Vampires Are Forever

Dark alleys, spooky corners, moldering palaces, lonely footsteps at night. Venice has many ingredients for a good vampire story. Forever Young by Barbara Stanzl and Brett Fitzpatrick brings you a blend of modern Venice and historic backstory with plenty of Venice scenes for those who can’t get enough of reading about their favorite city.

Jasmine, an anthropology student in Venice researching folklore, haplessly stumbles into a vampire’s palace and befriends her. Though Violetta wears “vintage” clothes, speaks (a bit unconvincingly) in archaic language, and never goes out during the day nor eats a real meal, Jasmine is really slow to grasp the truth. Violetta’s handsome friend Sebastian shows up and complicates things, as does Violetta’s putative, abusive father. We get to see inside palaces and university offices, cafes and alleys. The women’s favorite haunt is Cafe Noir, a haunt of my own many years ago when it first opened and the owner befriended me. (Uh oh, does that mean he was a vampire too?)

image from

I won’t give away more of the story than that–that’s for readers to discover! Forever Young is Book One, though I don’t know when the sequel is set to come out. I heard about the book from Barbara Stanzl, who, it turns out, is a friend of a friend in Venice.

This is the cover of the edition I bought, but you’ll also see other cover art.

Forever Young is available on Amazon and also on Smashwords if you want the ebook.

Posted in Venice, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing: Live in Venice! May 17-23

Live-In-Venice Press Release

Live-Streamed Event ‘Live-In-Venice’ Will Share City Secrets With The World

  • Live-In-Venice will take place between 17-23 May 2021
  • Over 70 interviews and events live-streamed on Facebook, Vimeo and the event website
  • Interviews with artisans, art galleries and museums, fashion designers, restaurant owners and more

Venice, Italy. Live-In-Venice will be a jam-packed week-long extravaganza of live-streamed interviews and events from the iconic city of Venice. From 17-23 May 2021, local reporters will be meeting fashion designers, artisans, gallery owners, performers and local business owners. The whole week of interviews, meetings and events will be live-streamed on Facebook, Vimeo and the Live-In-Venice website from 11 am to 8 pm. 

“Live-In-Venice is set to be the biggest ever live-streamed event from the city,” says co-organizer Monica Cesarato, a local food and travel blogger and culinary instructor. Those following the event online will have the opportunity to get an insider look at iconic crafts like gondola-making, glass-blowing and mask design. But they will also meet a cornucopia of other businesses they never knew existed like the designer behind Elton John’s eccentric glasses, one of the last bead stringers in Venice, or the bookshop that’s frequently underwater. Each day will focus on one or two different themes: Fashion, Artisans, Art & Culture, Murano, Boats, Carnival, Performing Arts, Food & Drink and Kids.    

The aim is to give viewers an in-depth look at a city that visitors all too often only scrape the surface of. Cesarato says, “It is a way to show that Venice is not just the iconic monuments, but most importantly its people.” There are only around 50,000 residents left in Venice, but they remain the beating heart of the historic city. Their workshops and businesses are often hidden away down side streets, off the beaten track, but they are well worth taking the time to seek out. “People need to stay more than two days to really appreciate the city,” adds Cesarato. 

Those interested in following along for the week can register for events or follow the Facebook page for updates and watch the live-streamed interviews. 

The event is a collaboration between Sofa Tours, an expert company for virtual live experiences located in Germany, and a team of talented, diverse professionals with significant industry experience in the world of tourism and Venice.

Social Media:


Twitter:  @liveveniceweek

Instagram: @liveinveniceweek



For more information/material:

Posted in Gondolas, Italian heritage, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Venetian Emoji #6

Either this looks like someone gritting his teeth, or maybe it’s two faces, one atop the other? What emotion is this Venetian emoji expressing?

Posted in Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sharing: “Like Walking on Water”

Check out this great pair of kicks, Venetian styling! (For those who don’t hang around teens and shoe aficionados, “kicks” refers to shoes.) I’m sharing this blog post from VeneziaBlog, featuring these amazing gondola-inspired shoes designed by Rolando Segalin and now showcased in the shop of his one-time apprentice Daniela Ghezzo.

Post your comment below: Would you wear these? If someone gave you a pair in your size, what might prevent you from wearing them? Where would you wear them? And with what outfit?

I’d probably wear them with my slim black jeans, or maybe go bold and wear black tights and my black sequin mini skirt! Life is short–wear fun shoes!

Click the link to VeneziaBlog to find out where this shop is and where these shoes have been featured as artwork.

Posted in Gondolas, Italian heritage, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Anniversary, Venice Rising!

One year ago this week, I agreed to Rosemary Wilmot’s idea to create the book that became Venice Rising: Aqua Granda, Pandemic, Rebirth. She and I had met via email because of Venice blog posts that brought us together and because Rosemary had enjoyed my first anthology, First Spritz Is Free. She pitched her idea to me of a collection of stories by Venetians living through the flooding and the pandemic. It was April 7, 2020, that I said yes to begin our amazing odyssey! Here’s my reply to Rosemary:

>>>I LOVE your idea for a new spritz book. And it sounds like you have some excellent connections that we should follow up with. What do you think–Shall we reach out to people who live in Venice/Veneto and gather those essays first? Then reach out to other Venice lovers? I think the most powerful stories might come from people living in the city/region during these events.

I’ve drafted this “pitch” to send out to people to solicit essays. I want to capture their stories of the hardships and obstacles but also make sure the stories aren’t all focusing on loss and trauma. We want readers to keep reading and hear about the lessons learned, the jewel moments, the intimacy or insight or growth that came from these times. Whenever I write something, I always consider it a draft and very much welcome others’ input, so please feel free to share your thoughts for revision. <<<

Rosemary, who has great ideas

All profits from Venice Rising are donated, and at this point I’ve donated $1,673.12 USD to We are here Venice, Venice Calls, and No Grandi Navi. Please consider celebrating our Venice Rising anniversary by buying a copy of the book for yourself or a friend so that we can keep those donations rolling in!

By the way, if you’re in the US, may I suggest ordering the book directly from me, rather than Amazon, and I’ll mail it to you. The turnaround time is faster, and a much bigger portion of the profit gets donated (rather than paid to Amazon). You can order from me and pay via PayPal through this website, using the Buy Now button.

If you want more information about how to protect and preserve Venice, here’s a panel discussion from the World Monuments Fund, March 25, 2021, with panelists discussing ways to reshape and rethink tourism in this unique and beloved city of ours.

Posted in Italian heritage, Venice, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

More Puzzle Therapy #7: Fin!

All done! If it weren’t for the gondola and maybe the bridge, I’m not sure you would know this was Venice. It’s a beautiful scene but not quite accurate. But it was a fun and very satisfying puzzle to complete!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Impiraresse Gain Recognition!

Venice’s glass beads, bead makers, and the women who strung and worked with these beads have achieved worldwide recognition: They have been granted status by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage.” Read here about the history of these beads and the women known as the Impiraresse. Though they were paid a pittance and worked long hours, these women offered a vital service and even went on strike to fight for fair wages and treatment. John Singer Sargent offers a rosy view here of their tedious work.

Also prominently featured in this article is Marisa Convento who champions this work, preserves the history, makes bead jewelry herself, and helped to achieve the UNESCO status. Marisa contributed a chapter to my book First Spritz Is Free and has become a friend whom I’m always happy to visit when I’m in Venice. She is a fierce advocate preserving Venice’s unique heritage. Here she is holding stringed beads and wearing one of her creations.

(Both images taken from the Apollo Magazine article featured above.)

Posted in A Beautiful Woman in Venice, Italian heritage, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Puzzle Therapy #6

Almost done! I finished up the rando pieces and the buildings on the back street. What a colorful scene! Makes me want to grab a glass of wine, sit down at one of those tables, and wait for my gondola ride.

Posted in Gondolas, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating Women’s History–With a Gift for You!

Happy Women’s History Month! We have a few days left to celebrate the many ways that women contribute to our world.

To celebrate, I’d like to offer you a free chapter about a remarkable Venetian woman: Giulia Lama. Her work is being rediscovered and appreciated anew in recent years. In fact, a number of works attributed to male painters are now found to have been painted by Giulia Lama. Known for her intense chiaroscuro technique, Giulia was also one of the first women to work from live nude models, both female and male. Her paintings can be found in Venice at the Accademia and Ca’ Rezzonico as well as a handful of churches in the city.

When I wrote A Beautiful Woman in Venice, I somehow missed Giulia Lama’s important work. Silly me! But I’ve now written a chapter on her life, which will eventually be included in a second edition of my book. In the meantime, you can read the chapter by visiting my website and downloading a pdf version of it. You’ll see a .pdf button next to this portrait of Giulia Lama.

For those of you who have already read my book, I hope you’ll enjoy this addition, and for those of you yet to read ABWIV, this is a great introduction for you. If you wish to purchase of copy of the book in the US, please contact me via the website and I’ll mail one to you (cheaper and faster than Amazon, and I donate a portion of the proceeds to Save Venice and Venice in Peril).

Let’s amplify the voices of women throughout history who have followed their muses and produced beautiful works for us to appreciate.

And don’t forget–I’m holding a contest to name the lions. Only a few days left to enter: deadline is March 30 at midnight PST.

Posted in A Beautiful Woman in Venice, Venice, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the Founding of Venice to the Present

Happy Founders Day! Today marks the anniversary of the creation of Venice, attributed to March 24 in the year 421 at noon. This day coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation and the founding of the church of San Giacomo at Rialto.

Enjoy this short video created by Tony Green. He married his paintings to his music to honor Venice’s 16 centuries.

San Giacomo (from Wikimedia)

And as for the present day? Check out this article about a proposed “Ten Commandments” to manage overtourism in Venice and Florence. One proposal is to ban Airbnb and change the management of short and long term rentals in the cities. Venetians quoted in the article, including those who manage rentals and work in the city, point out the pros and cons of this idea. Something needs to be done–hopefully this new blueprint can offer a viable solution so this city, founded 1,600 years ago, will continue to thrive!

Posted in Italian heritage, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments