The Italians may have a chequered political history, a national debt second only to Greece and high levels of unemployment but if they do one thing really well, it is luxury hotels. Italian luxury hotels are acknowledged worldwide as among the best for style, service and food: they are the standard bearers that others try to follow.
Start at Rialto Bridge to re-live heated conversations from The Merchant of Venice and experience the views this tourist trap offers over the city's canals. Take a trip to the area known as the 'Jewish Ghetto' and see one of the city's stunning synagogues, like the Levantine Synagogue, where Al Pacino prayed in the role of Shylock in the 2004 film.
I find it hard to put my finger on the city or its people. Not quite Italian or Slavic, there is rude mixture of genetic throwback which makes the Venetians fiery and hot-blooded and saturnine and big faced. These resourceful, mercantile amphibians rule their intriguing and mysterious city with contempt and indifference to outsiders.
Simply put, London is rubbish at food markets. Yes, we have Borough Market (inexplicably only open three days a week) and we have some very decent farmers' markets in suburban car parks, but there is nowhere in the capital that comes even close to the glorious Rialto Market in Venice or the sumptuous San Miguel Market in Madrid or the vibrant Cours Saleya Flower market in Nice.
This past weekend was the inaugural MORE Festival. It was four days of live performances by French indie bands and acclaimed DJs playing beautiful historic venues across Venice, Italy.
But as I walk into the Pavilions, I forget all my troubles, all the hassles getting to Venice, all the constant queues (and my footwear); I am transported into the magic of the Art. All the pavilions are offering something to discover, to receive, to learn from. And that makes me humble and so happy.