Hilarious Portraits of Tourists Gawking at Italy’s Historic Sights

London-based photographer Oleg Tolstoy's series "The Tourist Trap" captures iPhone-gripping visitors in the presence of true beauty.

London-based photographer Oleg Tolstoy captured photos of tourists during a recent trip to Florence’s Piazza del Duomo, one of the most visited places in the world. According to Co.Design:

In cities all over Italy, floods of tourists pour in each year, threatening the preservation of increasingly worn historic sites and public squares. Deregulation of the housing market, coupled with the rise of Airbnb, have made the country’s already-popular tourist destinations even more so: according to the Wall Street Journal, 52 million tourists visited Italy in 2016, up nearly 30% since 2000.

In his series The Tourist Trap, Tolstoy shows how tourists view the city and its stunning ancient cathedral, gawking hilariously through their iPhones to see one of the most beautiful sights — right in front of their faces. “Some of their expressions reminded me of Catholic depictions of ecstasy. Like past pilgrims, these visitors to the cathedral are lost to a higher power, but in this case, it’s modern technology,” Oleg has stated. See more tourists in awe of the Duomo — through their screens — in our gallery.

'Tolstoy’s images will be familiar to anyone who has lived in a tourist city, or who has been a tourist herself. His subjects are clad in sensible walking shoes, dorky hats, and sunglasses, cameras and lanyards draped around their necks. Many of them gape and gawk, and who can blame them: the duomo in Florence is not only huge and old, but also impressively decadent, with a brick dome and neo-gothic façade. Inevitably, everyone in Tolstoy’s photos is trying to document it with a phone.' . 'Fresh from a wedding in Tuscany, Tolstoy spent four or five days in the Piazza from 9a.m. to 4p.m., documenting and tourist-gazing, before heading back to London. He returned to Florence for a second week shortly thereafter to try to complete the series. His close-up, over-saturated images do wonders to capture the over-crowded feeling of being a tourist among tourists in a tourist-laden city.' Co.Design #TheTouristTrap #florence #olegtolstoy

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