Venice is an extraordinary city at any time of year, its watery beauty transporting us quite literally to another age of intrigue, chivalry and romance. And for a few days in May, it also plays host to the arts festival Biennale.The whole city becomes an open air museum, in which stunning pieces of modern art are displayed within Venice’s ancient setting: a contemporary glass chandelier takes pride of place in a 15th century palazzo, a Swarovski crystal sculpture sits serenely in the nave of one of Venice’s most famous churches, and at every twist and turn of the narrow cobbled streets one finds a new piece of art embedded in the antiquity of this most breathtaking of cities.We were only there for a whirlwind day, but long enough to travel the canals, wander through the magnificent Ca Rezzonico palace and to wonder at the huge Alison Lapper installation, which defied all expectation to sit triumphantly in its ancient setting.Wonderful.