Surrounded by the sea, cut by as many canals as streets, the city of Venice is unique. Built on fill reinforced with pilings made of huge tree trunks, it defies nature and belief. No city has been more often painted or written about, and it has been a tourist destination for centuries for its food, cafe and street life. But Venice is dying, literally sinking into the sea, and its beauty has drawn so many visitors that ordinary citizens can no longer afford to live there. Paolo Barbaro returned to Venice after a career abroad and in this illuminating book he describes the rediscovery of a city, which has lost none of its power to charm, dazzle and take one's breath away. The passion in the author's plea for the salvation of his native city has a deeper source than nostalgia. If humankind cannot stir itself to save Venice, what hope is there for other endangered cities, places and animals?

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