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Toscano is now Disneyland

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I had not been to Tuscany in 30 years. It’s still beautiful, the food is just as good, but tourism is causing a pernicious form of gentrification. There is only a fixed amount of Toscano but there seems to be more tourists, I suspect, because of the amplification of beautiful things by the maelstrom of information we call the internet. Yes, I was visiting places that are popular (most of which I had never seen) but it was late April / early May which is way before peak season. The towns were majority filled with tourists and the storefronts have been slowly cannibalized to service those tourists. My Italian town of Mondovì is not a tourist town. I can walk down the street and the storefronts offer a good selection of services residents need and use: Panetteria (primarily bread and some pastries), Pasticceria (mainly pastries and cakes but also bread), Salumeria (salumi, cheese, some prepared dishes and selected goods), Macelleria (fresh meat and a few prepared dishes), Alimentari (small specialty grocery store), Frutta e Verdura shop, Lavasecco (laundry service), Ferramenta (hardware shop), etc. The Tuscan towns I visited (granted, only a few) were devoid of these shops.

San Gimignano from afar

San Gimignano from afar…

One town, San Gimignano, looks like it was purchased by the Disney company and transformed into streets filled with tourist shops. I can’t Imagine anyone wanting to live there. San Gimignano did have an award winning Gelateria which we waited in line to try (and it was GOOD), but I would never visit a town just for that.

I returned to Mondovì with a greater appreciation of my città and the charms of Italian life without tourists.

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