Our tour of Italy (Turin, Milan, Venice, Rome) in March 2012 was delightful (my book pp.334–8).
In Venice (a well-kept secret—Yeah, Right. Good to get here before it gets “discovered”), every other gondola seemed to be full of Chinese tourists. I was delighted to introduce the band to Mirella Licci, whom I hadn’t seen since she was studying the guqin at the Shanghai Conservatoire in 1987!
One evening we took aperitivos in Campo Santa Maria Formosa with our CI hosts and two splendid ethnomusicological Giovannis, Giuriati and de Zorzi. Li Manshan felt a particular affinity with the gargoyle on the campanile of the church:
I also note the fine tome by Horatio E. Brown, Some Venetian Knockers.