It's 1271 dc, and Venice has fully developed into a successful city state. It is a major naval power, exerting influence over commercial activity throughout Europe, thanks to its strategic location at the head of the Adriatic Sea. It is also the centre of trade between Western Europe and other regions of the world. Commercial routes are well established with the far east and some of the local merchants prosper and increase their (already huge) wealth by trading precious and rare goods with the Great Kahn himself.
Venice attracts every kind of people. The streets along its canals are crowded with merchants, artists, sailors and all sorts of travelers, adventurers and villains. Where many have a past to hide, others seek for a new future. Where some wait for the next ship to Cyprus, others are just arrived from the Middle East, adding their strange languages, exotic headgears and foreign currency to the melting pot of humanity that is San Marco square.
And what about you, my friend? Have a walk along Canal Grande, eat some dried cod from one of the market stalls, witness the convicted walking to imprisonment along Ponte dei Sospiri…. everything, in Venice, can be an exciting experience.
But don't be deceived by appearances.
Things have dark sides and shivers can run through your spine also in the warm Italian sunshine.
It's just a matter of perspectives.