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Observations sul turismo di massa


sunny 32 °C

It has become increasingly apparent from our small travel sample (Bellagio, Positano, Capri, Cinque Terre), that a blissful travel experience struggles to co-exist with a mass tourism destination.

Without that crucial blend of local inhabitants (not employed to 'service' the tourists) and alternative industries, these locations tend to take on a surreal atmosphere, where stampeding crowds of tourists slowly chip away at any remaining goodwill that the townsfolk may possess. Those small exchanges that can add so much to a traveller's day - your broken Italian understood and encouraged by the barista, a potted history from the local fruit vendor - disappear into the maelstrom of rising tempers and ever increasing queues.

blue grotto traffic jam

blue grotto traffic jam

The obvious target for finger pointing are the Americans, but they by no means have a monopoly on poor manners, ignorance of local customs, and a mystifying inability to learn even a few words of the local lingo. On the flipside of this coin, the Italian tourism infrastructure cannot avoid censure. The heavily patronised Rome and Florence train stations have long struggled to cope with the tourist flow, yet despite the enormous revenue they directly (and indirectly) generate, do not appear to have been significantly improved for many a long year.

capri beached out

capri beached out

On a smaller scale, it is virtually impossible to locate the Tourist Information Bureau at Positano or Capri - a ludicrous situation that automatically sets you on the wrong foot as you wrestle suitcases and coax tired children through packed alleyways.

Needless to say one is left with a slightly deflated feeling when these much lauded, and usually spectacular destinations, fail to ignite the excitement and sense of wonder that you anticipated. The solution? Well, aside from realising that there are probably many other travellers thinking the same thing (and cursing under their breath at the feral Australian family seated next to them), it is to get off the beaten path, and find the quintessential travel experiences that have not yet appeared in Fodor's or Lonely Planet.

Sounds like a worthwhile challenge ...

Posted by happellfamily12 14:30 Archived in Italy Tagged tourism

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