I can’t think of any other city where the notion of “living painting” keeps entering the forefront of my consciousness.
So what is it about Venice that makes it so picturesque? Well first of all, I don’t know of any photos that were improved by the presence of parked cars. However, the magic of Venice seems to be that every other view looks like it could be a stage for a play – the city was designed to be a series of intimate spaces and places in which ‘theatre’ would occur. One didn’t feel like walking through Venice – it felt more like walking from room to room, perhaps even from museum room to museum room.
Can this be replicated today to any degree today? Of course! As bold as this sounds, it really is quite theoretically simple in today’s connected world – just find five hundred people who are financially committed to moving into such a neighborhood and build it. If you have the customers lined up, you don’t need to justify why it can’t be done.