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 — here.