ships and sea-level rise are the two most powerful threats that Venice faces right now. The cruise ships have transformed the Venice economy into a singular engine that services tourists: every shop sells necklaces of fake Murano glass jewelry and Venetian carnival masks; every restaurant offers the same pasta with meatballs; every apartment is now an Airbnb. This has not only eroded the city’s tax base and pushed out traditional jobs, it has turned the city into something nearly indistinguishable from a Disney version of itself.

“It is difficult to overestimate the effect that the flood of 1966 had on the way people still think about Venice,” historian Thomas Madden wrote. “Today the most common opinion, held even by people who know nothing else about Venice, is that it is sinking. Before 1966 this opinion scarcely existed. The devastating flood had cast Venice in an entirely new light. It had always been a fragile place of exquisite beauty and slow death. It was now an emergency. Venice was descending beneath the all-consuming waves, and something needed to be done—immediately.” And it was. UNESCO, the cultural and scientific arm of the United Nations, opened an office in Venice; groups like Save Venice and Venice in Peril sprang up, raising tens of millions of dollars from around the world to save the crumbling frescoes and old church façades.

Giovanni da Cipelli: Egnazio’s edict, translated from engraving on a marble slab in Museo Correr, Venice. http://correr.visitmuve.it/en/il museo/layout-and-collections/venetian-culture/ 3. “islands were submerged…”: Thomas F. Madden. Venice: A New History (New York: Viking, 2012), 63. 4. Marco Polo’s house: John Berendt. The City of Falling Angels (New York: Penguin, 2006), 183. 5. “difficult to overestimate”: Madden, Venice, 412–413. 6. Special Law of 1973: Ibid., 412. 7. corruption scandal: “Mayor of Venice Arrested over Alleged Bribes Relating to Flood Barrier Project.” The Guardian, June 4, 2014. 8. Aquagranda: Opera composed by Filippo Perocco, libretto by Roberto Bianchin and Luigi Cerantola. Premiered November 4, 2016, at La Fenice, Venice. 9. five hundred police officers: Nick Squires. “Venice Dawn Raids over Flood Barrier Corruption.”


pages: 295 words: 89,430

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, big-box store, correlation does not imply causation, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Florida, rolodex, self-driving car, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, urban sprawl

Above all else, it seemed, jewelry was an essential talking point when two women were trying to establish an emotional connection. Despite its un-euphonious name, Trollbeads is an extremely successful jewelry company with a presence in 35 countries, including Holland, Italy, Switzerland and China. Trollbeads’ handmade bracelets, rings and necklaces vary in size and are made from Murano glass, freshwater pearls, gemstones, leather, glass and Swarovski crystal. Still, when I began consulting for the company, I wasn’t quite prepared for the fanaticism of Trollbeads’ core customers. Most were middle-aged, with a competent, slightly tough manner about them. None, overall, were especially trusting, and a few expressed unease about having an interviewer come into their house and ask them questions. Many told me they’d felt excluded as children, or as high school or college students.

Another woman displayed a Murano glass bead she’d bought to commemorate her daughter’s middle-school graduation. Trollbeads, then, symbolized many things. Via Trollbeads, women could tell the world that despite their age or appearance, they were still interesting and creative. Wearing a Trollbeads necklace was also a socially acceptable way to showcase in public a private obsession. Nothing illustrated this better than a German woman who, during our interview, held up what she called her “Ocean Bead.” A lifetime fan of water and the seaside, she told me a story about a trip to the beach she’d taken years earlier with her father, her husband and her children. “It was the best beach day I have ever had in my life. I can still see my dad holding my kids’ hands as they picked up seashells and sea glass.” She passed me her Trollbeads bracelet.

One short answer is the car industry, whose brands include Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti and Maserati, but the Italian fashion industry provides another answer. What aspirational clues do Italian brands convey so powerfully that even Hong Kong businessmen line up to emulate them—and could it possibly provide me with a clue that could help me turn around Devassa? Years before I worked for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, I found the epicenter of aspiration in Tiene, Italy, a small city outside Venice, while helping a company, Cristiano di Thiene—which owns the licensing rights to a brand called Aeronautica Militare—figure out who made up its core audience. With lines for men, women and children, Aeronautica Militare’s clothing is characterized by patches, symbols and “good luck” icons borrowed from the military and connected to real-life stories. In conversation with the brand’s design team, I found that more than any other fashion demographic, and like Trollbeads fans and Jenny Craig customers, Aeronautica’s core audience was both intensely loyal and more superstitious than average.


pages: 444 words: 103,367

The Outcast Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Murano, Venice glass, trade route

Smoke from a torch on an opposite wall had frozen to twists of black marble. The bowman crouched unmoving in his high window, his actions still hidden from those below. A cittadino hesitated in the act of lifting wine to his lips. As Tycho watched him the goblet lifted enough to let the first drop touch. “See? We have all the time in the world.” The glass masters of Murano said glass was a liquid and windows flowed downwards over the decades, so they became thicker along the bottom. If glass was a liquid so was this smoke. It shifted on its old trail at a fraction of the speed. Cold, green eyes watched him. Ancient and knowing, carrion-cruel. “It seems you met my oldest sister. She liked you.” The bare-breasted woman with the crow was A’rial’s sister? Everyone said A’rial was Alexa’s stregoi. Tycho wasn’t quite sure what a stregoi was but he strongly suspected this wasn’t really one of them.

He examined his half-emptied wine glass with anger. Here it comes, Alexa thought. “The Red Crucifers have written to me.” Iacopo thought it best to wait until one of them told him who the Red Crucifers were and why they made the Regent cross. It turned out they were a group of Teutonic knights that Venice had hired to fight heathens in Montenegro, who now claimed to have founded a new order. “They look for a commander.” “My lord…” Roderigo sounded appalled. “Indeed, Roderigo. Traitors inviting me to fight heretics! I’ve a good mind to set sail immediately to destroy them both… I could do with a good battle before I get old. All this politicking wearies me. All these council meetings about monopolies and taxes. All this grubbing after money. Even when Venice does fight, it’s off Cyprus, which we practically own.

Now the double coffin would be lowered into a trench. The fact the coffin was lead-lined had two advantages: it helped seal in the smell of corruption, and its weight would stop the coffin from trying to float to the surface and ruining the mosaics the next time Venice had an aqua alta. Prayers having been said, the trench would be filled, the earth compacted and the underfloor replaced. After which a master mosaicist would reset the tiny glass tiles removed to allow this burial. That a mosaic in the floor of San Marco had been disturbed showed how seriously Venice took this crime. “Soon,” Tycho whispered. Pietro looked at him. “It’s ending. You’ll be free to go.” The boy nodded gratefully. It had cost Tycho gold to buy out his apprenticeship, and have evidence of the boy’s earlier crimes removed from the records.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

The legendary decadence of the late Roman Empire wasn’t just about moral decline; those spice-laden feasts had economic costs as well. If pepper helped trigger the collapse of one of Europe’s great cities, it helped build others. A modern visitor to the canals of Venice or Amsterdam, admiring the palazzos along the Grand Canal or the elegant town houses ringing the Herengracht, would do well to pause for a moment and consider that much of this worldly sophistication was originally funded by spices. Venice became the central European distribution point for pepper and other spices in the mid-thirteenth century, after Muslim traders had brought the spices to the Adriatic from India in caravans. The profits Venice made from the sale of its legendary Murano glass were an afterthought compared to the tariffs it charged as a middleman in the spice trade. By the 1600s, the direct sea routes to India had already started to lower the price of pepper on the open market, though it was still precious enough to inspire a new age of empires and global corporations.

— Every grade school history textbook will tell you that the spice trade played a pivotal role in world history. But it is worth pausing for a moment to contemplate how many key developments and customs—many of which persist to this day—have spices at their origin: international trade, imperialism, the seafaring discoveries of Columbus and da Gama, the fall of Rome, joint-stock corporations, the enduring beauty of Venice and Amsterdam, global Islam, even the multicultural flavor of Doritos. Having a taste for spice is not just one of the luxuries that the modern world affords us; having a taste for spice is, in part, why we have a modern world in the first place. The most perplexing thing about that legacy is not the fact that spices were once fabulously expensive and are now cheap. (The pattern of luxury goods becoming mass commodities is in some sense the macro-narrative of capitalism: from cinnamon to cotton to computers.)

Imagine an alternate scenario in which pepper grows naturally in Spain, and cinnamon abounds in France, and clove trees dot the foothills of the Italian Alps. The course of human history would likely be completely redirected: Europe remains far more insular; Columbus and da Gama never bother to set off in search of a direct route to the East. Without the immense markup of a global spice network, the accumulated wealth of Venice and Amsterdam and London dissipates, along with all the pioneering works of art and architecture that wealth funded. Without a vibrant pepper trade with India, calico fabrics never make it to the drawing rooms and garment stores of London; without a booming market for cotton textiles, the industrial revolution is delayed for decades. The extent to which the spice trade had bound the globe together was perceived sharply by many of the participants—even those who never boarded a vessel and set sail for the Far East.


pages: 1,042 words: 273,092

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

access to a mobile phone, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, drone strike, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Isaac Newton, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, South China Sea, spice trade, statistical model, Stuxnet, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, yield management, Yom Kippur War

Nevertheless, said one proud Venetian, even normal merchants’ houses were lavishly appointed with gilded ceilings, marble staircases, balconies and windows fitted with the finest glass from nearby Murano. Venice was the distribution point for European, African and Asian trade par excellence – and had the trappings to show it.79 It was not just Venice that flourished. So too did the towns dotted along the Dalmatian coast which served as stopping points on the outbound and inbound journeys. Ragusa, modern Dubrovnik, saw extraordinary levels of prosperity in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Disposable wealth quadrupled between 1300 and 1450, spiralling up so quickly that a cap on dowries was enforced to stop payments that were rising rapidly; the city was so awash with cash that steps were taken partially to abolish slavery: in times of such plenty, it seemed wrong to hold fellow humans in bondage and not to pay them for their work.80 Like Venice, Ragusa was busy building its own trading network, developing extensive contacts with Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and even India, where a colony was established in Goa, centred on the church of St Blaise, Ragusa’s patron saint.81 Many parts of Asia saw a similar surge in growth and ambition.

., here Morocco, here, here, here Morris, William, here Mosasadegh, Mohammed, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Moscow, here, here, here, here Moscow Olympics, here Moses, here Mosul, here, here, here, here, here Moẓaffar od-Dīn, Shah, here, here Mughal empire, cultural achievements, here Muammad, Prophet, here, here, here, here, here, here date of his death, here hijra, here his image on coins, here and plague, here and succession, here, here al-Muktafī, Caliph, here Multan, here Mumbai, here Mun, Thomas, here Mundy, Peter, here Munich Olympic Games, here Murad, Sultan, here Murano glass, here Murmansk, here, here Murphy, Richard, here Muscat, here music, Chinese enjoyment of, here Musil, Robert, here musk, here, here, here Mussolini, Benito, here al-Mustaim, Caliph, here Mutawakkil, Wakīl Ahmed, here, here Muziris, here Myos Hormos, here myrrh, here Mysore, here ‘nabobs’, here Nagasaki, here Naim, Prince, here Nairobi, embassy bombing, here Najaf, here Naksh-i-Rustām, here Nanjing, here napalm, here Naples, here Napoleon Bonaparte, here, here Nāir-i Khusraw, here Nasser, Gamal abdel, here, here, here Natanz nuclear facility, here National Museum of Qatar, here NATO, here Nau Taforeia, here Navigation Act, here Nazarbayev, Nursultan, here Nazarenes, here Nestorius, Patriarch, here Neurians, here New England, settlement in, here Newton, Isaac, here Nicaea, here Nicaraguan Contras, here Nicene creed, here Nicholas I, Tsar, here Nicholas II, Tsar, here Nicks, Elihu, here Nicolson, Sir Arthur, here, here Nile floods here, here 9/11 attacks, here Nine Years War, here Nineveh, here Nisa, here Nīshāpūr, here, here, here, here Nisibis, here, here, here Nixon, Richard M., here, here, here nökürs (Mongol warriors), here Norman mercenaries, here North, Lord, here North Korea, here ‘Northern Tier’, here Northern Wei dynasty, here North-West Frontier, here North-West Passage, here Norwegian neutrality, violation of, here Novgorod, here, here, here, here, here nuclear technology, here, here nutmeg, here, here, here, here, here, here Obama, Barack, here, here, here, here Odessa, here, here, here Offa, King (of Mercia), here Ogarkov, General Nikolai, here Ögödei, Great Khan, here, here oil price effects of instability on, here, here, here falling, here rising, here, here, here, here Oirats, here, here Omar, Mullah, here, here OPEC founding of, here and rising oil price, here, here Ophir, mines of, here opium, here, here, here orange trees, Emperor Bābur’s, here Ordás, Diego de, here Orenburg, here Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, here Orme, Robert, here Oseberg, here Osirak nuclear reactor, here Ottoman empire collapse of, here competition with Portuguese, here contraction and decline, here cultural achievements, here economic stagnation, here First World War aims, here relations with England, here relations with Germany, here rise of, here, here Russian attack on, here social structures, here Ouseley, Sir Gore, here Outremer, colonies founded in, here Oxford University, here oyster beds, here, here Padua, here Page, Walter, here Pakistan, here, here, here, here, here and hunt for bin Laden, here nuclear capacity, here, here Palestine British-controlled, here, here and Jewish immigration, here, here Palestine Liberation Front, here Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), here Palmerston, Lord, here, here Palmyra, here, here Pals Battalions, here Panjikent, here, here paper-making, here paper money, here Paris secret registration of Jews, here siege of, here Parsons, Sir Anthony, here, here Parthian language, here Partitio terrarum imperii Romaniae, here Pasargadae, here Paschooski, Dr, here Passover, here Pattanam, here Paul V, Pope, here Pearl Harbor, here pearls, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Pecheneg nomads, here, here, here Pedro IV, King (of Aragon), here Pegolotti, Francesco, here, here Penang, here People’s Liberation Army, here pepper, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here from crocodile swamps, here supply and demand, here Pepys, Samuel, here Perak, here Persepolis, here, here Persia (Persian empire) Anglo-Persian agreement, here bureaucracy, here, here Christian church in, here, here, here, here, here collapse of, here, here cultural renaissance, here expansion of empire, here, here and founding of monasteries, here and independence, here and Indian trade, here markets and bazaars, here oil reserves, here, here, here, here, here and overthrow of Seleucids, here relations with China, here relations with England, here, here, here, here, here, here relations with Russia, here, here, here, here resurgence and adoption of Zoroastrianism, here, here road network, here, here Roman alliance, here, here Roman incursions, here, here Roman wars, here, here, here, here, here rulers’ love of gifts, here tolerance of minorities and religions, here, here Persian Corridor, here, here Persian epic literature, here Persian language, purification of, here Persian wall, maintenance of, here Perugia, here Peshawar, here, here, here Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, here Petra, here Petraeus, General David, here Petrarch, here Petronius’ Satyricon, here Philip, King (of Macedon), here Philip II, King (of France), here Philippines, here, here phoenixes, here Phokas, Emperor, here Piacenza, here Picasso, Pablo, here Piero della Francesca, here pigeon racing, here pigments, imports of, here pilgrimages, to Holy Land, here Pincheng, here pipelines, here piracy, here, here Pisa, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Pitt, William, the Elder, here Pius V, Pope, here plague, here, here see also Black Death Pliny the Elder, here, here Pliny the Younger, here Plutarch, here, here Poindexter, Admiral John, here Poitiers, here Poland invasion of, here, here and Nazi–Soviet pact, here, here post-war territory, here and resettlement of Jews, here Poliane, here Polk, William, here Polo, Marco, here, here, here Polotsk, here polytheism, decline of, here Pontius Pilate, here, here poppy cultivation, here porcelain, Chinese, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Portugal agreements with Spain, here, here, here and gold trade, here profits from spice trade, here and slave trade, here, here voyages of discovery and trade routes, here, here, here, here, here, here postal system, Russian, here Potosí mine, here, here Potsdam Conference, here Powell, Colin, here Powers, Gary, here Prague, here Prester John, here, here Princip, Gavrilo, here, here printing, invention of, here prisoners of war, here Priuli, Girolamo, here Procopius, here, here Propertius, here prostitutes, barbarian, here Ptolemy, here, here Pul-i Charki prison, here Pushkin, Alexander, here, here Putin, Vladimir, here Qābūs-nāma, here Qādisiyyah, battle of, here al-Qaida, here, here Qalhāt, here Qana’, here Qānūn al-Ṣuvar, here Qarakhānid Turks, here Qardagh, here Qasim, Abdul Karim, here, here Qianlong dynasty, here qibla, here Qing dynasty, here Qitai monitoring site, here Qom, here, here Querini, Vicenzo, here Quetta, here, here, here, here Quetzalcoatl, here quinto (tax), here Qurān, here, here, here, here, here influence on social structures, here teaching of, here text on Iranian stamps, here translations of, here Quraysh tribe, here, here, here, here, here Quuz, Sultan, here Qyzyl cave complex, here Rabban Sauma, bishop of Uighutia, here Rabbani, Mullah, here, here Rabīa Balkhī, here Rabin, Yitzhak, here Radek, Karl, here Radmichi, here RAF Habbiniyah, here, here Ragusa, here Rajmahal, here Rāmisht of Sīrāf, here Ramla, here Raphael, here rare earths, here al-Rashīd, Hārūn, here Rawlinson, Henry, here Raymond of Toulouse, here Rayy, here, here, here Razmārā, Alī, here Reagan, Ronald, here, here, here Red Army, purges of, here Red Line Agreement, here Redwood, Dr Boverton, here Reformation, here, here, here Reichenau, General Walther von, here, here relics, here, here Renaissance, here rendition, extra-judicial, here Reuter, Baron George de, here Rev-Ardashīr, here Reynald of Châtillon, here Reynolds, George, here Reza Khan, Shah, here, here, here Reza Pahlavi, Shah Mohammed, here, here, here, here, here Rhineland, anti-Semitism in, here, here Rhodes, here rhubarb, here Ribbentrop, Joachim von, here, here, here Ricci, Matteo, here Richard I, King, here Ridley, General Clarence, here Rijcksen, Jan, here Rimbert, bishop of Bremen, here River Yarmuk, battle of the, here Roberts, Field Marshal Lord, here, here Roger of Sicily, here Roman army, here Roman empire adoption of Christianity, here, here and Chinese silk, here conquest of Egypt, here decline and collapse, here, here, here, here and founding of Constantinople, here Persian alliance, here, here Persian campaigns, here Persian wars, here, here, here, here, here Prophet Muammad and, here relations with China, here rise of, here and slavery, here trade with India, here Romania, post-war, here Romanos IV Diogenes, Emperor, here Rome Altare della Patria monument, here as centre of Christianity, here and fall of Constantinople, here, here plague in, here and rise of tourism, here sack of, here, here Rommel, General Erwin, here, here Roosevelt, Archie, here Roosevelt, Franklin D., here, here, here Roosevelt, Kermit, here Rosenberg, Alfred, here Rostov-on-Don, here Rothschild, Baron Alphonse de, here, here Rotterdam, here Royal Air Force, here, here Royal Dutch/Shell, here, here Royal Navy, conversion to oil, here, here, here Rumaila oilfield, here Rumsfeld, Donald, here, here, here, here Rus’, see Viking Rus’ Russia (Russian empire) abolition of serfdom, here anticipates end of world, here, here and approach to First World War, here, here artistic flourishing, here and Chechen terrorism, here collapse of government, here designs on Ottoman empire, here development of autocracy, here expansion of empire, here, here First World War aims, here and Indian trade, here invasion of Balkans, here and Jewish emigration, here military reforms, here Napoleonic invasion, here, here and ‘new Russians’, here, here and Persian oil exploitation, here postal system, here relations with Britain, here, here, here, here relations with Persia, here, here, here, here revolutions, here, here, here, here trade links with England, here Russia Company, here Russian language, here Russo-Chinese Bank, here Russo-Japanese War, here Rustichello, here Ryazan, here Ryrikovo Gorodische, here sable skins, trade in, here Sachsenhausen, here sacred fire, extinguishing of, here Sadat, Anwar, here Saddharmapundarīka (Lotus Sutra), here Safavid dynasty, here Sahara desert, here al-Said, Nuri, 4428 St Augustine, here Saint-Etienne, here St Gregory, here St Jerome, here St John, Oliver, here St Paul, here St Petersburg Academy of Medicine, here St Thomas, here Saki (H.

News of da Gama’s return home in 1499 was received with a mixture of shock, gloom and hysteria in Venice: one loud voice told all who would listen that the discovery of a sea route to India via southern Africa meant nothing less than the end for the city.18 It was inevitable, said Girolamo Priuli, that Lisbon would take Venice’s crown as the commercial centre of Europe: ‘there is no doubt’, he wrote, ‘that the Hungarians, the Germans, the Flemish and the French, and all the people from across the mountains who used to come to Venice to buy spices with their money, will now turn to Lisbon’. For Priuli, the reasons were obvious. Everyone knew, he stated in his diary, that goods reaching Venice overland went through endless checkpoints where taxes and duties had to be paid; by transporting goods by sea, the Portuguese would be able to offer goods at prices Venice could not hope to compete with.


pages: 444 words: 128,592

When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession by Irvin D. Yalom

always be closing, Isaac Newton, Murano, Venice glass, the scientific method

The still waters of the Grand Canal, shimmering with the reflections of the great palaces lining its banks, were disturbed only by the undulating wake of a coasting gondola. Other gondolas still slept, moored to twisted poles which lay askew in the canal, like spears flung down haphazardly by some giant hand. “Yes, that’s right—look about you, you fool!” Breuer said to himself. “People come from all over the world to see Venice—people who refuse to die before they are blessed by this beauty.” How much of life have I missed, he wondered, simply by failing to look? Or by looking and not seeing? Yesterday he had taken a solitary walk around the island of Murano and, at an hour’s end, had seen nothing, registered nothing. No images had transferred from his retina to his cortex. All his attention had been consumed with thoughts of Bertha: her beguiling smile, her adoring eyes, the feel of her warm, trusting body and her rapid breathing as he examined or massaged her.

Now, though he had misgivings about the extent of Max’s sensitivity, he nevertheless plunged in and, for twenty minutes without pause, spoke about Nietzsche, referring to him, of course, as Herr Müller and unburdening himself of everything, even the meeting with Lou Salomé in Venice. “But, Josef,” Max began in an abrasive, dismissive tone, “why blame yourself? Who could treat such a man? He’s crazy, that’s all! When his head hurts bad enough, he’ll come begging!” “You don’t understand, Max. Part of his disease is not to accept help. He’s almost paranoid: he suspects the worst of everybody.” “Josef, Vienna is filled with patients. You and I could work one hundred fifty hours a week and still have to refer patients out every day. Right?” Breuer didn’t reply. “Right?” Max asked again. “That’s not the point, Max.” “It is the point, Josef. Patients are banging at your door to get in, and here you are begging someone to let you help him. It doesn’t make sense! Why should you beg?” Max reached for a bottle and two small glasses. “Some slivovitz?”

“Do you love the idea or hate it?” “Live in such a way that you love the idea.” “Nietzsche’s wager.” “Consummate your life.” “Die at the right time.” “The courage to change your convictions!” “This life is your eternal life.” Everything had begun, two months ago, in Venice. Now it was back to the city of gondolas he was heading. As the train crossed the Swiss-Italian border and conversations in Italian reached his ears, his thoughts turned from eternal possibility to tomorrow’s reality. Where should he go when he got off the train in Venice? Where would he sleep tonight? What would he do tomorrow? And the day after tomorrow? What would he do with his time? What did Nietzsche do? When he was not sick, he walked and thought and wrote. But that was his way. How——? First, Breuer knew, he had to earn a living.


pages: 482 words: 125,429

The Book: A Cover-To-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston

clean water, Commentariolus, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, invention of movable type, Islamic Golden Age, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, paper trading, Ponzi scheme, wikimedia commons

Beginning in 1833, he embarked on a series of journeys across Europe and the Near East, publishing accounts of his travels to some acclaim, and it was during a tour of Italy that he had visited libraries in Naples, Siena, the Vatican, and more.63 Curzon prefaced his article with an anecdote about the origins of printing that he had come across in an Italian newspaper. An Italian scribe named Panfilo Castaldi, Curzon said, who lived from 1398 to 1490, had been employed in copying legal documents for the town of Feltre, near Venice. Castaldi was said to have eased his workload by means of glass seals or stamps, made on the Venetian island of Murano, which he used to print outlines of elaborate capital letters before further embellishing them with quill and ink. Sometime before 1426, Castaldi allegedly got wind of books brought back from Asia by the late Marco Polo, which had been neatly printed with wooden blocks. Seizing on this information (and perhaps having seen the books firsthand), Castaldi “caused movable wooden types to be made, each block containing a single letter.”64 Stop the presses!

“Counterfeiters will be decapitated,” warns the text.57 Venice and Genoa settled their feud in 1299, releasing Polo and his compatriots from the Palazzo di San Giorgio, and the wandering merchant returned to his home city to stay. His father and uncle had managed the family’s wealth ably in his absence (the trio had returned from Asia with a small fortune in precious stones) and Marco, by all accounts, lived out the rest of his days as a well-to-do but otherwise unexceptional merchant. He died in 1324.59 Copies of Rustichello’s record of Polo’s travels circulated widely among scholars and historians during the century that followed Polo’s death, and for many years the text stood as Europe’s primary source of knowledge on the lands and peoples of the mysterious East. Legend has it that a manuscript copy was chained to Venice’s Ponte di Rialto so that the traders and customers who thronged the bridge could lose themselves in Rustichello’s excitable account of Polo’s journey.60 Even saddled with the nickname “il Milione,” after the million lies it was said to contain, Polo’s narrative was translated and retranslated, copied and recopied, and finally, when Western technology had caught up with the China of Polo’s memory, printed and reprinted.61 The cult of Marco Polo, world traveler, had taken root.

It seems that he muddled along as a scholar and teacher until his forties, writing a modest Latin grammar and tutoring two young princes from the city-state of Carpi, where he inveigled himself into the graces of their family, the Pios. When Aldus moved to Venice in the late 1480s, a city brimming with enthusiasm for the printing press, he called in favors and founded a printer’s workshop. Andrea Torresani, who had printed Aldus’s Latin grammar, was tapped to provide technical know-how, while Pierfranceso Barbarigo, son and nephew to a succession of Venice’s doges, and Alberto Pio, one of the grown-up princes of Carpi, were induced to provide financial backing.29 As an ardent student of Greek texts, Aldus knew that the language presented typographical challenges. Greek scribes often combined letters, and many letters and combinations of letters were further accessorized with accents and breathing marks.


Barcelona by Damien Simonis

Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, haute couture, haute cuisine, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, land reform, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, sustainable-tourism, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl

Among the forest of sculpture on the Charity portal you can see, low down, the manger surrounded by an ox, an ass, the shepherds and kings, and angel musicians. Some 30 different species of plant from around Catalonia are reproduced here, and the faces of the many figures are taken from plaster casts done of local people and the occasional one made from corpses in the local morgue! Directly above the blue stained-glass window is the Archangel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary. At the top is a green cypress tree, a refuge in a storm for the white doves of peace dotted over it. The mosaic work at the pinnacle of the towers is made from Murano glass, from Venice. To the right of the facade is the curious Claustre del Roser, a Gothic style mini-cloister tacked on to the outside of the church (rather than the classic square enclosure of the great Gothic church monasteries). Once inside, look back to the intricately decorated entrance. On the lower right-hand side, you’ll notice the sculpture of a reptilian devil handing a terrorist a bomb.

By the mid-19th century, Realisme was the modish medium on canvas, reaching a zenith with the work of Marià Fortuny (1838–74). The best known (and largest) of his paintings is the ‘official’ version of the Batalla de Tetuán (Battle of Tetuán; 1863), depicting a rousing Spanish victory over a ragtag Moroccan enemy in North Africa. Fortuny, whom many consider the best Catalan artist of the 19th century, left his native turf for Italy in 1857, where he died in Rome. He had lived for a time in Venice, where his lodgings now constitute a gallery of his works. Modernisme & Noucentisme Towards the end of the 19th century, a fresher generation of artists emerged – the Modernistas. Influenced by their French counterparts (Paris was seen as Europe’s artistic capital), the Modernistas allowed themselves greater freedom in interpretation than the Realists. They sought not so much to portray observed ‘reality’ as to interpret it subjectively and infuse it with flights of their own fantasy.

Return to beginning of chapter DANCE Contemporary Barcelona is the capital of contemporary dance in Spain. Ramon Oller is the city’s leading choreographer, working with one of the country’s most established companies, Metros, which he created in 1986. Its dance is rooted in a comparatively formal technique. * * * CASANOVA IN JAIL AGAIN That incorrigible Venetian lover and one-time inmate of the Piombi jail in Venice’s Palazzo Ducale, Giacomo Casanova (1725–98), arrived in Barcelona in 1769, having been expelled from Paris, and spent some time trundling around Spain in search of a little peace and work. Seemingly unable to keep out of trouble, Casanova got tangled up with a lively ballerina, who happened to be the lover of the governor of Catalonia. It is perhaps unsurprising that Casanova wound up behind bars in the Ciutadella castle.


pages: 641 words: 147,719

The Rough Guide to Cape Town, Winelands & Garden Route by Rough Guides, James Bembridge, Barbara McCrea

affirmative action, Airbnb, blood diamonds, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, colonial rule, F. W. de Klerk, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transfer pricing, young professional

Murano Bar African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel, cnr Orange St and Grey’s Pass 021 469 8000, marriott.com; map. Like everything in this chic hotel, this glittering bar is an extraordinary piece of design, draped with twenty thousand handmade Italian Murano glass links. Atop this art installation of a bar is an elevated pod, offering Table Mountain views and the feeling of floating in a chandelier. A glass of wine costs R40–60. Daily 24hr. Orphanage Cocktail Emporium Cnr Bree and Orphan St 021 244 1995, theorphanage.co.za; map. This concept cocktail bar’s drinks are every bit as remarkable as its styling, which sends the roaring Twenties down the rabbit hole. Gargoyles watch over as the bar serves up artisan elixirs, twisted classics and tantalising intoxications on the drinks menu (from R70). The range of gourmet snacks adds to the decadent fun.

House, classic and frozen cocktails go for R55–65, while a glass of wine will set you back R35. Downstairs in the basement, DJs spin in Catacombs Bar from 7pm to 2am Wednesday to Saturday. Daily 7am–2am. Long Street Café 259 Long St 021 424 2464; map. This local favourite near the top of Long St, identified by its neon sign and Art Deco windows, is popular for its great-value cocktails (R40) and bar food. It’s easy to while away a few hours people-watching at the outside tables. Daily noon–1am. Marimba CTICC, cnr Heerengracht St & Walter Sisulu Ave 021 418 3366, marimbasa.com; map. This smooth restaurant and cigar bar at the Cape Town International Convention Centre offers what its name promises – live music from marimba maestro Bongani Sotshononda. Cocktails R40. Mon–Thurs 8am–midnight. Murano Bar African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel, cnr Orange St and Grey’s Pass 021 469 8000, marriott.com; map.

On the one hand, the Mother City has been titivating itself for tourists and investors, helped by the establishment of the Cape Town Partnership in 1999, which has overseen the regeneration of the city centre. The post-apartheid period led to a wave of economic confidence expressed by investors in a number of monumental developments. Among these was the megalomaniacal Century City (1997) in the northern suburbs, a garish retail, residential and office complex that adopted faux Tuscan architecture and Venice-inspired canals. More tasteful was the expansion of the V&A Waterfront to include the Nelson Mandela Gateway (2001), from where the ferry to Robben Island departs. In preparation for South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the iconic Cape Town Stadium (2009) went up on Green Point Common, and Cape Town International Airport got a brand-new Central Terminal Building (2009), which at last provided a facility that could cope with the city’s expanding air traffic.


pages: 1,213 words: 376,284

Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, From the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equity premium, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial exclusion, fixed income, food miles, full employment, germ theory of disease, global village, haute cuisine, high net worth, income inequality, index card, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, labour mobility, libertarian paternalism, Livingstone, I presume, longitudinal study, mass immigration, McMansion, mega-rich, moral panic, mortgage debt, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, stakhanovite, the built environment, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

This hurt ordinary workers, but it benefited nobles in Scandinavia and central Europe, as well as the aristocratic landowners in Italy and, by extension, the Florentine and Venetian artisans who were making the luxury goods for their palaces and tables.18 Possessions were becoming more numerous and refined. Increasingly sophisticated tableware was symptomatic of this trend. Households accumulated more spoons, forks and drinking glasses. In 1475, the Florentine banker Filippo Strozzi ordered four hundred glass beakers from Murano. In the same year, the silk merchant Jacopo di Giannozzo Pandolfini bought a set of twelve silver forks and spoons. When Domenico Cappello, son of the Venetian admiral Niccolò, died in 1532 – a time when Europeans elsewhere had never held a fork, let alone owned one – he left behind 38 table knives with silver handles, 12 decorated and gilded spoons and forks, and 42 plainer forks.19 Instead of individual plates, the elite table was increasingly graced with a complete service.

Between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries, Europe enjoyed a commercial revolution in which Florence, Venice and Genoa emerged as the prosperous link between the Byzantine and Muslim world and the courts and fairs scattered across a predominantly agrarian Europe. Initially, traders from these North Italian cities brought back from the Levant silk, spices and other luxury goods which they exchanged for grain, furs and metals from Europe. The next two centuries saw a reversal of fortunes. The European economy expanded while that of the Levant declined. Tuscany developed a flourishing wool industry, favoured by its marshy maremme south of Pisa which attracted sheep from the Apennines. By the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Lucca, Florence and Venice had learnt the art of making silk fabrics, paper and glass themselves. Alongside banking and commerce, it was these artisanal trades that made these cities prosper and expand, turning Northern Italy into the most urbanized region in Europe.

The neighbouring Brignole family could claim over 115 plates of silver. Some new objects made their appearance, such as the eggcup or silver and gold spazadente and stuzicatoio da orecchi, which allowed more elegant cleaning of teeth and ears. Pewter was sometimes ordered from London and stood on fine linen cloth from Flanders. Most of the silver spoons and bowls, the glass and pottery, however, were the product of local craftsmen, such as those enamelling gilded glass goblets in Venice or glazing the colourful majolica pottery in Montelupo in Tuscany and Casteldurante in the Marche (see Plate 1); in the sixteenth century, local textiles also gained the upper hand over imported ones. What made these objects precious was their increasingly sophisticated design and decoration rather than their material or novelty.20 Silver and tableware were signs of an emerging culture of domestic sociability and politeness.


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

He wouldn’t be equipped to buy any of these things, or even to communicate intelligibly to the salesmen—but he’d know where to find the goods all the same. Like any emergent system, a city is a pattern in time. Dozens of generations come and go, conquerors rise and fall, the printing press appears, then the steam engine, then radio, television, the Web—and beneath all that turbulence, a pattern retains its shape: silk weavers clustered along Florence’s Por Santa Maria, the Venetian glassblowers on Murano, the Parisian traders gathered in Les Halles. The world convulses, sheds its skin a thousand times, and yet the silk weavers stay in place. We have a tendency to relegate these cross-generational patterns to the ossified nostalgia of “tradition,” admiring for purely sentimental reasons the blacksmith who works in the same shop as his late-medieval predecessors. But that continuity has much more than sentimental value, and indeed it is more of an achievement than we might initially think.

Our minds may be wired to look for pacemakers, but we are steadily learning how to think from the bottom up. PART TWO StarLogo slime mold simulation (Courtesy of Mitch Resnick) Look to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways and be wise: Which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, Provides her meat in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. —PROVERBS 6:6–8 2 Street Level Say what you will about global warming or the Mona Lisa, Apollo 9 or the canals of Venice—human beings may seem at first glance to be the planet’s most successful species, but there’s a strong case to be made for the ants. Measured by sheer numbers, ants—and other social insects such as termites—dominate the planet in a way that makes human populations look like an evolutionary afterthought. Ants and termites make up 30 percent of the Amazonian rain forest biomass. With nearly ten thousand known species, ants rival modern humans in their global reach: the only large landmasses free of ant natives are Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, and Polynesia.

The system of Europe shifts from a network of cities and towns to a scattered, unstable mix of hamlets and migrants, with the largest towns holding no more than a thousand inhabitants. It stays that way for five hundred years. And then, suddenly, just after the turn of the millennium, the picture changes dramatically: the continent sprouts dozens of sizable towns, with populations in the tens of thousands. There are pockets on the map—at Venice or Trieste—that glow almost as brightly as ancient Rome had at the start of the tape, nascent cities supporting more than a hundred thousand citizens. The effect is not unlike watching a time-lapse film of an open field, lying dormant through the winter months, then in one sudden shift bursting with wildflowers. There is nothing gradual or linear about the change; it is as sudden, and as emphatic, as turning on a light switch.


The Secret World: A History of Intelligence by Christopher Andrew

active measures, Admiral Zheng, airport security, anti-communist, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francisco Pizarro, Google Earth, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

‘By 1450’, wrote the historian and Bletchley Park veteran Sir Jack Plumb, ‘Venice was the only power in Italy, save for the Papacy, that was truly cosmopolitan, one whose interests required not only a great fleet but also a complex intelligence system.’7* The broad horizons of Renaissance Venice at the height of its power are epitomized by the Mappa Mundi completed in about 1450 by Fra Mauro, a monk on the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon who had a previous career as a merchant and soldier, and a team of assistants. The most detailed and accurate (as well as probably the largest) world map yet produced, it incorporated over 3,000 descriptions of places together with hundreds of illustrations.8 Venice, followed by other states in Renaissance Europe, gained a world lead in intelligence which encountered no serious challenge until American independence. At the heart of the growing interest in intelligence by Renaissance governments and elites was a greater intellectual curiosity than ever before in European history, stimulated by the rediscovery of lost classical texts.

On the functioning of the Collegio, see de Vivo, Information and Communication in Venice, p. 37. 45. Sanudo diary: Labalme and Sanguineti White (eds.), Venice: Cità Excelentissima, p. 219. 46. Decree of Council of Ten, 20 Sept. 1539; Chambers and Pullan (eds.), Venice, p. 17. 47. Preto, I servizi segreti, pp. 55–74. 48. De Vivo, Information and Communication in Venice, pp. 41–2. 49. Ibid. 50. Ibid. 51. Murphy, God’s Jury, loc. 1455. 52. The leading study of the Venetian use of masks from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century is Johnson, Venice Incognito. 53. Addison, Essays (c.1703). 54. Johnson, Venice Incognito, p. 53. 55. Ibid., pp. 105–7. 56. news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070829-venice-plague.html, accessed 31 July 2013. 57. Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, or, The New Pilgrim’s Progress (Hartford, Conn.: American Pub.

It shows the continents of North and South America with detail which includes Alaska, the Yucatan peninsula, and the Mississippi and St Lawrence rivers, and is plainly a hoax. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/20/china.usa.) ‡ Venice’s loss of its status as Europe’s greatest trading empire, however, did not diminish its determination to protect its own commercial secrets. As late as 1745 an assassination squad was sent to poison two Venetian glass-blowers who had taken the secrets of their trade abroad. Whether the squad succeeded in its mission remains unknown. (Ackroyd, Venice, pp. 101–2.) * In 1551, when Makarios came to attend the Council of Trent, which played a key role in the Catholic Counter-Reformation, he visited the court of the Emperor Charles V to offer his services in secret plots against the Ottomans.


Norman Foster: A Life in Architecture by Deyan Sudjic

Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Frank Gehry, interchangeable parts, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, low cost airline, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, Murano, Venice glass, Norman Mailer, Pearl River Delta, Peter Eisenman, sustainable-tourism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, young professional

Designed by Palmer and Turner, a Hong Kong-based firm set up by an expatriate Englishman in the nineteenth century, the structure had, at the time of its opening in the 1930s, been the tallest and the most technically advanced office building between Cairo and San Francisco. The stepped, stone-faced tower had high-speed lifts, air conditioning, and a magnificent banking hall, full of black marble columns, with a vaulted ceiling finished in sky blue mosaics picked out in gold installed by Italian craftsmen from Murano. The main entrance was guarded by twin bronze lions, their paws rubbed smooth and shiny by the constant pressure of hands seeking financial good fortune from the contact. It was an unmistakable demonstration of prestige and the accomplishments of Western enterprise in the midst of an Asia fought over by feuding warlords, and threatened by Japanese expansionism. But by 1979 the bank had a much more complex worldwide operation to run, more people to accommodate, and an explosion of technological change to deal with.

The difficult thing about that was how to allow for the roof to flex up and down if there was nothing propping it. Simply hanging rigid sheets of glass off a steel structure was not an option, given that it was inevitably going to bend. Foster’s solution was to support the glass wall by sitting it on the ground, and to put slots in the window mullions that left space for the roof to move without doing any damage to the glass. The impact of wind on the glass was dealt with by using the first floor inside the skin to brace it. Glass, forty years later, has become the universal architectural skin for almost every new office building in London. For better or worse, they are all Olsen’s children, even if they lack its aesthetic and technical sophistication. In 1969, however, glass on this scale was unheard of. Olsen’s schedule meant that the builders had just a year to finish the project, and there wasn’t anybody in Europe who was prepared to make the glass to the sizes Foster wanted in time.

What interested Foster was not the architecture, but the prospect of using the project as a catalyst to regenerate a string of parks running along the river, currently fragmented by roads, in the manner of Olmsted’s Central Park. But Baturina wasn’t convinced by the idea, and Foster and his team have distanced themselves from the design, which now takes the form of a number of multi-storey spheres, almost in the neo-Classical manner of Étienne Boullée, but sliced open to reveal segments, and connected together with a spiralling twist of peel. At the Venice architecture Biennale in 2008, the young Moscow architect Boris Bernaskoni was allocated space in the Italian pavilion by the American director, Aaron Betsky for an installation that mounted an acid critique of the Golden Orange project. Bernaskoni flyposted the walls of the gallery with a series of posters. Some rendered Foster’s face in a Warhol-style portrait looming over the Moscow skyline.


pages: 578 words: 168,350

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor

The oldest verified person ever was the Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the remarkable age of 122 years and 164 days. Just to get a sense of how exceptional this is, the next oldest verified person was the American Sarah Knauss, who lived more than three years fewer than Jeanne, dying at the age of 119 years and 97 days. The next super-champs of long life lived almost two years fewer than Sarah, while the oldest person still alive today is the Italian Emma Murano, who is “only” in her 118th year. The search for life extension can therefore be boiled down to two major categories: (1) The conservative challenge: how can the rest of us continue the upward march toward a longer life and approach the extraordinary achievements of Jeanne Calment and Sarah Knauss? (2) The radical challenge: is it possible to extend life span beyond the apparent maximum limit of approximately 125 years and live, for instance, to 225 years?

See animals Manchester, England, 223–24 Mandelbrot, Benoit, 130–31, 132, 138–45, 152, 364 Mandelbrot set, 143–44 manufacturing, 211 Marchetti, Cesare, 333–35 Marchetti’s constant, 334–35 market capitalization, 379, 389–90 market share, 408–9 Marx, Karl, 228, 332 Masdar (Abu Dhabi), 256, 258, 299 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Newton), 181 mathematics, 8 biology and, 85–86, 87 Euclidean geometry, 130–31, 141–42 matryoshka, 128 maximal Krogh radius, 160 maximum life span, 6, 188–94, 202–3 maximum size of animals, 158–63 Maxwell, James Clerk, 109, 115, 428 McCarthy, Cormac, 425 McKinsey & Company, 404, 405 McMahon, Thomas, 198 Mead, Margaret, 239 Meadows, Dennis, 231–32 measurement process, 135–41 mechanical constraints, 122, 158–63 mechanistic theory, 12, 85, 111–12, 144, 145, 182, 408 Medawar, Peter, 86 medical research, 52–55 Medical Research Council Unit (MRCU), 437 medicine, scaling in, 16, 51–57 megacities, 7, 215, 223–24, 267–68 Meier, Paul, 403 mergers and acquisitions, 33, 403–4 survivorship curves, 396–97, 399 metabolic energy emergent laws and hierarchy of life, 99–103 growth and, 165–66 metabolic rate, 13, 18–19, 124–26, 201, 234 of animals, 2, 2n, 3, 13, 18–19, 25–26, 91–92, 285–86 of average human, 88–89 of bacteria and cells, 93, 94, 96 of companies, 391–92 definition of, 13 Kleiber’s law and, 26–27, 90–93, 117, 145 in mammals, plants, and trees, 18–19, 118–22 natural selection and, 88–90, 151 scaling of, 90–91, 173 metabolic theory of ecology (MTE), 115–16, 173–78, 203–4 metabolism of cities, 371–78 energy, and entropy, 12–15 social, 13, 373–74, 415 Metabolism (architecture), 247–48 metaphysics, 179–80 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), 356, 462n Mexico City, growth curve, 375 mice, 6, 12, 16, 52, 114 caloric restriction and survival curves, 205, 206 Milgram, Stanley, 296–97, 301–4 Milgram experiment, 301–2 Milky Way, 79 Millennium Bridge (London), 298–300 minimum size of animals, 155–58 mitochondria, 100–102, 101, 113 mobile phone data, as detector of human behavior, 337–45, 351–52, 439 modeling, 62–63 modeling theory, 35, 71–75 Modena, Italy, 249 momentum, 20–21 Moore, James, 249 mortality. See aging and death mortality curves companies, 397, 398–400, 400–402 human, 189–90, 192, 192–94, 193 Moses, Robert, 260–61, 266 Mother Earth, 211–12 motion and dynamics, 37 Mount Everest, 135 movement of people in cities, 346–52, 349–50 movies, fractals in, 144 Mumford, Lewis, 259–60, 373 Munich, 278, 340, 406 Murano, Emma, 188 music, fractals in, 144 musth, 52–53 NASA images of Earth, 211–12 National Institute on Aging, 183 National Science Board, 434 National Science Foundation, 183, 385 National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, 292 “natural” environment, 213, 236, 411 natural philosophy, 181 natural resources, 213, 236–37. See also resource limitation natural selection, 23–24, 79, 87, 143, 428 allometric scaling laws and, 26–27, 98, 103–4 death and, 84–85 life expectancy and, 194 Malthus and, 228 maximum size, 162–63 metabolic rate and, 88–90 optimization and, 115 terminal units and, 114, 151–52 Navier, Claude-Louis, 71 Navier-Stokes equation, 71–72, 75, 131–32 Nazi Party, 290, 292, 301 neo-Malthusians, 229–30, 238, 414–15, 422–23 network science, 296, 319 network theory, 27–28, 159–60, 407–8 cities and, 247, 250–51, 319–20 ontogenetic growth and, 165–66 origins of allometric scaling and, 103–5, 111–18 New Orleans, 359 New Science of Cities, The (Batty), 294–95 Newton, Isaac, 37, 38, 63, 71, 107–8, 181, 339, 428 New Towns in the United Kingdom, 263–65 New Urbanism, 259–60 New York City, 10, 251, 278, 358 economic diversity, 366–68, 367 growth curve, 377, 418–19, 419 infrastructure networks, 252 Jacobs and, 253–54, 260–62 pace of life, 327 pollution, 275 population size, 310 water system, 362–63 New York Stock Exchange, 390 New York Times, 241, 258, 300 New York University, 260, 261 Niemeyer, Oscar, 257–58, 259 “night-lights,” 212 Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, 406 Nobel Prizes, 78–79, 86, 111, 160, 177, 369–70, 383, 436, 437 nodes, 296–98, 298 nonlinear behavior and scaling, 15–19 normal (or Gaussian) distribution, 56, 313–15 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), 364–65, 370 Northridge earthquake of 1994, 46, 47 nuclear energy, 242–44 nuclear fusion, 242–43 obedience experiments, 301–2 obscenity, 20 Oklahoma City, 17–18 bombing, 47 zoo, 52–53 olive oil, 189 Olympic Games (1956), 49 On Growth and Form (Thompson), 86–88 On Man and the Development of His Faculties, or Essays on Social Physics (Quetelet), 56 ontogenesis, 164–65 ontogenetic growth, 165–73 open-ended growth, 31–32 of cities.

In support of this Marchetti wryly remarked, “Even people in prison for a life sentence, having nothing to do and nowhere to go, walk around for one hour a day, in the open.” Because walking speed is about 5 kilometers an hour, the typical extent of a “walking city” is about 5 kilometers across (about 3 miles), corresponding to an area of about 20 square kilometers (about 7 square miles). According to Marchetti, “There are no city walls of large, ancient cities (up to 1800), be it Rome or Persepolis, which have a diameter greater than 5km or a 2.5km radius. Even Venice today, still a pedestrian city, has exactly 5km as the maximum dimension of the connected center.” With the introduction of horse tramways and buses, electric and steam trains, and ultimately automobiles, the size of cities could grow but, according to Marchetti, constrained by the one-hour rule. With cars able to travel at 40 kilometers an hour (25 mph), cities, and more generally metropolitan areas, could expand to as much as 40 kilometers or 25 miles across, which is typical of the catchment area for most large cities.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

Zoning is the practice of sequestering like civic uses in discrete zones, or districts: single-family residences here, apartment buildings there, stores over there, and factories off in the distance, with everything connected by roads. This concept was by no means entirely new, since people all over the world had made similar divisions, both formally and informally, for centuries. (In 1291, the government of Venice moved that city’s entire glassmaking industry to the island of Murano, in the Venetian Lagoon, both to limit the danger that the glassmakers’ furnaces would touch off a catastrophic citywide fire and to make it less likely that the secrets of Venetian glassmaking would be stolen by outsiders.) But the internal combustion engine—combined with the crucial fact that so much of the raw land in the United States remained untouched, and therefore could be developed to suit automobiles, something that was less true in Europe—had made genuine isolation feasible, by enabling people to separate daily activities by greater distances than could easily be covered on foot, with the help of horses, or by existing networks of trains and trolleys.

It also, typically, has exterior walls that are mostly window.28 Windows are a lot more energy-efficient than they used to be, but even very expensive, high-tech windows are poor insulators, in comparison with other building components. Sunlight streaming through large glass surfaces fights air conditioners during hot weather, and heat escaping through large glass surfaces undercuts heating systems during cold. Some of the huge windows in the Wired house are equipped with elegant-looking gauzy blinds, which can be pulled down on hot, sunny days, but all that glass still represents a significant source of heat gain during the day and of heat loss during the night. Nevertheless, as the Wired house shows, many people have been led to believe that a good way to make a house greener, or appear greener, is to use more glass. Big glass walls have a clean, modernist look, consistent with popular impressions of environmental responsibility, but using more glass necessarily means using less insulation, and, as the Department of Energy has explained, “structures with high glazing areas are less likely to comply with the energy code.”29 Another reason for the belief that glass is green is that the most widely discussed green structures in recent years have tended to be office buildings, which often have lots of glass for reasons that mainly have to do with aesthetics.

Before Clean-up: Ventilate the Room • Have people and pets leave the room, and don’t let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out. • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more. • Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one. 2. Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces • Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag. • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. • Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the glass jar or plastic bag. • Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces. That’s just the beginning. For the complete protocol, see: http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/energystar.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, double helix, Etonian, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549

Its colour was less important to them than temperature, and they found it was best served in their most famous invention of all: fine porcelain, or ‘china’. Since they had no particular use for it, early Chinese glass was thick, opaque and brittle. They mainly used it for making children’s toys – and soon gave up on it altogether. For almost 500 years, from the end of the fourteenth century until the nineteenth, no glass was made in China at all. Meanwhile, in 1291 the Republic of Venice, concerned about the fire risk to its wooden buildings, moved its glass furnaces offshore to the island of Murano. Here, inspired by migrant Islamic craftsmen, the inhabitants learned to make the finest glass in the world, giving them a monopoly that lasted for centuries The impact of high-grade glass on Western culture cannot be overstated. The invention of spectacles towards the end of the thirteenth century added at least fifteen years to the academic and scientific careers of men whose work depended on reading.

This is a scale measuring the energy that a material loses on impact. It runs from 0 for all energy lost, to 1 for no energy lost. Hard rubber has a COR of 0.8, but a glass ball can have a COR of up to 0.95. That’s providing it doesn’t smash on impact. Astonishingly, nobody really knows why and how glass shatters. The Third International Workshop on the Flow and Fracture of Advanced Glasses, a conference held in 2005 involving scores of scientists from all over the world, failed to reach agreement. Many of the unique qualities of glass are a result of its not being a normal solid, but an amorphous (or ‘shapeless’) solid. Molten glass solidifies so quickly that its molecules don’t have time to settle into a regular crystalline lattice. This is because glass contains small amounts of soda (sodium carbonate) and lime (calcium oxide) that interfere with the structure of the silica (silicon dioxide) atoms as they cool.

Many archaeologists believe that the Stone Age – which is itself split into three eras (the Old, Middle and New Stone ages) – was probably more of a Wood Age, but that wood’s predominant role in pre-history has been hidden by the fact that wooden artefacts rot, while stone ones don’t. What was not Made in China and not made of china? Glass. Though the Chinese invented the compass, the flushing toilet, gunpowder, paper, the canal lock and the suspension bridge long before anyone else, the scientific revolution that transformed the West between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries completely passed them by. The reason for this is that they also invented tea. The earliest known glass artefacts are Egyptian and date back to 1350 BC, but it was the Romans who first produced transparent glass. They liked the way it enabled them to admire the colour of their wine. By the time the Egyptians worked out how to make glass, the Chinese had been drinking tea (traditionally they began in 2737 BC) for almost 1,400 years. Its colour was less important to them than temperature, and they found it was best served in their most famous invention of all: fine porcelain, or ‘china’.


Frommer's London 2009 by Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince

airport security, British Empire, double helix, East Village, Edmond Halley, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Sloane Ranger, Stephen Hawking, sustainable-tourism, urban renewal, young professional

CONTINENTAL/INTERNATIONAL Food lovers and gourmands flock to this food store, delicatessen, and restaurant, where racks of the finest meats, cheeses, and produce in the world are displayed and changed virtually every hour. The Villandry 10_285596-ch06.qxp 7/22/08 5:56 PM Page 193 M A RY L E B O N E TO N OT T I N G H I L L G AT E 193 Eating at Authentic Chippies Declassé or not, Britain’s national dish of fish and chips was called “the good companions” by Sir Winston Churchill. Introduced to London by Murano Jews, this dish has been Britain’s fast food since the mid–19th century. Those slightly limp chips (fries to Americans) burst open with flavor with a squirt of malt vinegar, and each dish is accompanied by a “wally” in chippy vernacular (a pickled gherkin). Britons consume some 300 million fish and chips meals per year. The staunchest of devotees claim that the fish has to be cooked in beef drippings, but there is much disagreement on that in recent years.

EXPLORING LONDON’S CANALS BY BOAT Boat trips on London’s canals, especially Regent’s Canal in London’s canal-laced “Little Venice,” are an increasingly popular way to seeing the city. Bus no. 6 takes you to Little Venice, where you can board one of several boats for a tour along the canals. You can return either by boat or by Tube at the end of a one-way trip—Warwick Avenue on the Bakerloo line is only a couple of minutes walk from where the canal boats dock. Since the Festival of Britain in 1951, some of the traditional painted canal boats have been resurrected for Venetian-style trips through the waterways. One of them is Jason, which takes you on a 90-minute round-trip ride from Bloomfield Road in Little Venice through the long Maida Hill tunnel under Edgeware Road, through Regent’s Park, past the Mosque, the London Zoo, Lord Snowdon’s Aviary, and the Pirate’s Castle, to Camden Lock, and finally back to Little Venice.

Some of the most generous offers come from the Travelodge (& 800/578-7878 in the U.S.) and Hilton International (& 800/445-8667 in the U.S.) chains. For best results, call the 800-number and ask about family packages. Here are two other familyfriendly spots: The Colonnade (p. 137) Located in the canal-laced Little Venice section of London, this hotel lets children under 12 stay free in their parent’s room and the staff can arrange babysitting. This residential area is safe, with treelined avenues leading down to a canal. With its shops, cafes, and restaurants, Little Venice has a real neighborhood feel to it. Hart House Hotel (p. 130) This small, family-run B&B is right in the center of the West End, near Hyde Park. Many of its rooms are triples. If you need even more space, special family suites, with connecting rooms, can be arranged. 09_285596-ch05.qxp 7/22/08 5:40 PM Page 107 THE WEST END 107 Thanet Hotel Most of the myriad hotels around Russell Square are indistinguishable, but the Thanet stands out.


The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture by Orlando Figes

Anton Chekhov, British Empire, glass ceiling, global village, Honoré de Balzac, Internet Archive, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, New Journalism, Republic of Letters, wikimedia commons

Tourists travelled in the expectation of finding those things mentioned in their guidebooks, and those sites became commodities – ‘culturally valuable objects’ acquired by the tourist in the act of seeing them.33 Souvenirs enabled tourists to materialize these symbolic acquisitions. Along the tourist routes in Italy, shops sold terracotta replicas of museum sculptures, imitation Murano glass vases, photographic reproductions of Old Masters, models of the Roman temples and countless other souvenirs manufactured specially for the tourist market. In Dickens’s Little Dorrit (1857) the Meagles home in Twickenham is filled with them: There were antiquities from Central Italy, made by the best modern houses in that department of industry; bits of mummy from Egypt (and perhaps from Birmingham); model gondolas from Venice; model villages from Switzerland; morsels of tessellated pavement from Herculaneum and Pompei, like petrified minced veal; ashes out of tombs, and lava out of Vesuvius; Spanish fans, Spezzian straw hats, Moorish slippers; Tuscan hairpins, Carrara sculpture, Trasteverini scarves, Genoese velvets and filigree, Neapolitan coral, Roman cameos, Geneva jewellery, Arab lanterns, rosaries blest all round by the Pope himself, and an infinite variety of lumber.34 Travel agencies were equally important in standardizing tourist routes.

His influence helped to change the tourist cultural map, encouraging the British to travel to the Alps and Venice, for example, in larger numbers than they had done before. The Stones of Venice, in particular, raised appreciation for the art and architecture of that city. It did more than any other work to turn Venice from a rundown stop-off on the Grand Tour into an important tourist destination in its own right (it inspired Marcel Proust, whose narrator in À la recherche du temps perdu visits Venice with his mother on the back of his enthusiasm for Ruskin).42 No less widely used by travellers were the many guides to Europe’s art museums by Louis Viardot. Louis had developed his extensive knowledge of the newly opened public art collections of the Continent on his travels with Pauline. Accompanying her on her European tours, he would spend his days in the museums of the major cities cataloguing all their works and writing articles about the collections for the European press.

Horrified by the hurried, superficial sightseeing encouraged by the railways and the Murray guides, Ruskin brought out his own books on art and architecture designed to help the serious traveller cultivate an appreciation of the art and culture of a place. In The Stones of Venice (1851–3), originally published in three volumes but abridged ‘for the use of travellers’, and later in his Mornings in Florence (1875), Ruskin sought to provide practical advice on what was really worth seeing. He gave scholarly information on the most important buildings and works of art, indicated the best times to see them, and advised how long to spend on each and how long to rest between them to keep the senses fresh. Ruskin’s books became essential guides to the cultural experience of Italy. They were cited frequently by the Baedeker and Murray guides, and were often used as supplements to them by travellers. His influence helped to change the tourist cultural map, encouraging the British to travel to the Alps and Venice, for example, in larger numbers than they had done before.


pages: 920 words: 237,085

Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany 2017 by Rick Steves

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, carbon footprint, Dava Sobel, Google Hangouts, index card, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, place-making, Skype, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wikimedia commons, young professional

Across the street, Erboristeria Boboli (#12 red)—a fragrant shop with herbal/organic lotions, fragrances, candles, and so on—is worth a whiff. Passing some clothing boutiques, you’ll reach Tealicious (on the right, #26 red), where Laura curates a fragrant selection of exotic teas, including some unusual flavor combinations. A block farther on the left, Tabescè (#39 red) produces quirky, modern, Murano-style glass jewelry and funky art objects that appeal to hipsters. Across the street is the characteristic Legatoria La Carta marbled paper shop and book bindery (#58 red; see listing on here). Soon after, you reach the rear entrance to Boboli Gardens; Via Romana continues past this point, but there are fewer interesting shops. Along the River Borgo San Jacopo and Via di Santo Spirito, running parallel to the river through the heart of the Oltrarno, are lined with fine shops.

The receding arches, floor tiles, and banisters create a background for a realistic scene. The figures in the foreground stand and move like real people, telling the Bible story with human details. Amazingly, this spacious, 3-D scene is made from bronze only a couple of inches deep. Inside the Baptistery: The interior features a fine example of pre-Renaissance mosaic art (1200s-1300s) in the Byzantine style. Workers from St. Mark’s in Venice came here to make the remarkable ceiling mosaics (of Venetian glass) in the late 1200s. The Last Judgment on the ceiling gives us a glimpse of the medieval worldview. Life was a preparation for the afterlife, when you would be judged and saved, or judged and damned—with no in-between. Christ, peaceful and reassuring, blessed those at his right hand with heaven (thumbs up) and sent those on his left to hell (the ultimate thumbs-down), to be tortured by demons and gnashed between the teeth of monsters.

Train Connections The departures listed below are operated by Trenitalia; Italo offers additional high-speed connections to major Italian cities (including Milan, Padua, Venice, Rome, and Naples; see here). From Florence by Train to: Pisa (2-3/hour, 45-75 minutes), Lucca (2/hour, 1.5 hours), Siena (direct trains hourly, 1.5-2 hours; bus is better because Siena’s train station is far from the center), Camucia-Cortona (hourly, 1.5 hours), Livorno (hourly, 1.5 hours, some change in Pisa), La Spezia (for the Cinque Terre, 5/day direct, 2.5 hours, otherwise nearly hourly with change in Pisa), Milan (hourly, 2 hours), Venice (hourly, 2-3 hours, may transfer in Bologna; often crowded—reserve ahead), Assisi (8/day direct, 2-3 hours), Orvieto (hourly, 2 hours, some with change in Campo di Marte or Rifredi Station), Rome (2-3/hour, 1.5 hours, most require seat reservations), Naples (hourly, 3 hours), Brindisi (8/day, 8 hours with change in Bologna or Rome), Interlaken (2/day, 5.5 hours, 2 changes), Frankfurt (6/day, 10-11.5 hours, 2 changes), Paris (5/day, 9-10.5 hours, 1-2 changes; 1 night train with change in Milan, 13 hours, important to reserve ahead at www.thello.com), Vienna (5/day, 10-11 hours, 1-2 changes).


Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, business cycle, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, computer age, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, Francisco Pizarro, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, land tenure, lateral thinking, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, out of africa, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Many more were lured by old shop comrades, come back to recruit. Most o f this, remember, violated British law. In an effort to discourage foreign competition, Britain had prohibited the export of most machinery (though not steam engines) and the emigration of skilled artisans. In this, Britain was following an immemorial tradition. In medieval Italy, for example, the glassworkers of Murano and the shipwrights o f the Arsenal in Venice emigrated only on pain of death. Such constraints delayed the diffusion of knowledge, but in a world of rudimentary surveillance, could not prevent it. S o with Britain: hundreds, even thousands, o f craftsmen emigrated during those early decades o f the nineteenth century, most of them voluntarily. A few were captured in war. 11 281 T H E WEALTH OF K N O W L E D G E British expats were not alone.

But here medieval optical technology, however primitive, was saved by the nature o f the difficulty: the lenses to cor­ rect presbyopia do not have to be extremely accurate. Their function is primarily to magnify, and although some magnify more than others, just about any and all will help the user. This is why people will occa­ sionally borrow glasses in a restaurant to read the menu, and why fiveand-dime stores can put out boxes o f such spectacles for sale. The buyer simply tries a few and picks the most suitable. Myopes (short­ sighted people) cannot do that. That was the beginning. By the middle of the fifteenth century, Italy, particularly Florence and Venice, was making thousands o f spectacles, fitted with concave as well as convex lenses, for myopes as well as presbyopes. Also, the Florentines at least (and presumably others) under­ stood that visual acuity declines with age and so made the convex lenses in five-year strengths and the concave in two, enabling users to buy in batches and change with time.

W h i t e a l s o p o i n t s o u t t h a t w h e r e a s p a p e r from M u s l i m l a n d s ( n o t m e c h a n i c a l l y p r o d u c e d ) n e v e r s h o w s w a t e r m a r k s , s u c h t r a d e m a r k s a p p e a r in Ital­ ian p a p e r by the 1 2 8 0 s , a sign o f commercial enterprise. 3 . O n t h e s e g l a s s e s b e f o r e e y e g l a s s e s , s e e t h e w o r k o f Z e c c h i n , Vetro e vetrai di Murano ( V e n i c e , 1 9 8 9 ) , c i t e d b y I l a r d i , " R e n a i s s a n c e F l o r e n c e , " p . 5 1 0 . 4 . T h e s p e a k e r is t h e D o m i n i c a n F r a G i o r d a n o o f P i s a , in a s e r m o n at S a n t a M a r i a N o v e l l a in F l o r e n c e in 1 3 0 6 . Q u o t e d in W h i t e , " C u l t u r a l C l i m a t e s , " p . 1 7 4 ; a l s o in r e p r i n t , 1 9 7 8 , p . 2 2 1 .


44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

Murano, Venice glass, working poor

They followed their host back down the corridor and into the large, formally furnished drawing room. Angus Lordie busied himself with the opening of a bottle of champagne, which he took from a concealed fridge in a walnut cabinet. Then he poured a glass for each of them and they stood in the middle of the room, under the Murano chandelier, and raised their glasses to each other. “To the successful sale of the Vettriano,” said Angus Lordie, chinking his glass against Matthew’s. “That is assuming that you will be selling it. Vettriano, of course, is not to everybody’s taste. But the point is there’s a strong market for them and it seems to be getting stronger.” Matthew looked into his glass. He did not like to talk about financial matters, but he was very curious to know what value Angus Lordie might put on his painting. “You wouldn’t have any idea,” he began. “Of what it’s worth?”

But there was more to come about that particular week. “On the final day,” he continued, “we had a visit from a really important person from the art world in Edinburgh. Really important. He came to speak to us on the Saturday afternoon, and we were told all about it the day before. The inspector who was in charge of the course said that we were very lucky to get him, as he was often away in places like Venice and New York. That’s where these people go, he explained. They feel comfortable in places like that. And that’s fair enough, I suppose. Imagine if they had to go to places like Motherwell or Airdrie. Just imagine. “He arrived in the afternoon, an hour or so before he was due to give his lecture, which was at three. It was a fine day – broad sunshine – and most of us were sitting out at the front after lunch, as we were off-duty until the lecture.

This was, after all, the Hot Cool and it sounded inappropriate. So she said: “I’ll wait for him. And I’ll have a glass of white wine.” The barman went off to fetch a glass, and Pat, her hands resting nonchalantly on the counter, glanced at the other drinkers. They were mostly in their mid-to late-twenties, she thought; clearly affluent, and dressed with an expensive casualness. One or two older people, some even approaching forty, or beyond, were occupying the few available bar-stools, and were talking quietly among themselves; to the other drinkers in the bar these people were largely invisible, being of no sexual or social interest. The barman returned with her drink, which was served in a smoked-green glass, inexplicably, but generously, filled with ice. Pat sipped at the chilled wine and then glanced over her shoulder.


France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams

active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, post-work, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Georges Pompidou commissioned Paris’ Centre Pompidou in 1977; Valéry Giscard d’Estaing transformed a derelict train station into the Musée d’Orsay; while François Mitterrand commissioned the capital’s best-known contemporary architectural landmarks, including IM Pei’s glass pyramid at the Louvre, the Opéra Bastille, the Grande Arche in the skyscraper district of La Défense, and the national library Click here, as well as Jean Nouvel’s fabulous riverside architectural icon, the Musée du Quai Branly. * * * TOP PICKS: URBAN DESIGN The best of dreamy venues for urban-design buffs: Paris’ Hôtel Le A Click here, Murano Urban Resort and Kube Hôtel Lyon’s Hotelo and Collège Hotel Hôtel HI and Hôtel Windsor, Nice Hôtel Le Corbusier, Marseille Les Bains Douches, Toulouse Hôtel 3.14, Cannes Zazpi, St-Jean de Luz L’Hermitage Gantois, Lille Hôtel La Pérouse, Nantes Seeko’o, Bordeaux * * * In the provinces, notable buildings include Strasbourg’s European Parliament, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’s Euralille and Jean Nouvel’s glass-and-steel Vesunna Musée Gallo-Romain in Périgueux, a 1920s art-deco swimming pool–turned–art museum in Lille and the fantastic Louvre II Click here in unknown Lens, 37km south of Lille.

Hôtel du Vieux Saule (Map; 01 42 72 01 14; www.hotelvieuxsaule.com; 6 rue de Picardie, 3e; Filles du Calvaire; s €120, d €140-160, tr €180; ) The flower-bedecked ‘Old Willow Tree’, a 28-room hostelry in the northern Marais bordering Ménilmontant, is something of a find because of its slightly unusual location. The hotel has a small sauna, there is a tranquil little ‘garden’ on display behind glass off the lobby, and breakfast is served in the 16th-century vaulted cellar. TOP END Murano Urban Resort (Map; 01 42 71 20 00; www.muranoresort.com; 13 bd du Temple, 3e; Filles du Calvaire; s €360, d €440-650, ste €750-1200; ) This 52-room hotel’s subtitle, ‘Urban Resort’, suggests that you should come, kick off your shoes and sink your toes in the hotel’s figurative sand. And with public areas like a new spa with heated pool, a glass-roofed courtyard restaurant, a cool jazz and DJ bar, and guestrooms that allow you to change their colour scheme, that’s easily accomplished. Gare de Lyon, Nation & Bercy The neighbourhood around the Gare de Lyon has a few budget hotels as well as an independent hostel.

Local Vitalis ( 05 49 44 66 88) bus 9 links Futuroscope (Parc de Loisirs stop) with Poitiers’ train station (the stop in front of Avis car rental; €1.30, 30 minutes); there are one to two buses an hour from 6.15am until 7.30pm or 9pm. Marais Poitevin Within the protected Parc Naturel Interrégional du Marais Poitevin, these tranquil bird-filled wetlands are dubbed Venise Verte (Green Venice) due to the duckweed that turns its maze of waterways emerald green each spring and summer. Covering some 800 sq km of wet and drained marsh, the marshlands are interspersed with villages and woods threaded by bike paths. * * * SLEEPING GREEN IN FRANCE’S ‘GREEN VENICE’ To get even closer to nature in the Marais Poitevin, choose from one of 10 rooms at the waterside Maison Flore ( 05 49 76 27 11; www.maisonflore.com; rue du Grand Port, Arçais; s/d/tr/q €48/63/76/85; ), which are themed after local marsh plants such as pale-green Angelica and purple-hued Iris.


pages: 1,590 words: 353,834

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, credit crunch, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, God and Mammon, Index librorum prohibitorum, Kickstarter, liberation theology, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

His father, a bricklayer, spent years as a migrant worker in Switzerland and Germany before getting a regular job as a glassblower on the Island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon.28 Luciani was only eleven when his devout mother entered him into a minor seminary at Feltre.29 Ordained a priest on July 7, 1935, the twenty-two-year-old Luciani spent two years as a chaplain and teacher at Agordo’s Technical Mining Institute.30 In 1937 he received his doctorate in theology from Rome’s Gregorian University.31 And that year he became the vice rector at the Seminary of Belluno, where for the next decade he taught everything from canon law to philosophy.32 In 1958, John XXIII consecrated him bishop of Vittorio Veneto, a small city south of Belluno. It was another eleven years, December 15, 1969, before Paul VI appointed him the Patriarch of Venice, in part because he was a likable administrator not hobbled by too great an ego and ambition.33 After three and a half uneventful years as Venice’s Patriarch, Pope Paul gave him his red hat in 1973.34 The man who once told a friend, “Had I not become a priest, I would have liked to have been a journalist,” was a traditionalist when it came to church dogma.35 He agreed with his predecessor on every major issue except for the ban on all artificial birth control.

Neither of them seemed bothered that it was illegal in Italy for a bank to buy its own shares on the open market.23 Their goal was to acquire control of the bank, but to do so in small enough increments that no government regulator or Ambrosiano official would notice.24 But the matter that most consumed their time was a year-long deal over whether to buy one of the church’s most prestigious holdings, the Banca Cattolica del Veneto. It was Sindona’s idea. He discussed it first with Massimo Spada, before encouraging Calvi to make a formal bid.25 The Cattolica was the Ambrosiano’s sister bank in Venice, one of Italy’s most important Catholic institutions since its 1878 opening, and intertwined historically with the Venetian clergy and Black Nobles.26 Sindona and Spada thought Banca Cattolica was a natural fit with the Ambrosiano’s expanding empire. But they also knew that the two banks were fierce competitors.27 Calvi thought it unlikely that the church would part with the Cattolica. Albino Luciani, Venice’s Patriarch, whose archdiocese owned a minority share, was almost certain to object. Nevertheless Calvi pitched the idea to Marcinkus in 1971. In a letter, Calvi offered to purchase up to 50 percent of the bank at a hefty premium.28 The offer posed little downside risk.

The money was paid in five installments, in a convoluted back-and-forth of offshore transfers that had become a hallmark of Calvi, Sindona, and Marcinkus deals (the IOR put all its proceeds into Calvi’s Bahamian bank, bringing Marcinkus’s deposits in Cisalpine to a dizzying $112.5 million).34 Not everyone was happy with the sale of a controlling block of Banca Cattolica. Venice’s Luciani complained to Pope Paul and to the influential deputy Secretary of State, Archbishop Giovanni Benelli, that the deal was against the church’s long-term interests. Luciani reminded Benelli that not only was he the chief prelate of the diocese that owned part of the bank, but that the Cattolica was also headquartered in Venice. He felt he should have been more involved in the decision over whether to sell. Luciani was also upset since Calvi canceled the bank’s preferred interest rates to Catholic institutions.35 Benelli tried palming Luciani off to Marcinkus.


Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet Publications

banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Frank Gehry, G4S, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Push south next along the Atlantic coast, stopping in Nantes if you like big cities (and riding mechanical elephants), or continuing to the peaceful waterways of Green Venice, aka the Marais Poitevin . Bordeaux is your final destination for day six, from where a bevy of Bordeaux wine-tasting trips tempt. End the journey on a high atop Europe’s highest sand dune, Dune du Pilat , near oyster-famed Arcachon . One Week A Week Around Paris Start in Paris , from where a journey of magnificent French icons, Renaissance châteaux and sparkling wine unfurls. Day one has to be France’s grandest castle, Château de Versailles , and its vast gardens. The second day, feast on France’s best-preserved medieval basilica and the dazzling blue stained glass in Chartres , an easy train ride away. Small-town Chantilly is a good spot to combine a laid-back lunch with a Renaissance château, formal French gardens and – if you snagged tickets in advance – an enchanting equestrian performance.

Displays help visitors untangle such complicated mid-20th-century events as the Algerian war and the creation of the Fifth Republic, and consider the ways in which De Gaulle’s years in power (1958–69) affected French culture, style and economic growth. Audioguides are available. The site affords breathtaking, sublime views of the Haute-Marne countryside. Colombey-les-Deux-Églises is 72km east of Troyes along D619; taking A5 to exit 23 (88km) is a bit faster. BAYEL POP 868 Thanks to the Cristallerie Royale de Champagne (adult/child €6/3; 9.30 & 11am Mon-Fri) , established by a family of glassmakers from Murano, Italy, this quiet village has been a centre of crystal manufacture since 1678. To see the production process, take a factory tour. Tours are in French unless the group is predominantly English-speaking. For even more insight into how crystal is made, tie this in with a visit to the Musée du Cristal (Crystal Museum | Écomusée; adult/child €4/2, combined with tour €8/4; 9.15am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm Sat, 2-5.30pm Sun) ; a 15-minute film highlights the different stages involved in crystal production.

Certain rail services between France and its continental neighbours are marketed under a number of unique brand names: Elipsos (www.elipsos.com) Luxurious ‘train-hotel’ services to Spain. TGV Lyria (www.tgv-lyria.fr) To Switzerland. Thalys (www.thalys.com) Thalys trains pull into Paris’ Gare du Nord from Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne. Thello (www.thello.com) Overnight train service from Paris to Milan, Brescia, Verona and Venice in Italy. SAMPLE TRAIN FARES Route Full Fare (€) Duration (hr) Amsterdam–Paris 89 3¼ Madrid–Blois 153 12½ Berlin–Paris 189 8 Brussels–Paris 69 1½ Dijon–Milan 80 7 Paris–Venice 100 11¾ Geneva–Marseille 50 3½ Vienna–Strasbourg 153 9¾ EURAIL PASS Rail passes are worthwhile if you plan to clock up the kilometres. Available only to people who don’t live in Europe, the Eurail Pass (www.eurail.com) is valid in up to 21 countries, including France.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

But the heart of the museum is the Hot Shop, a 90-foot-tall, 100-foot-wide amphitheater where visitors can watch teams of artists blowing glass. Unless you’ve been to the thousand-year-old glass furnaces on Venice’s island of Murano (where Chihuly studied with the masters), you most likely have never seen anything like this. Chihuly is one of the world’s greatest contemporary glass artists, and his work is prominently and proudly displayed throughout his hometown. In 1971 he founded the Pilchuck Glass School, 50 miles north of Seattle, which is credited with transforming glass—previously used mostly for utilitarian or decorative purposes—into a medium of artistic expression both bold and delicate. Chihuly’s blownglass sculptures defy the everyday experience of glass: Infused with lush color and sensual textures, these pieces extend the traditional notion of “glassness” into a whole new realm of beauty.

One of the most alluring accommodations in the area, it manages to combine the casual Cape Cod resort look (all rooms have balconies that open to let in the sound of the ocean) with all the luxurious amenities its VIP guests have come to expect, including a spa and seaside meals at One Pico and Pedals Café. Just a stroll south of Santa Monica is the still funky, oddball, and delightful beach community of Venice, founded in 1905 by Abbott Kinney, who envisioned a Venice-of-America. Kinney designed it to include canals and Italian architecture and imported authentic gondolas, long since gone. Though the canals still exist, they’re not nearly as noteworthy as the city’s famed 3-mile long Venice Beach boardwalk, a wide, paved promenade that runs alongside the white sand beaches. This was the epicenter of L.A.’s 1960s hippie scene, and much of that bohemian vibe lingers still. With its inexpensive cafés and stalls selling trendy clothes, sunglasses, and temporary tattoos, it’s a carnival of humanity where street musicians, Rollerbladers, bums, bikini-clad babes, and classic Southern California freaks are perpetually on parade.

With its inexpensive cafés and stalls selling trendy clothes, sunglasses, and temporary tattoos, it’s a carnival of humanity where street musicians, Rollerbladers, bums, bikini-clad babes, and classic Southern California freaks are perpetually on parade. The area’s long-famous weight lifters’ mecca, Muscle Beach, is still pumping up young Ahhh-nuld wannabes. Everyday folks line up at Jodi Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom or stroll Venice’s Main Street, a stimulating seven-block mix of shops, both fabulous and funky. WHERE: 15 miles west of Los Angeles. SANTA MONICA PIER: Tel 310-458-8900; www.santamonicapier.org. FARMERS MARKET: Tel 310-458-8712; www.smgov.net/farmers_market. VALENTINO: Tel 310-829-4313; www.pieroselvaggio.com. Cost: dinner $65. SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH: Tel 310-458-0030; www.shuttersonthebeach.com. Cost: from $520. VENICE BEACH: www.venicebeach.com. MUSCLE BEACH: Tel 310-399-2775. JODY MARONI’S: Tel 310-822-5639; www.jodymaroni.com. Cost: hot dog $5. BEST TIME: summer for free concerts on Thurs nights at the pier and Pacific waters warm enough for swimming, but also the biggest crowds.


Frommer's England 2011: With Wales by Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince

airport security, British Empire, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, congestion charging, double helix, Edmond Halley, George Santayana, haute couture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Murano, Venice glass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Sloane Ranger, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, sustainable-tourism, the market place, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, young professional

. & 020/7584-3148. www.theenterprise.co.uk. Reservations accepted for Mon–Fri lunch only. Main courses £8–£18. AE, MC, V. Mon–Fri noon–3pm and 6–10:30pm; Sat–Sun noon–3:30pm and 6–10pm (Sat until 10:30pm). Tube: South Kensington or Knightsbridge. 5 SETTLING INTO LONDON Déclassé or not, Britain’s national dish of fish and chips was called “the good companions” by Sir Winston Churchill. Introduced to London by Murano Jews, this dish has been Britain’s fast food since the mid–19th century. Those slightly limp chips (fries to Americans) burst open with flavor with a squirt of malt vinegar, and each dish is accompanied by a “wally,” in chippy vernacular (that’s a pickled gherkin to the rest of you). Britons consume some 300 million fish-and-chips meals per year. The staunchest of devotees claim that the fish has to be cooked in beef drippings, but there has been much disagreement on that point in recent years.

Hatfield remains one of England’s largest and finest country houses, with antiques, tapestries, paintings, and even the red silk stockings Elizabeth I wore. See p. 274. Woburn Abbey (Woburn, Bedfordshire): A Cistercian abbey for 4 centuries, Woburn Abbey has been visited by everyone from Queen Victoria to Marilyn Monroe. You’ll see Queen Victoria’s bedroom as well as the Canaletto Room, with its 21 perspectives of Venice. The grounds, more popular than the house, include the Woburn Safari Park, the best zoological collection in England after the London Zoo. See p. 277. Hever Castle & Gardens (Edenbridge, Kent): This was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1903, William Waldorf Astor, an American multimillionaire and Anglophile, bought the castle, restored it, and landscaped the grounds.

Populated in Anglo-Saxon times, Bourton-on-the-Water developed into a strategic outpost along the ancient Roman road, Fosse Way, which traversed Britain from the North Sea to St. George’s Channel. During the Middle Ages, its prosperity came from wool, which was shipped all over Europe. During the Industrial Revolution, when the greatest profits lay in finished textiles, it became a backwater as a producer of raw wool—albeit with the happy result for us that it never “modernized.” The scenic Cotswold village on the banks of the River Windrush has earned the title “Venice of the Cotswolds,” with its mellow stone houses, its village greens on the banks of the water, and its bridges. Don’t expect gondoliers, however. This town makes a good stopover, if not for the night, at least as a place to enjoy a lunch and a rest along the riverbanks. Afterward, you can take a peek inside St. Lawrence’s Church in the center of the village. Built on the site of a Roman temple, it has a crypt from 1120 and a tower from 1784.


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, full employment, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

The men and youths, then, with whom we have to deal return from their work jaded and tired. . . . They Explanatory Notes are thus deterred from studying or practising in the evening. To such we say, “Come let us reason together”’ (pp. 162–3). 114 blouse: a workman’s loose upper garment, usually belted at the waist; a protective work-shirt. 116 muranese obscured glass: from Murano, the island location of the Venetian glass-works. Here, the trade name for a particular style of ‘starburst’ patterned glass used for door panels; it allows light through, but cannot be seen through. half-plate: 4.75″ × 6.5″. 117 Norfolk suit: widely worn by both men and boys at the end of the nine- teenth century and into the early decades of the twentieth; modelled on a shooting suit worn by the Duke of Norfolk. It consisted of a high- buttoned jacket with vertical pleats at the front and back for freedom of movement and an integral belt in the same material (often a tweed), worn with knickerbockers tucked into long socks.

Frederick Engels, Condition of the Working Classes in England. Foundation of the Liberation Society, working for Church disestablishment. 1845–50 Irish Famine. Repeal of the Corn Laws, instituting era of Free Trade. Factory Act (‘Ten Hours Bill’) limits working day for women and children. Evaporated milk invented. Band of Hope Temperance Organization founded. Year of European Revolutions: Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Venice, Milan. Sequence of Public Health Acts begins. Karl Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto. F. D. Maurice founds Christian Socialist movement. Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton. Henry Mayhew writing on the London poor for the Morning Chronicle. Public Libraries Act; Factory Act. xliv Chronology Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. More Britons now live in towns and cities than in the countryside.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists 11 hands and brains Rushton & co.’s premises were situated in one of the principal streets of Mugsborough and consisted of a double-fronted shop with plate glass windows. The shop extended right through to the narrow back street which ran behind it. The front part of the shop was stocked with wall-hangings, mouldings, stands showing patterns of embossed wall and ceiling decorations, cases of brushes, tins of varnish and enamel, and similar things. The office was at the rear and was separated from the rest of the shop by a partition, glazed with muranese obscured glass.* This office had two doors, one in the partition, giving access to the front shop, and the other by the side of the window and opening on to the back street. The glass of the lower sash of the back window consisted of one large pane on which was painted ‘Rushton & Co.’ in black letters on a white ground.


Frommer's Caribbean 2010 by Christina Paulette Colón, Alexis Lipsitz Flippin, Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince, John Marino

European colonialism, haute cuisine, jitney, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, Saturday Night Live, Skype, sustainable-tourism, white picket fence, young professional

It’s the city ’s only “boutique hotel ” on a beach. We find much to praise at this small and ex clusive hotel because of its highly personalized and well-trained staff. Although avant garde, the design is never off-putting. The illuminated lobby might recall 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it’s still warm and friendly. Behind glass are “waterfalls,” even on the elevators, and inventive theatrical-style lighting is used to bring the outdoors inside. The one-of-a-kind glass art doors are from Murano, the famed center of glassmaking outside Venice. Overlooking Isla Verde’s best beach area, all the bedrooms are spacious and contain custom-designed beds positioned to face the ocean. Bathrooms are tiled and elegant, with tub/showers. Unique features are the openair 11th-floor exotic bar with the Caribbean ’s only rooftop fireplace. The pool is a lev el above; it’s like swimming in an ocean in the sky.

Facilities devoted to the good life ar e everywhere; you take a glass-enclosed elev ator to reach a secluded beach. 5 Estate Bakkeroe, Flamboyant Point, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. 00801. & 888/236-2427 or 340/715-6193. Fax 340/776-8500. w ww.marriott.com. 506 units . Winter $349–$700 double , fr om $1,009 suit e; off season $208–$435 double, from $750 suite. AE, DC, MC, V. Amenities: 7 restaurants; 6 bars; bab ysitting; health club; 3 out door pools; r oom service; smoke-free rooms; spa; 2 t ennis courts; watersports. In room: A/C, TV, fridge, hair dryer, Wi-Fi. Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas Kids Fronted by white-sand beaches, on 12 hectares (30 acres) of steeply sloping terrain near the extreme southeastern tip of St. Thomas, its architecture evokes a palazzo in Venice. Originally built by another hotel chain, and skillfully adapted and expanded to the Ritz-Carlton ’s specifications, it’s the most pr estigious and desirable hotel on the island, with landscaped gardens, bubbling fountains, and occasionally hidden courtyards evoking the feel of a sprawling M editerranean villa.

ANGUILLA Finds NORTHERN ITALIAN One of the island’s best, this breeze-swept r estaurant lies betw een B lue Waters B each A partments and Co vecastles. The chef, Valter Belli, hails from Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. The tables lie near the water, with distant views of St. Martin. The “sundowners” here are the best on island, including a peachy B ellini as good as that ser ved at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Other champagne drinks ar e mixed with fr uits like mango, passion fr uit, or guav a. The chef takes special care with his appetizers, including a zuppa di pesce (fish soup with porcini mushrooms) and spicy-hot penne with a garlic, tomato, and r ed-pepper sauce. All the entrees are superb and prepared with care, including a delectable red snapper with a caper-laced fresh tomato sauce or , our fav orite and the house specialty , lobster-filled ravioli in a truffle-cream sauce. 60 Gwen, Reggae & Barbecue Want to spend a lazy day on Upper Shoal Bay, which arguably has the whitest sand in the Caribbean?


The Rough Guide to Chile by Melissa Graham, Andrew Benson

Atahualpa, California gold rush, call centre, centre right, cuban missile crisis, feminist movement, Francisco Pizarro, Murano, Venice glass, sensible shoes, sustainable-tourism, trade route, union organizing, women in the workforce

Eating, drinking and entertainment While there’s a reasonable choice of restaurants in the centre, it’s worth coming out to have at least one evening meal by the beach, to see the ocean lit up with coloured lights projected from the promenade. As for entertainment, you’ll find several discotheques that get very crowded in summer and maintain a gentle buzz during low season. They are nearly all down on the Costanera Sur; leading names to look out for include Kamikaze, Sala Murano and Bar T. Iquique’s main cinema is at Mall Las Américas on Avenida Héroes de la Concepción (see “Iquique and its Beaches” map). Restaurants 226 Downtown Iquique Barracuda Gorostiaga 601, at Ramírez. Very popular wood-panelled pub serving wine by the glass, pisco sour, foreign beers, tea, coffee, milkshakes and delicious snacks, plus reasonably priced full-blown meals in the evening. Soft jazz music, lovely mellow atmosphere and top-notch service. Boulevard Baquedano 790. French-style bistro that offers a change from the usual Chilean fare, if you’re prepared to pay a little extra.

New Zealand Embassy 19 Bolton St, Wellington T04/471 6270, E echile@embchile.co.nz, Wwww.embchile.co.nz. Consulates 51 Grotto St, Onehunga, Auckland T09/622 4610, Epbex@ihug.co.nz. PO Box 359, Christchurch T03/366 5096, Epetert@cecc.org.nz. South Africa 66 Embassy 169 Garsfontein Rd Ashlea, Delmondo Office Park Block C, Gardens, Pretoria T012/460 1676, Echile@iafrica.com Consulates 1st floor Westquay Building, Westquay Rd, Waterfront, Cape Town T 021/421 2344, Echilecpt@cybersmart.co.za; 67 Venice Rd, Durban T031/312 8608, Etimhammond@pixie .co.za UK Embassy and Consulate 12 Devonshire St, London W1N 2DS T020/7580 1023, Eembachile@embachile.co.uk, Wwww.chile .embassyhomepage.com. US Embassy 1732 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 T202/785-1746, Epolitico @embassyofchile.org, Wwww.chile-usa.org. Consulates 1732 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, DC 20036 T202/530-4104; Public Ledger Building, Suite 1030, Chestnut & Sixth sts, Philadelphia, PA 19106 T215/829-9520; 1300 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1130, Houston, TX 77056 T713/621-5853; 875 N Michigan Ave, Suite 3352, Chicago, IL 60611 T312/654-8780; 800 Brickell Ave Suite, Miami, FL 33131 T305/373-8623; 866 United Nations Plaza Suite 601, New York, NY 10017 T212/980-3366; 870 Market St #1058, San Francisco, CA 94102 T415/982-7662.

Epif Grossi 268, Cerro Concepción. Chilled-out vegetarian joint – expect BBQ tofu burritos and stuffed portobello mushrooms (CH$1700–2800) – and a worthwhile evening stop-off for a beer or glass of organic wine. Pastelería Stefani Condell 1608, Plaza Victoria. Exquisite strawberry tarts and other delights, as well as a small stand-up bar where you can wash down your inexpensive cake (CH$500–1000) with a coffee. Restaurants Café Bijoux Abato 561, Cerro Concepción. Attractive restaurant with a decorative old cash register, ship’s steering wheel and open parasols dotted around. There’s a tapas-style menu (CH$2000–4500) ideal for sampling alongside a glass of Valpo’s dark and fruity El Puerto beer. J. Cruz Malbrán Condell 1466, up side alley next to the Municipalidad. An extraordinary place, more like a museum than a restaurant, packed to the gills with china, old clocks, musical instruments, crucifixes and more.


The Rough Guide to Ireland by Clements, Paul

Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, Columbine, digital map, East Village, haute couture, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Murano, Venice glass, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, sustainable-tourism, the market place, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl

On the same floor lies perhaps the most ostentatious display of wealth and fashion at Castletown: over six years, at huge cost and with painstaking effort, Lady Louisa had the walls of the Print Room papered with black-and-white prints from London and Paris, portraying everything from biblical scenes to famous actors of the day, complemented by decorative borders of swags, chains and masks; it must have looked fantastic in its original state, on a background of bright yellow paint. The highlight upstairs is the Long Gallery, which was decorated by Lady Louisa with busts of Greek and Roman philosophers and murals of Classical scenes of love and tragedy, in the style of the recently rediscovered Pompeii. It must have been a bit of a blow, however, to Lady Louisa when the extravagant glass chandeliers arrived from Murano in Venice and were found to be the wrong shade of blue for her newly decorated living room. From the gallery’s windows you can make out the Conolly Folly, some 3km north, an arcane, 50m-high edifice consisting of an obelisk perched shakily on top of a cascade of arches. Attributed to Richard Castle, it was built in 1740 as a monument to Speaker Conolly by his widow, and as a Famine relief scheme

Yeats, Roderic O’Connor and Louis le Brocquy, and there are also stained-glass pieces by Evie Hone and Harry Clarke. The gallery usually hosts temporary exhibitions of more modern artworks. Part of the gallery is devoted to a re-creation of Dublin-born painter Francis Bacon’s studio, transported from its original location at Reece Mews in South Kensington, London, where the artist lived and worked for the last thirty years of his life. After his death in 1992, his studio was donated to the gallery by his heir, John Edwards, and reconstructed here with astonishing precision – more than seven thousand individual items were catalogued and placed here with verisimilitude in the reconstruction. The studio can only be viewed through the window glass, but among the apparent debris are an old Bush record-player, empty champagne boxes and huge tins of the type of matt vinyl favoured by Bacon, the fumes of which exacerbated his asthma.

Far from being just “another kitchen” as its Irish name might suggest, this informal restaurant is an exceptional place, serving imaginative modern Irish food with a rustic bent, in dishes such as Wicklow venison salad, spiced apple, red wine and rosehip. At lunch time, you can feast on the market fish dish of the day plus either a glass of wine or a dessert for a give-away €15. Mon & Tues noon–3pm, Wed–Sat noon–3pm & 6–9pm. Green Acres Selskar St 053 912 2975, greenacres.ie. A handsome red-brick house with a modern glass extension and attractive tables on a pedestrianized street. Inside you’ll find a well-stocked deli and wine shop, a first-floor art gallery and a bistro serving creative fare such as Kilmore crab claws with grilled limes, ginger, sesame and soy glaze (€29.50).