Away from the crowded public places in the City of Canals and Gondolas, we wandered along quiet canals or between buildings of brick or stone. Some of the lanes were narrow enough that I could touch either side as we walked through. I could never quite predict what might come next: a bridge leading over some tied-up boats, a big public square filled with cafes and stores, a church, perhaps, a quiet restaurant with a few tables set out on the cobblestones, or a cobblestone path along a canal. The city resembles a maze, more than anything else, or perhaps a page from a Dr. Seuss book. We turned one corner and found ourselves in a small square with a bunch of school children in white smocks and a nun, blowing bubbles in the sunshine.