“There is still one of which you never speak.”

Marco Polo bowed his head.

“Venice,” the Khan said.

Marco smiled. “What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?”

The emperor did not turn a hair. “And yet I have never heard you mention that name.”

And Polo said: “Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.”


–Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities


(chart of Venice by Ignazio Danti, 1580, Vatican Gallery of Maps, photo by A. Engelson)