Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The twenty-first century city of Venice, Italy is a striking mélange of old and new, whimsy and reality, hints of modernity amidst history and nostalgia. Nowhere is this more evident than to the traveler who disembarks at the Santa Lucia train station in the sestiere of Cannaregio. The station itself, a mid-twentieth-century construction, is named for and occupies the former locale of the twelfth-century home for the yet much older relics of the early Christian martyr Saint Lucy. This first experience with the city is emblematic for its layers of accumulated history. Broad, widely traveled streets wind from the station towards the historic center of the city, lined with posh hotels, Internet cafés and above all shops bursting with glass, lace, leather, and the eager consumers these goods attract. Ambiguity, anachronism, and even continuity also linger here, tying the city’s glorious past as a mercantile center, communications hub, and pilgrim outpost to its bustling present.


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© Holly S. Hurlburt 2006

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