My friend Piero sent this link to a sand sculpture contest held at Iesolo, an island near Venice (generally known as the place to go dancing, because, Lord knows, Venice ain’t the place for a hopping nightclub to get your groove on!)
These are the most serious sand sculptures I’ve ever seen. Not serious like they took a lot of time (though they clearly did), but serious as in historical, even dour. No smiling octopi or sports cars made of sand here! If you don’t want to watch the whole video, go to about 5:10 for the Basilica San Marco, about 6:30 for the Rialto Bridge, and about 7:40 for a tableau featuring 18th century masked revelers. The first sculpture of the Lion of St. Mark is pretty cool, too.