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John Julius Norwich
Venice, Paradise of Cities
Hay Festival 2003
The Most Serene Republic of Venice, after more than a thousand years, was killed off by Napoleon in 1797. What happened then? The city was kicked around like a football between France and Austria until finally becoming part of a united Italy in 1866. And yet, sad as she was, Venice attracted Byron, John Ruskin, Henry James, Robert Browning, Richard Wagner and many others.