The Grand Canal is silent. The still surface of the water is a glossy black, mirroring the night sky. On either side, the six-storey palazzos soar up and their reflections plummet down, a bottomless symmetry of baroque. Floating in the dead centre of it all, I rest my paddle on the spray deck and try to remember to breathe. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
Many thanks to journalist Steve Bleach for coming along on our tour.