Early in the year 1996, Venice watched while the Fenice Opera House
burned to its destruction. John Berendt arrived three days later.
Intrigued by the rumors circulating among the Venetians as to the
source and cause of the conflagration, he decided to hang around
for a while so he could listen to the stories and, as a bonus,
experience the city without its usual herds of tourists. For
several years thereafter, he followed the investigation. Was it
arson, or negligence? Maybe an act of God? Or possibly a more
sinister explanation, one involving mafia ties?
While watching the reconstr