You are here. Venezia has the highest cost-of-living in the world. You believe it. It costs more to get a coke here than it did at Atlanta during the '96 Summer Games.
It really is a beautiful city. It is a city to get lost in. If you wanted to make a legible map of Venezia that would include every single street, you would have to make the map the size of a large room.
Venezia's economy is at this point based almost solely on tourism. It's just too expensive to live there and be in any other business. A century ago, more than two-thirds of the Women in Venice were prostitues. Now, you think, as you see an American couple spend $20 on the ugliest trinkent you've ever seen, Venezia is still a city of prostitutes, but they are selling watered-down culture instead of sex.
Either way, a big piece of you buys into the whole thing, and you decide at the end of the day that you have enjoyed Venezia. It has an old-world charm that, contrived or not, you enjoy.
You cannot, however, afford the price of a room, so as the sun sets you make your way to the train station.