The Bucintoro Departing from the Bacino di San Marco - Luca Carlevarijs, 1710
I love these massive canvases of Venice, so popular from the 16th to 18th centuries. Venice today is essentially a museum city, populated mainly by tourists, but in the heyday pictured here it was an exotic, bustling port at the center of a wealthy and powerful trading empire, the crossroads between East and West.
More about the Bucintoro (second photo) and its role in Venetian culture here.
ITALY, Venice : Tourists walk on the flooded St Mark’s Square during an “acqua-alta” (high-water) alert in Venice on February 1, 2014. The rise in the water level is due to winds and currents and can flood some parts of the city in a yearly phenomenon known as “acqua alta” (high water). AFP PHOTO/ VINCENZO PINTO