For centuries, Venice has fired the imaginations of painters, poets, composers--and millions of visitors. Join writer and historian Peter Ackroyd for an in-depth tour of the art, architecture, music, and theatre of Europe's most mysterious and seductive city. Here, the pale Mediterranean light reveals cityscapes as painted by Canaletto and Guardi, modern voices revive the soaring spirituality of Vivaldi's hymns, and Venetians still don disguises to revel and role-play at Carnival. Exploring private palazzos, magnificent churches, and winding alleyways, Ackroyd also discovers the truth beneath the artifice, where beauty masks terminal decay. He interviews preservationists now working desperately to rescue the city's treasures from the ravages of time and the sea. Always a perceptive critic and spellbinding storyteller, Ackroyd serves as the perfect guide for an unforgettable journey. An award-winning novelist and bestselling historian, Peter Ackroyd (London: The Biography) has written over 30 books and presented many TV documentaries. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.