The city of Venice through the eyes of nineteenth century visitors. For this portrait of Venice in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Lord Norwich has abandoned the historical approach, preferring to look at the city through the eyes of the most distinguished of its foreign visitors or residents. Beginning with Napoleon - with, perhaps, the most mysterious of all his mistresses - we continue with Byron, who cut his usual swathe among the feminine population while embarking on the last great affair of his life. Ruskin, Browning, Wagner and Henry James are among the others who for a longer or shorter time made the city their own, together with the two great Anglo-American painters James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. The survey ends with the insufferable "Baron Corvo", who poisoned the life of the British colony in Venice in the years immediately before the First World War. John Julius Norwich has long been the foremost authority on Venice and in Paradise of Cities he confirms his reputation as an unparalleled historical storyteller.