Arriving in Venice from the airport by boat never ceases to amaze. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. The city historically was the capital of the Republic of Venice. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals” and now for us the “City of Printing”.
The key activity for day one was to visit the house of Aldus Manutius. For the whole team this was quite a moving experience. It is sometimes difficult to connect with our collections in the cold and soulless air-conditioned stores in city-centre Manchester. Reading the plaque outside “In this house that belonged to Aldus Pius Manutius the Aldine Academy gathered and from here the light of Greek letters returned to shine upon civilized peoples. The department of Greek letters of the University of Padua in the year 1876-1877 wished to designate this famous place to future generations, ” it’s difficult not to reflect on the impact of his printing innovation.
After a very early start we finished the day with an ice-cream and headed to our hotel for a well deserved rest ahead of the field trip in the lagoon with colleagues from Ca’ Foscari, Stanford, Reading and York universities.