The maze of canals, palazzi and the 409 bridges that link the 117 islands of Venice has inspired residents from Canaletto to Byron. This compact city has more artistic masterpieces per square mile than anywhere else in the world and the constant stream of tourists means property rents well. A well-located and carefully chosen apartment in Venice can provide yields of five or six per cent.
As the permanent population dwindles, down to 60,000 at the last count, tourist numbers continue to soar yet walk only 15 minutes from San Marco to Canareggio and it is still possible to find authentic Venice where locals shop and eat.
Venice is in the Veneto region of northeast Italy and is divided into six sestieri or districts, three on either side of the Grand Canal. Santa Croce, San Polo and Dorsoduro, which includes the island of Giudecca, are on the left of the Grand Canal, Cannaregio, Castello and San Marco on the right.