“Andare per le podere” means “reaching hidden areas by following secret paths, thus heightening the visitor’s sense of discovery and expectation”, according to Jacopo Fasolo in “Another Venice”. This rings true for me whether that secret path is long known to me yet only shared with true friends or if it is my first journey along it, filled with anxiety about ever reaching my intended destination and with anticipation of new revelations in route along with a new way to arrive at my goal.
How “optionality” abounds in Venice in this sense! Are you seeking to stand pondering “Unde Origo Inde Salus” at one of those too rare times when you are allowed to reach the center of the great dome? Then, take a new, perhaps secret, path to the Salute each time you set out with that hope. Your journey may be rewarded, graced with new discoveries along the route that will stand in honor in your memories even if the Origo is not explicated for you that day. You can always find Salute, and you will earnestly hope to remember how to “andare per le fodere” on the way, along the many ways.
In Venice, each path will have a new treasure awaiting you, beckoning from different portals in different directions, if you recall the secret, if you are prepared to find it.
Some of those paths are on land and some are on water. Along one, in a contemplative garden corner, you may rest from your trek on a polished granite bench into which is carved, “Go where people sleep and see if they are safe.” Ponder that plea for a while.
Another path will take you past a commanding viewpoint below a great golden orb, where you may find people milling about with a look of loss in their eyes, asking the empty sky and sea, “Where is the boy with the frog?” You might reply, “Gone away, down a secret path. Go, see if you can find him. Andare per le fodere.”