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Think of Venice and you don’t only think of its phenomenal beauty and history, of languorous afternoons being gently punted in a gondola through shaded canals, of the Piazza San Marco, of strings of laundry and of gorgeously ornate mansions.

Venice_grand_canal

Because Venice is also about money, shedloads of it if you choose to stay at the Gritti or the Daniele or dine at Harry’s Bar. Rip-offs are legion, just as numerous as the armies of tourists who, every summer, tramp across the city. About 70,000 visitors come to the city daily, that’s more than the 55,000 inhabitants. After monopolising all available space on  motoschaffi (boat-buses) they then empty their wallets at shop after shop filled with “Venetian” souvenirs made in China. Even Murano glass becomes suspect.