THE FIGHT TO SAVE THE SINKING JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC

SCATTERING the ever-present pigeons before them, stocky Bavarians strode across the Piazza San Marco, stopping to admire the lofty 11th century basilica, where Christian knights knelt in prayer before setting out on the Fourth Crusade. Not far away, American tourists surveyed the vaulted arches whose proud occupants once presided over Medieval Europe's richest and most powerful city-state. More leisurely visitors sipped wine in the chiaroscuro atmosphere of the Florian Café, where modern expatriates from Ezra Pound to Peggy Guggenheim have gathered to talk. Almost everyone, some time during his visit, found time to marvel at the frescoes of Titian and Tintoretto,...

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