Although I've been to Venice many times with many tours, if one looks, there are always new nooks and crannies to discover. Such was the case this time when I had a new local guide for our backstreets walk. New and fun discoveries ensued. First, we stumbled onto the most photogenic, absolutely ancient vintage book seller I've ever seen. Piled in a narrow courtyard, unprotected from the weather, were hundreds upon hundreds of old books. It made an old archivist like me both salivate and recoil in horror (an archivist's main job it to insure the preservation of materials).
Next our guide took us to a bridge she identified as Ponte della Tette, which she translated as Bridge of Breasts. At some time in the past prostitutes were restricted to this area of venice. The ladies of the evening were in the habit of hanging out of the windows of this canal, showing their "wares". Over time, the bridge got a reputation and a nickname.
Further along she pointed out some structures I had observed over years without understanding their function or significance. All over Venice one finds beveled stone or concrete placements in corners. I had never given them much thought, assuming they were some sort of structural support. This time I learned they are there to prevent men from using the corners as urinals. If they persist, its a strategically deflected mess - on them. Clever Venetians.
In addition, there were the usual interesting market scenes and photo ops, narrow streets, and uniquely cone-shaped chimneys (to prevent the spread of live embers) characteristic of the city. All evidence that the most front-door destinations still have some secret gems to be discovered.