Stereotype notwithstanding, Venice remains one of the most magical urban spaces on Earth.

Just get away from the crowds, dare explore what's not found in guidebooks and, miraculously, you will suddenly run into the quintessential glorified palafitte village, a hidden palazetto with its magnificent floor (Venetian, of course), the "campo" where kids are playing "calcio" with the ball somehow never falling into the "rio".

Or visit the Serenissima, say, in January and immerse yourself in the deafening depths of milennia-old fog, as you board the ferry to admire the Byzantine mosaics in Torcello.

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