Network Books


If Venice Dies, by Salvatore Settis

If Venice Dies, by Salvatore Settis


Paperback – 203 x 132 mm – 182 pages

Translated by André Naffis-Sahely

What is Venice worth? To whom does this urban treasure belong? This eloquent book by the internationally renowned art historian Salvatore Settis urgently poses these questions, igniting a new debate about the Pearl of the Adriatic and cultural patrimony at large. Venetians are increasingly abandoning their hometown – there is now only one resident for every 140 visitors, and Venice’s fragile fate has become emblematic of the future of historic cities everywhere as it capitulates to tourists and those who profit from them. In If Venice Dies, a fiery blend of history and cultural analysis, Settis argues that ‘hit-and-run’ visitors are turning landmark urban settings into shopping malls and theme parks. He warns that Western civilisation’s prime achievements face impending ruin from mass tourism and global cultural homogenisation. This is a passionate plea to secure Venice’s future, written with consummate authority, wide-ranging erudition, and élan.

Salvatore Settis is an archæologist, art historian and former director of the Getty Research Institute of Los Angeles and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He is chairman of the Louvre Museum’s Scientific Council. Settis, often considered the conscience of Italy for his role in spotlighting neglect of its national heritage, is the author of several books on art history. 

A chilling account of the slow agony of Venice as illustrative of a global consumerist epidemic. Richly documented and imbued with deep angst about this supreme urban creation.
Philippe de Montebello, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Anyone interested in learning what is really going on in Venice should read this book.
Donna Leon, author of My Venice and Other Essays and Death at La Fenice

This book valiantly shows why Venice – crossroads of civilisation, art and commerce, eternal place of love – cannot be allowed to perish.
Diane Von Furstenberg, Vice Chairman, Venetian Heritage Council

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