Historian to present program about history, culture of Venice

Historian Col. (Retired) John Maietta will present the program, “Floating World: A Lively Look at the History and Culture of Venice,” at 6:30 p.m. May 27 at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St.

Some 1,500 years ago, migrant fishermen settled on a clump of islands off the coast of northern Italy and founded the city of Venice.

Over the centuries, the city grew to dominate seaborne commerce across the eastern Mediterranean. Adding luster to its civic glory were the paintings of Titian, the music of Vivaldi and the gilded domes of St. Mark’s basilica.

But behind the dazzling facade, scandal and violence flourished in the shadows. Invasion by Napoleon brought doom and decay – then a surprising rebirth as one of the world’s top sightseeing destinations. This program highlights both the tourist delights of today and the colorful stories of the Venetian past.

Maietta, a native of Williamsport, worked for many years as a freelance photographer and public relations specialist in the Harrisburg area, where he makes his current home. At the same time he served as a public affairs officer with the Pennsylvania National Guard, volunteering for numerous active-duty assignments in Washington, D.C., Europe and Iraq.

Now retired from both the military and business professions, he has launched a third career in adult and community education, bolstered by his recent receipt of a master’s degree in applied history from Shippensburg University.

The program is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Family Wing at the library. Registration is suggested but not required.

To register, or for more information, go to www.jvbrown.edu or call 570-326-0536.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.