No one comes to Venice for the first time. We have become so familiar with photographs of the Palazzo Ducale, of the Basilica di San Marco, the grand palaces along the Canal Grande, the gondolas, Rialto Bridge, the pigeons and the sunsets, that it might seem impossible to discover something that would surprise a visitor here. Yet, there is something about the light reflected on the water and the secret passageways in the maze of narrow side streets that needs to be experienced in person. There are the moonlit canals which cannot be captured by any camera, the barely audible splashes of water, the chance to examine the spellbinding art in Byzantine basilicas up close. All that, when experienced unhurriedly with a guidance of a knowledgeable friend, can take your breath away and allow you to reach beyond the surface.