Boston Skyline from The North End © Mike Richard

Seeing Boston Through New Eyes on a North End Photo Walk

I’ve loved being a part of Viator’s Ambassador program over the last two years. It’s allowed me to experience some truly amazing, bucket list-worthy things around the world (like riding horses in Mexico and helicoptering over the Canadian Rockies).

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But sometimes, I love taking a proper tour of my hometown (OK, technically Providence is my hometown, but Boston is close enough …). It’s a great way to see the place that I call home through another local’s eyes.

Which is how I wound up on Viator’s brand new PhotoWalk North End-Little Italy Tour. I’m a decent photographer (my mom tells me so, so it must be true), but I decided it was high time to get back to basics with a refresher course. It just so happened that the refresher included a free historical walking tour of one of my favorite cities.

A Street Corner in Boston's North End
A Street Corner in Boston’s North End

The tour covers a modest amount of ground in a little more than an hour and a half. In that time, visitors can expect to see some of the essential landmarks and stops typical of any “high level” tour of Beantown. The Tony Demarco boxer statue, Mike’s Pastry, The Freedom Trail. Cheers. That bar where Matt Damon wooed Minnie Driver with his “apples” one-liner (kidding). But my tour guide, Saba, also revealed small, lesser-known markets, interesting back alleys, and curiosities that I’d never even heard of, let alone visited.

My biggest takeaway from the tour was two-fold. First were some new, simple photography techniques that I’d never delved too deeply into. My new favorite is puddle photography! I’m not sure how I’ve been missing out on this gem for so many years. But it’s opened my eyes to shots like this:

Reflection of Old North Church
Reflection of Old North Church

… which is among my favorite Boston photos I’ve ever shot.

Secondly, don’t ever think you’ve seen everything there is to see in your hometown. Get out and be a tourist where you live. The tourist attractions are usually attractions for a reason. Sure, you’ll rarely have those spots all to yourself. And you might need to throw a few elbows to get a great shot. But, so what? Don’t be the New Yorker who’s never seen the top of the Empire State Building. Or the San Franciscan who’s never visited Alcatraz. And, even if you’ve gone, go again with a tour! (Throw on a fanny pack if you really want to complete the picture)

The Bottom Line

In short, the $40 price of admission to the PhotoWalk North End-Little Italy Tour is a bargain even if it were just a 90-minute historical walking tour. Add to that the expertise of a professional, local photographer and it feels like a steal.

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