Flicking through Venetian Chic, Assouline’s newest tome dedicated to the iconic Italian city, it becomes apparent that the city’s legendary mystique is thanks in no small part to the poetic elucidations it provokes from the world’s brightest minds. “Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liquers in one go” said Truman Capote. “When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become—incredibly, but quite simply—my address” recalled Marcel Proust. Written by Francesca Bortolotto Possati, with a foreword by Jeremy Irons and images by Robyn Lea, Venetian Chic is a thick slab of a book and possibly the ultimate insider guide. A Venetian native, Possati is now CEO of Venice’s Bauer Hotel group and a board member of Save Venice Inc, as well as supporting the city’s culture and arts programme, so the book has a distinctly intimate feel, steering you behind the walled gardens you might not get into, or the nooks and crannies you’d probably miss. While nothing can compare to a visit to the island-city, this book is surely as good as it gets without leaving home.