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The greatest photo of Venice I have ever seen

This afternoon we went to the Mucem (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean) here in Marseille. By far, my favorite exhibition was one that dealt with the urbanization of five cities surrounding the Mediterranean — namely Marseille, Venice, Istanbul, Cairo, and Alger. At one point, this was the center of the commercial world. Great empires were forged and great fortunes were made here. But things have changed a little since then. And in some cases, what we are now left with are scenes like the one you see above (photograph by Martin Parr). This is easily the greatest photo of Venice I have ever seen. Venice is a tiny city, but it receives tens of millions of tourists each year. This photo does an extraordinary job of capturing what that might feel like.


  1. Judith Martin

    You don’t say anything about Mucem – a hideous name (in my anglophone opinion) but possibly the loveliest modern public building I’ve seen. Yet barely discussed. It knocks all the Rogers/Foster/Gehry etc. excesses into a cocked hat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. doug pollard

    The Venice photo sums up so much about tourism to “hotspots”. I can recall that the first time I ever witnessed a selfie stick was in the Louvre. A group of giggling Japanese girls were going through the overcrowded museum with their backs to the a hurry to lift their phone over the heads of others, take a picture of what I guess they thought was something famous along with themselves, and then hurry on. Were someone to take that Venice photo again it would have a million phones in it instead of a couple of actual cameras.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Greg Shron

    What amazes (and delights) me about Venice is that you can, without much effort, find a seat at a quiet cafe in a deserted campo within a 10-minute walk of the throngs at San Marco. I shake my head every time someone describes Venice as “too crowded” – it’s like walking into an Indian restaurant, ordering the Vindaloo, and saying “the food is too spicy.”

    Liked by 1 person

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