A combination of Italian and Venetian…….

Siamo….. We are

Foresti…… comes from the old Latin word “foris”, which means outside……. Outsider


WELCOME….. to the Siamo Foresti blog.

Since the launching of my book  I have received many questions, both about it, and Venice in general and I hope that this forum will enable readers and prospective Venetian visitors in their search for answers.

My wife, Souheir, and I have led many tours to this mystical city and over the years have gathered a great deal of information that can be so helpful to first time visitors (and to those returning who wish to “discover more”) … and are happy to help in any way to make your Venetian visit the best it can be.

j and s burano

We organise and direct a month long Artist Residency in Venice for the month of April every year. Our company name is Art&Soul and if you would like to know more about our Venetian adventures please find us at

We will keep this blog current by adding to it weekly and hope to share our love for Venice with others who have also come under her spell…

John Rawlings


“Shouldn’t this book be in the romance section?”

Certainly a valid question…and you’re not the first to ask it.                                                    

I received an email from a dear friend who wrote…

…I saw the news about “A Venetian love story” (and, first, I must admit to being dumbstruck that an Aussie, even an English transplanted one, could ever hope to know anything at all about love stories, let alone to write one, but that’s a subject for another time)

Now, colo(u)r me stupid, but I truly was expecting to read a fictional love story, set in Venice. Life at that moment was a bit of a blur, with the three kids coming over for an extended stay, including a week-long trip around the Olympic Peninsula, so I read only the first few pages – enough to realize that I had surmised incorrectly – and not for the first time, let me be the first to admit.  However, I read enough to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style, and I’m truly looking forward to engrossing myself in it.

The title for my book evolved as it was written. I never set out to write “Siamo Foresti”… in fact for the longest time it was nameless. However, the terminology ‘Foresti ’always interested me.  The Venetians may talk among themselves about ‘Foresti’, but I can’t imagine that as a visitor you would ever be called this name. They can certainly bring a remarkable level of disdain to the term ‘Turisti’… but if they are going to call you names it is unlikely to be ‘Foresti’.

We were actually designing the book cover when the subtitle “A Venetian love story” arrived on the scene, and it was decided that the final chapter, only several paragraphs long, was a necessary inclusion.

Here it is in its entirety…


It’s a love story….

It was during my fifth visit that something quite strange transpired. I woke early on the first morning and walked down to my favorite local bar for coffee and a brioche, but was only about half way there when I was literally consumed by how happy I was to be back in this city. I stopped on a small bridge in the early morning quiet and literally said out loud,

“I love this place…”

And then came the realization that I was truly in love with Venice, all the while thoroughly aware that she was loved and adored by countless others.

Many of you who read these words know exactly what I am describing and must surely have asked how this comes about. Venice obviously has a great number of people under her spell and many of us are moved by her to do things that we would not normally do

…Like write a book.”


…and by the way…. If you haven’t read it, and would like to ….just go to the link below.

book Siamo Foresti on