Venice is a small, unique city with a historical centre consisting of 118 small islands linked together by a complex web of gondola packed canals and more than 400 footbridges. Imagine the audacity of building an entirely man-made city of marble palaces on a lagoon with no visible means of support. The inexplicable nerve required to undertake such a project is part of the mystery of this astonishing island city. The stately palaces and ancient churches exist as fascinating remnants of centuries of history in what was once an important trading center between Europe and the Orient. From the famous Gothic Palazzo Ducale, and the breathtaking Basilica di San Marco to the incomprehensible radiance of Titian’s Assunta altarpiece illuminating an entire cathedral, Venice has remained virtually unchanged in the past 600 years. This of course only adds to the wonder and awe of this remarkable lagoon sanctuary.