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Just how bad does Venice smell?

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I know, I know - it's an indelicate question, however, we are traveling with friends to Venice and other locales in Italy at the beginning of May /07 and they have been hearing from recent returnees that Venice is unpleasant due to the canal odors. I am unconcerned but don't want to feel guilty about forcing them to spend 4 (glorious) days there.
Can anyone update me? Many thanks in advance.
Regards to my excellent Fodorite friends.
Judith

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