I’ve always felt a little out of step with general opinion thanks to my ability to take or, quite happily, leave Venice. My sister for one is aghast at my inability to appreciate this favourite city of hers and I must confess that I have felt slightly ashamed and embarrassed from time to time. For the truth is that I have never been captivated by its objective charms.
But now all is changed, changed utterly. Last month I was back in the city but this time I took a boat out to the small island of Burano, about five miles and a different world away from the chaos and commercialism of St Mark’s Square. And what a revelation. Suddenly I could see the charm of the city but in miniature. The narrow waterways and brilliantly coloured buildings shimmered in the September sunshine. The crowds had stayed away and only enough people to create a gentle buzz of appreciation were wandering the atmospheric streets.
There is the Venice to which I could happily return.