This past week I traveled back in time with Luisella Romeo and Iris Loredana via their offerings about Venice’s long history with plagues and epidemics. Believe it or not, it was a tasty trip!
Luisella, an excellent guide to Venice, is offering online virtual tours, and I recently attended “Venice and the Plague: A Story of Death, Innovation and Women.” Over Zoom, she led a group of us–folks from the US, Scotland, England, Italy, and Austria–through Venice’s stories about its plague islands, churches, and art. She also highlighted the specific role women brought to these events. Her images showed us photos of local sites as well as the artwork from the era. I won’t tell you the details here because you can experience her tour yourself on December 19, the next time she’s offering it. Check out her site to see all the other tours on offer, too.
As a crazy side note, one of the other participants told me she had just purchased two copies of Venice Rising, not knowing that she would meet me on the tour! It’s so astonishing to meet the readers of my books in such a random way! I love meeting the other participants and hearing what’s happening in their part of the world, and Luisella gave us the chance to ask questions and chat a bit, too.
Another Venetian, Iris Loredana, shared the history of Venice’s 1630-31 plague in a different format. You can purchase her ebook Festa della Salute: Thanksgiving in Venice to read about plague history and the Salute Church as well as the modern festivities. But she also entices you with recipes of traditional Venetian foods: pastries, candied apples, hot drinks, risotto, mutton, fresh vegetable dishes, and more, all accompanied by the most gorgeous photos of pears, pomegranates, sage, squashes, fall leaves, canals, and brick walls. I just want to drop into her world and touch it and taste it all. She explains how to make a number of hot drinks that I want to try out, such as dosa calda–if I can find all the ingredients here in California. Treat yourself to this sensual feast!