As COVID-19 has swept across the globe our travel plans have all been placed on hold as we hunker down to keep everyone safe. While we might be doing the right thing by staying home, it doesn’t mean we aren’t still hankering for a European getaway.
Being stuck at home has seen an abundance of clever people create amazing virtual tours of all our favourite places! You can wander through all of Italy without leaving your lounge room. Discover exquisite and antique works of art from some of the worlds most famous artists, while wearing your pyjamas! We are very lucky to have such fantastic technology available to us.
We have scoured the internet and found the best virtual trips and tours you can take while at home!
If you’re lucky enough to own a Vive or Oculus then you absolutely cannot go past Google Earth. The software is free to download and gives you unlimited access to the world. Walk or fly your way around the globe experiencing the wonderful views of your favourite places. Sit down with your headset on eating lunch while looking out across Cinque Terre, or enjoy a glass of prosecco in Tuscan vineyards.
The program uses Googles satellite imaging to recreate the world around you. You have the choice between flying and walking meaning you can see landmarks from a whole new angle. If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a helicopter over the Colosseum or perhaps Mount Vesuvius, now you is your chance to do so!
Visit the famous Uffizi Gallery while sitting on your couch. The gallery has participated in Googles Arts & Culture app to provide you with a digital experience of some of their most famous galleries. The gallery has also started their own HyperVisions exhibition on their website. Explore the museums collections and this history of their famous works. You’ll move through each exhibit learning not only about the work but also how they preserve and keep them looking their best. The exhibits feature high definition images of each piece of work, allowing you to examine them in detail just as you would in person.
When visiting Italy most people will also go into the Vatican for at least a day. Inside this Holy place are some of the most fascinating and secret museums in the world. Inside the city-state, there are 26 unique gallery areas featuring everything from sculpture to mosaic, tapestry to frescos. The opulence of the Vatican blows away first-time visitors, with museums and galleries surpassing expectations of both size and beauty.
To help you experience the Holy See from your own home, the Vatican Museums have created seven amazing virtual tours of some of their most popular galleries. The tours allow you to walk through the various rooms and hallways, each captured in a rare and ominous space. You will never have a chance to experience the galleries alone like this again, amazing!
Perhaps one of the greatest but often overlooked museums in Rome are the Capitoline Museums. Sitting atop of Capitoline Hill, the magnificent museum includes a range of works from as far back as the 1400s. First opened in 1734, the Capitoline Museums is considered to be the oldest museum in the world. The museum was, and is, a place where art could be enjoyed by all, not just those rich enough to own it.
You can traverse the museum for yourself in their fantastic virtual tour. Follow the floor plan and take a fully virtual self-guided tour from the comfort of your own home. Just think, once you’re allowed to travel again you’ll be able to blow your friends away with your existing knowledge of the works here!
Play a game
For an unusual but equally entertaining way to explore the Italian landscape, pull out your computer and download European Truck Simulator 2. Now we know, it is a very odd request, but trust us, it’s worth it!
In the game, you own a truck business and haul freight across Italy. The landscapes are beautifully rendered and have been created to be as close to the real thing as possible. You’ll take trips across the country and easily recognise the regions you so casually pass through.
While we cannot travel an Italian road trip feels a world away, the game is an awesome way to have a road trip at home!
Take a cooking class
Cooking classes are a much-loved pastime for many travellers. Eating local cuisine is a great way to submerge yourself into a new culture and many people choose to join cooking classes while travelling.
Italy is a particularly fabulous place to take cooking classes. Many people know and love Italian cuisine before ever making it to Italy, so it only makes sense that you want to learn the authentic recipes for the meals you love! However, it’s hard to take an Italian cooking class when you can’t make it to Italy. Fear not, Nonna Nerina has you covered. The Italian grandmother generally hosts pasta cooking classes for tourists, however COVID-19 has seen her unable to continue her work. Instead of feeling down and out, she’s shifted her classes online!
Spend three hours making pasta from a generation’s old recipe. Nonna will be there to help guide you through and answer any questions before you settle in for your delicious pasta meal.
Bring Italy into your home
Even in these confusing times, there are plenty of ways you can, and should, visit Italy. There are plenty of ways you can digitally transport yourself to this country, so grab your family, head to the lounge room and get ready to head to Italy!
Related article: A Useful Italian Phrasebook