First Person

In the Footsteps of Guido Brunetti

Commissario Guido Brunetti, a Venetian police inspector, is Donna Leon’s fictional resident of San Polo. He speaks “Veneziano” and admires those who do so with a specific sestiere accent—from Castello. The crime writer Donna Leon has lived in Cannaregio, the closest sestiere to the railway station, where Venetians who still work and live in the city reside. The main street of the sestiere, Strada Nuova, is a wide “new road” seemingly made for the ritual of passeggiata, where beautifully dressed babies in prams attract attention from the elderly. In the last few years, Leon has written about the declining number…

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