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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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More Puzzle Therapy #5

I almost finished filling in the restaurant, and I finally got all those shutters above the olive oil shop. Can you guess what is that red thing below the bridge?

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More Puzzle Therapy #4

Seating area and night sky, and lots of bunches of flowers.

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Your Challenge: Name the Lions

We’ve heard of famous duos: Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Or trios like “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

So what would you name this group of lions: Panting, Drooling, and Licking?

Today’s post is actually number 800! Not 8 or 80, but 800! I’ve been doing this a long time. Thank you to all the readers out there who have joined me in this journey.

As a thank you, today’s post has a contest element. The best trio of names for the lions will win a prize: a digital (ebook) copy of one of my books–you get to choose. If you live in the continental US, I can send you a paperback instead, if you’d prefer. Contest ends on March 30 at midnight PST. My neighbors Karen and David will be the judges (both talented writers and lovers of Venice).

I hope you send lots of entries and ideas! Send some love, too! Writing 800 blog posts is some sort of achievement and worth celebrating.

March 31: The judges have ruled….and the winner is: Harpo, Groucho, and Chico! Thanks to all contestants. Valerie, I’ll be in contact so you can choose your prize–one of my books!

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More Puzzle Therapy #3

The bridge was fun to figure out. And the tables and chairs weren’t too hard.

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More Puzzle Therapy #2

The words are the easiest things to figure out first.

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More Puzzle Therapy #1

Here I go again–starting a new puzzle!

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