On the other side of the world from Venice, there exists the ruins of another mediaeval maritime city, built upon dozens of small islands divided by canals, that was home to a political dynasty that lasted for centuries. Unlike the world-renowned Adriatic city, however, the Micronesian city of Nan Madol faded away into history, leaving behind an overgrown archipelago of artificially-constructed rectilinear islands for modern eyes to marvel at centuries later.
It took a long time for many achievements of the ancient world to be duplicated. The first city to reach one million people was Baghdad in 775 CE (or possibly Rome nine hundred years before), a feat that would not be duplicated until London and Beijing grew in the 19th century. The largest building in the world was the Great Pyramid for forty centuries until the 19th, and the world's current longest canal is over two millenia old. Some mysteries still remain, such as the formula of Greek Fire, but it looks like a different ancient weapon's secret has been discovered, that of Damascus steel. The key ingredient -- nanotech!
Learning from Europe: Rebuilding New Orleans Into the New Amsterdam/Venice of the Gulf. Canals ,built in and around parts of New Orleans, could be an engineering and asthetic marvel. It would also and provide testament to the beauty,soul,and rebirth of this great city and people. Living with the sea is a science that places like the Netherlands have mastered over the years. Before we What would Frederick Law Olmsted do?
The Rideau Canal is 202 kilometers long, goes from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario, has 45 locks at 24 lock stations, and you can skate on it during Winterlude. More facts, a photo gallery. If I had the chance (and the money), I'd be renting me a boat and heading to eastern Ontario.