Anyway... there are nice alternative guides that do what you are asking, and for Venice the one of "Corto Maltese" is a good example. I managed to find this guide some years ago after some research. It is a bit rare, a friend had the first edition (I think only in italian), the second one was published by Lonely Planet, I think in 2008, and it is the one I found (in french, but I am guessing also the english version exists).
It is a very nice guide, full of drawings of Hugo Pratt's character Corto Maltese and his world. The guide takes you on a number of walks through the city and tells you a lot about history, people, buildings, and it does telling you also some stories about when Pratt lived there. Most importantly it points you to nice historic restaurants/bars (baccari and taverne :)) where venisians usually go.
I used it last time there and the experience was really nice.
Amazon has it listed but only used and some times at a high price:
On the same style I saw one on new york too, I think lonely planet published a few guides with this style.
Also, I find the New York Times 1/3/5 days guides also nice.
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