My friend Sarah and I were having a conversation last night.
Me: Today is jet-lag day, and tomorrow we’re going to Pisa – for IKEA – but also for Pisa 😉
Sarah: Really, Pisa for IKEA? That’s funny
The closest IKEA is in Parma – it’s about an hour away from our home. Pisa is 90 minutes. We always go to Parma, so this was a stocking up/tourist trip combined!
This conversation illustrates how we often think of tourist destinations as just that – destinations. Before I moved to Italy, I also rarely thought of the local populations in most Italian touristy cities. It’s much like Coney Island in the US (my Scots-Italian husband said Blackpool for the Brits). Or Orlando, Atlantic City, Sedona, Vail. Places where we “visit” and don’t consider that there are local populations who need grocery stores, pharmacies and IKEAs.
We had a nice day in Pisa, despite the jet-lag. We even brought home some souvenirs. Allen Wrenches (or Allen Keys as my husband “Britishly” chided me!
By the way, the population of Coney Island is apparently about 80,000. However, the 2010 US Census listed it as about 24,000, and many reports include surrounding areas along the island. But yeah, people really do live there. As do about 90,000 people with easy IKEA access in Pisa!