Photo of the Day 05/06/10 - Ship of Fools

The herds of tourists (not travelers) that get shuttled into Venice each morning are legion. It's astounding, even during the offseason. Having been one of those daytime visitors, I can tell you, it's a cattle call. The real Venice doesn't exist until after the last tourist water taxi bubbles off to the bus parking lot, I'm told. I'd like to see that one, instead. It's an Italian Disneyland during the day—garish and commercial, unreal and unabashed—because visitors are the lifeblood of the city, so you might as well embrace that which you must be ... or perish. I look forward to someday enjoying the traveler's Venice, Venezia. As Rick Steves loves to point out, "Be a traveler, not a tourist."

Larger version here: Ship of Fools