The Venice that I’ve come to know over the years isn’t just the glamorous tourist attraction, St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, etc. I love these places for their beauty and life, but it’s the rest that’s special to me, the things most people don’t see – what I think of as ‘my Venice’.

There are no motor vehicles here. So everyone walks or takes boats, and this little city is pleasant and civilized as nowhere else.

Get away from the center and you find hundreds of tiny alleys, where you can either walk or park your boat. Washing is strung across the street, or even across canals, in neighborly fashion.

Venice does everything its own way. The undertaker is on the water, so is the fire station.

This picture is a memory of the day I met my husband. I’d been for a gondola ride, and I left the gondola there, at those steps in a tiny side canal just behind St. Mark’s Square. Going through the archway I went upstairs to one of Venice’s famous glass factories, where he happened to be working at the time.

The rest is history.

The picture of the Grand Canal was taken before the day’s tremendous bustle started.

In the centre is a vaporetto, one of the boats which ply the canal, zig-zagging across from side to side, in both directions. This makes the journeys very, very interesting.

If Venetians want to extend their homes they build upwards. Some friends built a terrace at the top of their building, and I took this picture from there. It’s quite an experience, as there are no buildings in between to shield you when the bell rings. The noise is shattering and you just have to cling on until the vibrations stop.

When I came to write WEDDING IN VENICE (Harlequin on-line read) I let my hero live in this lovely place.