Venice is alive, but asks for help. A new book by Calabi for Rialto
By Vera Mantengoli
4 June 2021
French publisher Liana Levi, Italian by birth, knows Venice very well. But the last time she visited she was struck by a banner hanging at the Rialto Market. A large white sign with writing in red: Venice is alive (Venezia è viva). Why this phrase? This question gave rise to the book “Venezia è viva. E chiede aiuto” (“Venice is alive. And asks for help”), printed in France by Editions Liana Levi, and available from Venice booksellers Studium, Cafoscarina and Marcopolo for a donation of 10 Euros. The proceeds will go to the Associazione Progetto Rialto, formed by researchers and scholars to promote the preservation of the island.
Levi decided to learn more about what is happening in the heart of the city, and contacted the association, which offered to write the texts, authored by founder Donatella Calabi, a former professor of the History of the City at IUAV University. The book gathers together, with texts and photographs, a reflection on the island of Rialto after the Pescheria, the story of when campo San Giacometto was an important center of banking in the 1500s, and the situation of the current artisans who have survived the crisis but are always hanging in the balance about what the future holds. “We were formed in 2019 for the preservation of the Rialto island and to mobilize the citizens and the city administration to take action on the buildings there that are public property and are empty or in the process of emptying”, explains Calabi, referring to the Loggia di Rialto and to the so-called Fabbriche Nuove del Sansovino, where today the Court is located. Progetto Rialto and the historic Comitato Rialto Novo are among the most active groups that have for years called for the Pescheria to be redeveloped, and for the municipal spaces, for example that of the Loggia, to be used for public initiatives. To this end the book is a small guide to the Rialto island, but also a cry to the world to not abandon it.
Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre