I'm a sucker for an elegant drink at a hotel lounge in any country, and in Venice you can't do better than the Danieli. It's the hotel where John Ruskin wrote The Stones of Venice, and its grand, sweeping stairway will transport you straight back to the 18th century. Instead of drinking in the lounge, however, take the lift to the rooftop terrace, which boasts the best views of the lagoon that money can buy. (And you will pay for it—a Sprite for my junior companion cost €8). We loved the atmosphere, and if the prices were steep, the free snacks that came with our food—crisps and nuts for her, biscuits and petit fours for me—were exceedingly generous. We both came away feeling pretty sophisticated and not a little inspired.