that blinding composition of fantastic architecture, which the Republic has to offer the awestruck looks of the approaching seafarer:
the light grandeur of the Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, the columns topped with the lion and the saint close to the shore, the flauntingly projecting flank of St. Markís, the view of St Markís Clock and thus contemplating he thought that arriving in Venice from the train station was like entering a palace through the servants entrance and that one should always, like himself, travel across the ocean to the most improbable of cities.
Thomas Mann, "The death in Venice"

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the Sun glowed through the haze, the sky was shale-colored. The waves clashed against wood and stone. The gondolierís call, partly warning, partly greeting, was replied from somewhere in the silent labyrinth. White and purple umbels with almond fragrance were hanging from high-lying gardens over derelict walls. Moorish window ornaments were dimly visible, and the marble steps of a church descended into the water.
Thomas Mann, "The death in Venice"
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a secret resentment and trepidation when one, for the first or after a long time, had to get into a Venetian gondola? That strange vehicle, which seems unchanged from more fanciful times and which is so strangely black like normally only coffins are, reminds of silent and criminal adventures in the lapping night, furthermore it is reminiscent of death itself, the bier, the drab funeral and the final, wordless ride. And has no one noticed that the coffin-black-varnished, black upholstered chair in such a barge is the softest, most luxurious, most deeply relaxing seat in the whole world?
Thomas Mann, "The death in Venice"
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leaning with his arm upon the handrail, shading his eyes from the sun. The municipal gardens retreated, the Piazetta opened out once more in princely charm and was left behind, next came the great row of palaces and behind the bend of the waterway the magnificent arch of the Rialto Bridge appeared. The departing looked on, and his heart was torn. The atmosphere of the city, that slightly putrid smell which he has so sought to escape from - he breathed it now in deep, tenderly painful breaths.
Thomas Mann, "The death in Venice"
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