EXTRAORDINARY and eternally magic… no other city in the world has inspired so many adoring clones than the sinking city of Venice.
Not even a city technically – the Venezia that has been paid tribute to by everyone from grand masters Canaletto and Tintoretto to Las Vegas, China and Korea, is actually a cluster of 118 small islands, dreamily woven together by graceful bridges and green canals.
First-time visitors to the real deal are rarely disappointed. Lord Byron’s “fairy city of the heart” looks exactly as it is supposed to, right down to the candy-striped pylons standing sentry over warmly-coloured palazzos; the breathtaking Piazza San Marco; and the leisurely gondolas nodding in the gentle wake of the busy vaporetti (water buses). Getting lost in the baffling burrow of ancient lanes is all part of the Venetian experience and remains the most tried and tested method of unearthing the city’s best secrets. Around each crooked corner new treasures always lie.
“La Serenissima” is never less quiet than in the summer months when the tourist hordes are as stifling as the odorous canals and the seasonally-inflated prices. But for many, it’s worth it to see this floating, fragile marvel of living history backlit to even greater magnificence by the sun’s warm rays.