Tragically I didn’t win this summer’s scholarship competition on World Nomads, but here’s the entry I submitted:
When I am in Venice it seems as though such a tiny string of islands couldn’t possibly be sufficient to hold the volume of people threading their way through the narrow streets and thronging in the squares. Amid this noise and crush it is soothing to stumble into a little eddy in the current of people just a few winding turns away from the massed crowds of Piazza San Marco and the Ponte de Rialto.
By clinging to the northern sestieri (districts) of Venice, Cannaregio and Castello, plotting a course along the northern edge toward the Venetian lagoon, it is possible to avoid the most crowded districts entirely and take a peaceful walk through residential streets. If you accidentally find yourself trapped in the flock of tourists around Piazza San Marco, do not panic, simply point your shoes towards Calle Canonica, slipping left along the Basilica di San Marco, and cross the bridge there. Continue heading northwards and eastwards rounding corners into narrow streets, finding tiny unexpected architectural details gracing the buildings–a lion here, an angel there–and watching small boats–some gondola, some not–as they pass under the bridges you cross.