As you can see, all those 19th-century Romantics got it wrong. Venice is not destined for genteel decay. Billionaire benefactors and cutting-edge biennales are filling up those ancient palazzi (palaces) with restored masterpieces, boutique hotels and eyebrow-raising contemporary art and architecture. From fanciful Venetian Gothic to regal rococo and neoclassical minimalism there’s a palace to suit every taste and period, although all of them display a certain cosmopolitan Venetian flair. After all, if you’re going to attempt the impossible and build a marble palace on water, why not add that extra lacy loggia, trilobate ogive arch and an eye-catching watergate?