One place (along with Paris) that seems to have more than its share of destination doppelgangers around the world is Venice. Venice makes for an easier comparison than Paris even because in its embarrassment of waterways, it has a readily-identifiable characteristic. So, then, does any city that can boast a couple of canals become The Venice of the (Insert compass point).
Both Amsterdam and St Petersburg have vied for the position of Venice of the North, with bragging rights just going to the Dutch capital. The Venice's (Venici?) of the West are similarly not very far from he actual Venice. Nantes in France kind of makes a half-hearted stab at living up to the name, while Monasterevin in Ireland also sniffs around the mantle (though it doesn't strictly have canals). The Venice of the East is more impressively further afield, with Suzhou in China having the most authentic claim - this city was actually so named by Marco Polo, who was FROM Venice, so he knew of what he spoke. There are a few water-riddled towns around the city that grasp the coattails but there's little doubt as to the real contender here.
Finally, the Venice of the South. Officially, this is, er, Venice. The entire country of Venezuela (see previous blog post on country names) has an undeniable claim being as it translates as 'Little Venice', while the numbers here are made up otherwise just by places that flood a lot. Nice try, Tawi-Tawi and Davao (both in the Philippines) but just having to live on stilted houses because of seasonal floods doesn't mean you are master canal builders.
In any case, the wealth of Venices/Venici is still nowhere near as annoying as the number of bars that claim Hemingway drank there.