...I see the remains of once sumptuous gowns,
trailing their wet hems over slipper-like steps that
rise and fall under tides
to the suck and slap of canal water...
'Nothing in the world that you have heard about Venice equals the magnificence and wonderful reality...that exceeds the most extravagant dream; the wildest visions of The Arabian Nights are nothing to the Piazza San Marco, and the first impression of the inside of the church...opium couldn't build such a place, and enchantment couldn't shadow it forth in vision...I've never before visited a place that I am afraid to describe.' ~Charles Dickens 1844