When it comes to atmospheric locations, our Venice tours allow you to explore the mysterious floating city that straddled the east and the west. This was the home of Casanova, the powerful Doges and the secretive artisans that were guarded jealously. As this is Book Lovers Day and we are conscious of the fact that our tours started with the book, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, we look to Venice for new reading material.

Here you'll discover the top books to read when visiting colorful Venice.

1. In the Company of the Courtesan – Sarah Dunant

Venus of Urbino

Venus of Urbino, painted by Titian in 1538

The beautiful Fiammetta and her clever dwarf companion, Bucino, escape Rome in 1527 with riches and head for Venice where their successful partnership will be severely tested by lovers, sultans and a crippled healer.

Related Tour – Best of Venice 

2. The Glass Blower of Murano – Marina Fiorato

glass blowing in murano

Glassblowing on the Venetian island of Murano

This novel captures the secret atmosphere of Venice when heroine Leonora starts a new life as a glassblower on the lagoon. As she builds relationships with the locals, we follow the story of her 17th-century ancestor who was closely watched by the sinister Council of Ten in case the secrets of mirror and glass making left the island.

Related Tour – Murano and Burano islands 

3. Death at La Fenice – Donna Leon

venice in evening

Venice by night

Guido Brunetti is the clever vice-commissario of police in Venice who is investigating the poisoning of a world famous conductor in a city where violent crime is rare. What he discovers is a chilling case of revenge with multiple suspects in the floating city.

Related Tour – Best of Venice 

4. The Silent Gondoliers – William Goldman


Written by the creator of The Princess Bride, this brilliant fairytale-like story explores why the gondoliers that used to sing along the canals are now silent and the fascinating facts and colorful characters that led up to this mystery.

Related Tour – Hidden Venice by Night 


5. The Serpent of Venice – Christopher Moore

carnevale characters

This Venetian satire combines the bawdy characters of Shakespeare with the darkness of Edgar Allan Poe in this satire set in medieval Venice as the foul-mouthed hero attempts to stay alive and stop greedy merchants from starting another Crusade just so they can profit from it.

Related Tour – Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries 

When it comes to reading, Venice provides the perfect backdrop. Mysterious, otherworldly and full of sensuous delights and strange history, it has acted as a springboard for the imagination of many writers. We hope that some of the books above will inspire you to visit Venice or enhance your time there.