mysteries of venice



“That’s why if I were to be reborn – though I am perfectly happy with being a native of Emilia Romagna – I would choose Venice. Because as a reader I have a passion for detective stories and mysteries, and if you have chosen to read this book, you definitely know what I mean.”

Carlo Lucarelli (From the preface, Mysteries of Venice)

“It’s rare to find in such a guide the perfect combination of material, research and literary style. And here it exceeds: 109 stories, 21 maps, 49 black and white photos, 23 illustrations and an uplifting narrative that bears witness in the heart of La Serenissima, blending the legends of oral tradition with history.”

Paola Santoro (La Repubblica Viaggi, 29 February 2012)

A trip in seven nights – but completely enjoyable by day – to discover a different Venice, secret and mysterious, composed of signs worn by time but still recognizable and waiting to be found. Seven routes between history and myth, where legends and curiosities, unusual facts and amusing anecdotes materialize in the very places they took life, where ghosts and demons, doges and courtesans, historical and legendary creatures reappear in the places in which the real and the imaginary intertwine throughout history.

Perhaps better at night because, walking in silence, Venice becomes even more beautiful and allows one to possess the city and discover for himself – behind a window, a dark sotoportego – the protagonists of these stories that are still there, ready to speak. Or perhaps one might find carved into the very stones the figures and messages that witnessed ancient events.

“Mysteries of Venice” is a different, exciting and fascinating way to visit the city, to learn its most intimate and secret histories drawn from both the “known”, official history and the oral tradition, allowing both visitors and armchair travelers to experience something unique and unforgettable.

“Mysteries of Venice” offers the best stories collected over the years by Alberto Toso Fei and comprises a sort of “best of the best”, all enriched by exciting new (and a few ancient), previously unpublished stories including: “The Dead Man Who Killed Himself for Love”, which tells the story of the painter Pietro Luzzo, describes a slice of life in the sixteenth century and the origins of the “casino of spirits”; “The Golem of Venice”, a being created from wax by a sorceress and made to fall in love with an unruly girl, but finds its freedom, and attempts to drag the girl to hell … ; the thousands of Venetians scattered around the globe; the “Black Nobility”, a lineage of Venetians which for centuries would decide the destiny of the world and from which descend all the royal houses of Europe; the story of the gondolier disguised as a priest who tried to redeem some prostitutes; Goethe, gondoliers and odes of Tasso and Ariosto; and finally, in the 1920s, an entire platoon of soldiers which shot for hours into a canal under orders to kill the monster of the Punta della Dogana, all failing in their attempt.

“Mysteries of Venice” is the first book of its kind enhanced with QR codes (a machine readable medium), that brings some stories to life through video links filmed on location with the author in an innovative way to combine the most modern technology available with the ancient dimensions of the stories. “Mysteries of Venice”, along with its companion book, “Mysteries of Rome”, inaugurates a new series dedicated to the secret histories of the most precious cities of Italy. In addition, the book is enhanced with graphics and maps particular to each route, and black and white photographs from intriguing perspectives born from the creativity and talent of Alessandro Toso Fei.

A navigable, 360 degree book trailer (the first of its kind), introduced “Mysteries of Venice”. The spectacular, three-dimensional video was produced by the digital designers of Officine Panottiche and Nuovostudiofactory and features Alberto Toso Fei recounting a legend with simultaneous perspectives from different locations on what is called “the most beautiful street in the world”, the Grand Canal. From its waters – according to legend – sometimes still emerges the drowned Fosco Loredan, holding his wife’s head in his hands …




Mysteries of Venice - booktrailer 360°



Mysteries of Venice - booktrailer


Mysteries of Venice - The election campaigns of the past