Tag Archives: Laura Morelli

Venice: A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper and More

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About Authentic Arts: Venice Travel Guide

VENICE A Travel Guide

Every traveler to Venice wants to go home with a special souvenir–a carnival mask, a piece of Murano glass, a handcrafted piece of lace. But selecting which mask or which goblet to buy can be an intimidating experience. How do you know if you’re buying something authentic, something made in Venice, something made in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if you’re being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the city’s many tourist traps?

Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of the city’s most traditional arts: Murano glass, carnival masks, gondolas, lace, paper, and more. This indispensable guide includes practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on pricing, quality, and value, and with a comprehensive resource guide, Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice is the perfect guide for anyone wanting to bring home the unique traditions of Venice.

Artisans of Venice is the companion to Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice, A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More. Put both books together and you’ll be the most knowledgeable traveler in Venice!

About Artisans of Venice: Companion to the Travel Guide

Artisans of Venice

Going to Venice? Don’t buy anything in Venice until you read this book!

Buyer Beware: Venice is full of tourist traps and mass-produced souvenirs passed off as authentic. Do you know how to tell the treasures from the trash?

In Venice, it’s not easy to tell the treasures from the trash. This is true now more than ever before, as increasing numbers of carnival masks, glass, and other souvenirs flood into Venice, imported from overseas and passed off as authentic. There is no substitute for an educated buyer. Laura Morelli helps you locate the city’s most authentic artisans–those practicing centuries-old trades of mask making, glass blowing, wood turning, silk spinning, and other traditions. Wouldn’t you rather support authentic Venetian master artisans than importers looking to turn a quick profit without any connection to Venice at all?

Venice boasts some of the most accomplished master artisans in the world. Here’s how you can find them.

Laura Morelli leads you beyond the souvenir shops for an immersive cultural experience that you won’t find in any other guidebook. Artisans of Venice brings you inside the workshops of the most accomplished makers of Venetian fabrics, Murano glass and millefiori, carnival masks and masquerade costumes, gondolas, Burano lace, mirrors, marbleized paper, hand-carved frames, and other treasures. This book leads you to the multi-generational studios of some 75 authentic master artisans. If you’re reading on your Kindle device, tablet, or smartphone, you can click directly on their street addresses for an interactive map, and link to their web sites and email addresses directly from the guide. A cross-referenced resource guide also offers listings by neighborhood.

Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of Venice’s most traditional arts. Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts series is the only travel guide series on the market that takes you beyond the museums and tourist traps to make you an educated buyer–maybe even a connoisseur–of Florentine leather, ceramics of the Amalfi Coast, Parisian hats, Venetian glass, the handmade quilts of Provence, and more treasures.

Bring Laura Morelli’s guides to Venice with you, and you’ll be sure to come home with the best of Venice in your suitcase.

About Laura Morelli

View More: http://sarahdeshawphotographers.pass.us/laura-morelli
Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and contributes pieces about authentic travel to national magazines and newspapers. Laura has been featured on CNN Radio, Travel Today with Peter Greenberg, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, House & Garden Magazine, Traditional Home, the Denver Post, Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and other media. Recently her art history lesson, “What’s the difference between art and craft?” was produced and distributed by TED-Ed.

Laura has taught college-level art history at Trinity College in Rome, as well as at Northeastern University, Merrimack College, St. Joseph College, and the College of Coastal Georgia. Laura has lived in five countries, including four years in Italy and four years in France.

Laura Morelli is the author of the guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, all published by Rizzoli / Universe. The Gondola Maker, a historical coming-of-age story about the heir to a gondola boatyard in 16th-century Venice, is her first work of fiction.

Please read this Guest Post by Laura Morelli

The first time I visited Venice as a wide-eyed teenager, I knew I was supposed to buy Murano glass, but I had no idea why. All I knew was that I was whisked to the famous “glass island” on an overcrowded, stinky boat.  I waited behind two dozen American and Japanese tourists to pay an exorbitant price for a little glass fish—what a bewildering experience!

Still, it was the artistic traditions of the world that lured me back and inspired me to study the great artists of the past.  Living in Europe and Latin America, I realized that in many places, centuries-old craft traditions are still living traditions. So began my quest to discover craftspeople passing on a special kind of knowledge to the next generation. I never tire of the stories and the people behind the world’s most enduring artistic traditions—everything from Murano glass to Limoges porcelain, balsamic vinegar, Chinese silk and cowboy boots.

My first foray into non-academic writing came in the form of a specialty travel guide series I published with Rizzoli. With my books Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, my mission is to lead travelers beyond the tourist traps to discover authentic local traditions and artists, and come home with great treasures in their suitcases. My focus is cultural immersion through a greater appreciation of art objects and the people who make them.

While I was researching my guides, that novel I had wanted to write ever since I was a little girl finally appeared on the horizon. The story of The Gondola Maker, my first work of fiction, germinated in my head while I was working on Made in Italy. The contemporary Italian artisans I interviewed told me how important it was to them to pass on the torch of tradition to the next generation. I began to wonder what would happen if the successor were not able or willing to take on that duty. The characters of the gondola maker and his heirs began to take shape. The motivations of these characters intrigued me so much that I felt compelled to write a book to find out what would happen to them.

I continue to write about art history for a broad audience. I have developed art history lessons for TED-Ed, reaching a global audience of students. I will come back to historical fiction, though, as so many stories behind the world’s works of art—whether famous or undiscovered—remain to be told.

Where to buy the books:
Amazon: Venice Travel Guide

Giveaway!
The author is giving away a set of these books along with two authentic Carnival masks (one male Bauta style and one female Colombina style).  The baùta is the quintessential Venetian mask, worn historically not only at Carnival time but any time a Venetian citizen wished to remain anonymous, such as when he may have been involved in important law-making or political processes in the city. The simplest of the traditional Venetian mask types, the baùta is a stark faceplate traditionally paired with a full-length black or red hooded cloak called a tabàro (or tabàrro), and a tricorn hat, as depicted in paintings and prints by the Venetian artist Pietro Longhi. Most baùte were made of waxed papier-mâché and covered most of the face. The most prominent feature is a distinctive aquiline nose and no mouth. The lower part of the mask protruded outward to allow the mask wearer to breathe, talk, and eat while remaining disguised.

The Colombina is a half-mask that covers the forehead down to the cheeks, but leaves the mouth revealed. Originally, it would have been held up to the face by a baton in the hand. The Colombina is often decorated with more feminine flourishes, from gilding to gems and feathers, but both men and women may wear it.
Look how beautiful they are!

Just click here to enter this wonderful giveaway:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Gondola Maker – A Book Review

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The setting is Renaissance Venice.  Wouldn’t you know it?  That’s one of my favorite subjects, so when presented with the opportunity from Italy Book Tours to review the newest book by Laura Morelli, I jumped on the bandwagon right away.  And boy am I glad I did!  The book was everything I wanted it to be…and more!

Laura Morelli, the author of several shopper’s guides – Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest – has done a wonderful job bringing Renaissance Venice to life in her first novel.

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The Gondola Maker follows the story of young Luca, the heir to one of the best gondola-making families in Venice.  After the death of his mother and a terrible fire that destroyed the gondola “factory”, Luca left the only life he had ever known and went off on his own.  His adventures in “Our Most Serene Republic” take him from some awful lows to moments of extreme pride and accomplishment.  Laura’s vivid descriptions of everything – from the plush fabrics used to decorate the gondolas and the garments worn by the noblemen, to the stench of the sewage-filled canals – makes you feel as if you’ve ventured back 500 years with all the romance and strife of life in a Venice so different from today.

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Luca’s passionate attention to his craft of restoring and creating the beautiful work of art that is the Venetian gondola makes us appreciate, all the more, this unique mode of transportation that is so synonymous with Venice, itself.  And anyone with a passion for creating art will relate to that most innate passion that is part of one’s being and cannot be taken away, no matter the circumstances.

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I can promise you that after you read this book, you will pay careful attention to every detail of the next gondola that you ride in – once you get to Venice, of course, and fork over the 100 euros it takes to ride one of these beauties through those same canals and by those same richly decorated palaces of so many years ago.

The Gondola Maker has won several awards including:

IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-book 
Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award 
Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award 
Shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize 

Here’s a little bit about Laura Morelli, the author of this great book:

View More: http://sarahdeshawphotographers.pass.us/laura-morelli

Laura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome. She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in ItalyMade in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction.

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Would you like to win a copy of her book?

Just click here, a Rafflecopter giveaway, and you will have the chance to get your very own copy FREE!

Of course, you can also purchase the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.

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