The aim of this essay is not to analyse everything that was written by Italian visitors to St Petersburg in the eighteenth century, but rather to discuss certain attitudes which reflect a way of looking at and understanding the city. In most cases the evolution of Italian observations is similar to that of other Europeans who visited the ‘new capital’; however, it is possible to single out certain unique features. I think most people of my generation have at some time or other come across the cliché ‘Venice of the North’: Amsterdam was the ‘Venice of the North’, as indeed was Stockholm, as well, of course, as St Petersburg. Any European town built on islands seemed to claim a right to this definition; but, as the parallel was usually not developed further, and did not bring a deeper understanding of the character of these towns, it remained simply a convenient phrase for schooltexts and guidebooks.

A Venice of the North? Italian Views of St. Petersburg / M.G. DI SALVO - In: St. Petersburg, 1703-1825 / [a cura di] A. Cross. - Basingstoke : Palgrave McMillan, 2003. - ISBN 1403915709. - pp. 71-79 [10.1057/9781403937469_5]

A Venice of the North? Italian Views of St. Petersburg

M.G. DI SALVO
2003

Abstract

The aim of this essay is not to analyse everything that was written by Italian visitors to St Petersburg in the eighteenth century, but rather to discuss certain attitudes which reflect a way of looking at and understanding the city. In most cases the evolution of Italian observations is similar to that of other Europeans who visited the ‘new capital’; however, it is possible to single out certain unique features. I think most people of my generation have at some time or other come across the cliché ‘Venice of the North’: Amsterdam was the ‘Venice of the North’, as indeed was Stockholm, as well, of course, as St Petersburg. Any European town built on islands seemed to claim a right to this definition; but, as the parallel was usually not developed further, and did not bring a deeper understanding of the character of these towns, it remained simply a convenient phrase for schooltexts and guidebooks.
Eighteenth Century; Good Taste; British Library; European History; European Town
Settore L-LIN/21 - Slavistica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/13669
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