By Roger Crowley

The increase and fall of the Venetian empire stands unmatched for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and ny instances bestselling writer of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative ability to chronicling the extraordinary five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the top of power.

Tracing the entire arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the 1st time, City of Fortune is framed round of the good collisions of worldwide background: the ill-fated Fourth campaign, which culminated within the sacking of Constantinople and the carve-up of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, and the Ottoman-Venetian battle of 1499--1503, which observed the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians because the preeminent naval strength within the Mediterranean. In among have been 3 centuries of Venetian maritime dominance--years of plunder and plague, conquest and piracy--during which a tiny urban of "lagoon dwellers" grew into the richest position on earth.

Drawing on firsthand bills of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a shiny photo of this avaricious, enterprising humans and the bountiful lands that got here less than their dominion. Defiant of emperors, detached to popes, the Venetians observed themselves as reluctant freebooters, forced to take to the open seas "because we won't dwell differently and be aware of no longer how other than through trade." From the outlet of the spice routes to the conflict among Christianity and Islam, Venice performed a number one function within the defining conflicts of its time--the reverberations of that are nonetheless being felt this present day. in simple terms an writer with Roger Crowley's deep wisdom of post-Crusade background may possibly placed those iconic occasions into their right context.

Epic in scope, magisterial in its figuring out of the interval, City of Fortune is narrative heritage at its such a lot engrossing.

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Extra info for City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas

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L’aggettivo «italiano» o la locuzione avverbiale «all’italiana» attribuiti al nome di un piatto, di pasta o di pasticceria o di qualsivoglia altra specie, non sono denominazioni tipiche di un repertorio che preferisce il risotto «alla milanese», la bistecca «fiorentina» e la pizza «napoletana». Si può anzi dire che gli epiteti evocanti la nazionalità appartengano a un modo di vedere esterno, e troveremmo gli «spaghetti all’italiana» più naturali nella bocca di uno straniero in un paese straniero.

Analogamente, nelle pagine di Scappi si susseguono ricette riferite a questo o a quel «dialetto» di cucina. La maggior parte riflette l’origine lombarda dell’autore: «suppa lombarda», «riso alla lombarda», «tomacelle col brodo come si usa a Milano», e poi – sempre «alla lombarda» o «alla milanese» – minestra di tortelletti d’erbe, minestra di foglie di rape (da servire «senza brodo con agliata sopra come s’usa in Lombardia»), rane fritte ricoperte ancora di agliata e di «nosella fatta alla milanese», offelle sfogliate, offelle di pasta reale, torte verdi ossia di erbe, «panciette di vitella ripiene alessate», tortiglioni sfogliati ripieni, «ritortole di pasta» ripiene, minestra di ravioli, ravioli con sfoglia, vitella «mongana» ripiena (il petto), capponi grossi ripieni, oche grosse ripiene, uova «affrittellate», trote (a pezzi grossi) nel vino, torte di nosetti.

Quando si tratta di tradizioni alimentari, sembrerebbe scontato pensarla come appartenenza a un territorio: i prodotti, le ricette di un determinato luogo. Ma così si dimentica che l’identità si definisce anche (o forse soprattutto) come differenza, cioè in rapporto agli altri. Nel caso specifico della gastronomia ciò appare con chiarezza: l’identità «locale» nasce in funzione dello scambio, nel momento in cui (e nella misura in cui) un prodotto o una ricetta si confrontano con culture e regimi diversi.

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