Of all the cities in the world, only Paris comes remotely close to matching Venice in terms of sheer beauty and romance. You’ve seen it in photos and films, but there’s no substitute for the reality — the shimmering Grand Canal, the gondolas slipping down watery alleyways, the elegant palazzos emerging straight from the sea.
Venice once ruled the Mediterranean as a shipping power, amassing vast wealth and producing some of Europe’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. But, over the centuries, Venice has declined a bit and now has less than half the population it had at its peak. What remains of its former grandeur — the crumbling palaces, the sumptuous art in its museums and the fantastic rituals of Carnevale — makes Venice a living tribute to the past.
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