Vacation photos give Germans a rare glimpse of Merkel's family life

Germans — and the rest of Europe — have had a rare glimpse of Chancellor Angela Merkel's family life after the country's biggest-selling paper published photos of her on vacation in Italy.

Politicians' private lives traditionally have been off-limits in Germany but the media's reticence has eroded in recent years, in part due to the Internet.

Photos published by Bild on Wednesday show Merkel playing with her stepson's children on the island of Ischia.

Less-flattering pictures of Merkel in her swimsuit largely haven't made the German papers, but were published in other European countries.

Merkel's spokesman Georg Streiter described all the photos as "paparazzo" shots and indicated that the leader of Europe's biggest economy wasn't too happy about having "lenses pointed at you from all angles when you're on vacation."