“Streets filled with water. Please advise.” Who sent that famous telegram home from Venice? Mark Twain? Shania? Venice used to be jammed to the teeth during carnival, now it’s just jammed. All the time. The Doge’s Palace is stuck in the middle of the jam and for centuries it was the commercial center of Italy and the known universe. Its palace is covered top to bottom with the booty ever so tastefully looted from their far flung domains.

The very first time I got to Venice, Italy it was without the kind benefit of a good cup or six of Italian coffee and I proceeded to get lost in a truly deep and memorable way. I took one Venitian gondola to a place I could see, but couldn’t quite jump to without getting wet. That cost 40 cents. Venice spun me around a couple times, and it cost me 40 dollars to get back in a second gondola – being passed by oil tankers in what seemed to be somewhere out in the shipping channels. Take my advice, take a boat but one that comes with a guide. And stay close.

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