Venice is another mandatory CCI visit. Here a dozen primitive communes clustered on mudbanks of a north-Italy lagoon became the unique city which is an incredible web of water ways and a myriad of narrow pedestrian streets, beautifully bridged narrow canals, and the magnificent Grand Canal. All traffic is solely by gondola, boat, or barge. Through five centuries to 1508, Venetians made their city a dominant imperial European trading and seafaring Republic of huge wealth and power whose remains are visible throughout the city in exquisite and lavish public squares, monuments, palaces and churches. These won visitors from all over the world during Venice's next four centuries, as she became merely the tourists' Queen of the Adriatic, and the workplace of Palladio, Sansovino, Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese and other art masters who all flourished here after political power had waned, and whose works can be seen--in the inevitable Italian company of Leonardo, of course--in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, the Ducal Palace and many other museums and galleries that today, still keep Venice alive.