Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh the humanity!

Clearly, it has been awhile since I took a vacation in the developed world. Often when I travel I'm one of just a few non-locals around, whether I'm riding the public bus, navigating the markets, or playing photographer. I'm used to standing out and being a novelty. As a tourist in Rome though, I'm just one of the horde. And what a horde it is! Several times now my parents and I have been more impressed with the crowds than the actual sights. (The crowd at the Trevi fountain was especially amazing.)

As I get used to being just another face in the crowd I'm learning an important lesson - humility. There is nothing more humbling than doing the slow tourist shuffle in the middle of a herd of tourists. And you certainly can't walk around feeling classier or more culturally aware - I think I've seen more people in designer dresses than fanny packs and just about everybody speaks more Italian than I do. This is the proverbial 'big pond' where I discover that I am in fact a very small fish.

Still, it's been a great experience and a real change from my typical developing world haunts. So in honor of my millions of new tourist friends I present the crowds of Italy: a photo journey.

...at the Spanish steps,
...at St. Peter's basilica, Vatican City,

...at then Colusseum.

...at the Vatican Museums - Other than the scaffolding it was wall-to-wall with tour groups.
...riding the ferry at Cinque Terre

...goofing off at the tower of Pisa

...and shopping in Florence.

Sadly I cropped the crowds out of my pictures from the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and wasn't allowed to use my camera at the Sistine Chapel or with 'The' David statue, so you'll just have to use your imagination.  

While we were clearly not the only people who had the brilliant idea to see Italy this spring, it's easy to see why the crowds come. Italy impressed little 'I'm-too-cool-to-vacation-in-the-developed-world' me.

Pictures of something other than crowds to follow.

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