"Long an independent city, Venice weathered conflicts with Magyars, Franks, and Turks, eventually becoming known for its culture throughout the world. Edoardo Ballerini's narration reflects the author's enthusiasm for the city of canals. Madden's history is detailed and can get bogged down in details, such as the selection process for doges, to name one example. However, that detail also lets readers thrill to a revolutionary plot and to follow Lord Byron's misadventures as a visitor. Madden takes the city's story past its fall from power at Napoleon's hands to its present-day focus on tourism and preservation efforts. Listeners interested in the city's role in both art and modern government will appreciate Madden's work. J.A.S. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"