What’s the idea?
As Italy emerges slowly from Covid-19 lockdown, take a virtual tour through centuries of the nation’s rich cultural history.
What’s the story?
As a child, one of my joys was sweet-talking my way into my artist father’s studio – a room usually off-limits.
I loved to squeeze out the oily paint from tubes of amazingly named colours or pore over Dad’s books on Italian art.
Today, so many more resources are available to enjoy this beautiful country’s cultural heritage at home.
I can get close up to Botticelli, Michelangelo or Leonardo whenever I want.
Live-time views of the cities are on webcams.
Virtual walking tours and videos explore museums, art galleries, cathedrals and palaces.
Opera and concerts are streamed live into our living rooms.
So I suggest you take a virtual tour of Italy!
For more virtual experiences, click here to experience the Glyndebourne Opera in your own home!
Enjoy an Andrea Bocelli concert live from Rome in your own home!
People should do this because…?
Coronavirus and the lockdown have had a devastating impact on Italy.
Tourism needs to revive, but right now you can experience all the glorious cultural heritage of this wonderful country online.
There is no queuing, or peering over hundreds of bobbing heads, clicking cameras and phones!
So much beauty to enjoy at home has to be good for mental health.
How do you do it?
City hop from Florence to Rome to Milan at your own pace.
Take a virtual tour of some of the world’s most famous art, architecture and scientific innovations.
Take a virtual tour of Florence:
- View Brunelleschi’s architectural and artistic Renaissance masterpiece, the Duomo, as well as Giotto’s Belltower and the Cathedral via webcam.
- View the unmissable Piazza del Duomo.
- Visit the Ufizzi art gallery online. Vasari’s magnificent building houses centuries of artwork and sculpture.
- Don’t leave the Ufizzi gallery without seeing Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ or the new room dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s genius.
- Michelangelo’s majestic ‘David’ is housed in the nearby Accademia Gallery of Art.
Move on to a virtual tour of Rome:
- Take a free virtual guided tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel
- Try a custom virtual tour of the city including the 2,000-year-old amphitheatre of the Colosseum.
- Enjoy an evening combining music with a film tour of historic Rome. Opera Di Camera Di Roma is staging a live broadcast of a concert, blending pop and opera. Focus is on Andrea Bocelli’s mastery of the style and will take place on Sunday 19th July 2020 at 6.00 p.m. BST.
Finish with a virtual tour of Milan:
- Watch the many walking tours of the city on YouTube. (Sygic Travel has voiceover.)
- Don’t leave without visiting the home of Italian opera, La Scala: teatroallascala.org
Stuff you may need
- Laptop and wi-fi
- A few bottles of Chianti and a big sharing bowl of pasta
- Hold your own posh picnic!
Links to other Stuffer pages
Links to other articles on the web
Links to other videos on the web
Although this year’s performances at la Scala are cancelled a selection of opera classics are on YouTube.
Links to books
‘La Passione’ by Dianne Hales, A jubilant celebration of Italy’s outsize impact on culture, from literature to art, music to movies, that “masterfully examines the multitude of reasons why so many people, fall in love with Italy and the Italian lifestyle” (Forbes)