Venice, Italy (2015) - When I travel, I prefer loosely planned itineraries with plenty of room for discovery. Every once in a while, my freelancing ways result in some temporary discomfort, but usually I find random surprises and improvisational gems that are worth it.

On a brief trip into Venice, I discovered that one of these gems were the quiet off-streets where the real Venice lives. With the ancient city being so compressed, Venetians live among the monuments that attract throngs of visitors. And although these natives are outnumbered, many live in a separate world away. When I stepped a few hundred feet from the shoulder-to-shoulder, bustling tourists traps, I found an oasis of quiet and solitude: Venetians hanging their laundry, restaurateurs heading to the produce barge to buy fresh tomatoes and fennel, and children kicking around a football in a quiet alley near their school. The world may know this UNESCO Heritage Site as home to important buildings and breathtaking sites, but I thought these quiet areas were the true work of art.

I took hundreds of photos of these quiet areas during my short afternoon there. This image of the dog walking himself is my favorite.

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