For years (since grade 9 geography class, actually) I have hear Venice repeatedly framed as a decaying, dirty and unreasonable expensive city. After treading Venice's tangle of alleyways myself, I can attest that it is a sinking, decaying, water-damaged, outrageously expensive city; but its a great one! Tourism is all that is keeping this puddle city afloat (it is literally sinking, though).
Venice-pricing inhibited us from doing some really cool things, namely a gondola ride. A 30 minute ride would have soaked up more than an entire days budget for us. Gondoliers were a funny bunch. They dressed in horizontal black and white stripes and, atop their heads, they wore the standard stiff-rimmed hats. Watching the romantic, deep-pocketed couples who took the plunge, we couldn't help wonder how jail mate/Beetlejuice uniforms became synonymous with romance.
The patron saint of Venice is St. Mark. I'll give you one guess what the Basilica is called. You're right! Unastonishingly, it is named St. Mark's Basilica. It is a church unlike any church I have ever seen. It was a Western church decorated as if it were an Eastern church. Nearly every inch of the floor, walls, and ceiling told a story through Byzantine mosiacs. Yoda would have said, "Pretty cool, it was." I agree with Yoda.
In the North Transcept I prayed with two saints. To my right laid the body of St. Mark and to my front was a painting by St. Luke himself. In me stirred a sense of fellowship with these two saints. It certainly made for a memorable place to pray.