I do not know what you think about when the city of Venice, Italy, passes through your mind—if it ever does. A city built on water—to be sure—and a republic for one thousand years. (In 1783, there were only two republics in the world: The USA and Venice.)
But for writers and publishers there are other crucial facts. For Venice—at the beginning of the 15th century—was the center of European book publishing, with some sixteen presses operating in the city. And printing barely fifty years old. But then, at the time, Venice was the richest city in the world, with a population of one hundred and fifty thousand. Amazing enough, one-sixth of ALL European books—at the time—were published in Venice.
Moreover, vitally, the Venetian books published (guided by printer Aldus Manutius) stressed classical (Greek, Arab and Roman) texts—rather than Christian theology—which was a major factor in developing Renaissance Humanism. Venetian presses were also pioneers in music, map, and medical publication.
It was Manutius who invented italic type fonts. Consider the word and you can see it imbeds the term Italy in it—as in “The Italian font.” One of the advantages of italic font printed books is they use less pages—again, a factor in commerce.
The city was also the first to establish laws of copyright, the logical extension of the Venetian commercial way of life.
So, when—if—you think of Venice—consider its place in the world of modern writing and publication. It’s vital, if rarely remembered. And Amazon has just made its latest Kindle waterproof. That means you can take it to Venice safely.