So you had a trip planned for Italy and cannot go now? Or you are dreaming about that vacation but cannot make it just now? I feel you! That’s why I think you should try some of these Italy virtual tours, that will take you one step closer to that peninsula we all love and miss.
In today’s age, staying home shouldn’t be a synonym to getting bored. With so many activities available online or around our homes, planning for a fun staycation shouldn’t be hard.
And if you want to focus on Italy, there are plenty of ways to get around the fact that we lack mobility.
I’ve studied in Italy, worked for an Italian company, traveled back several times every year since I first laid my eyes on this country. Needless to say that I find it hard to think that I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back again.
If you’re just like me, I have you covered! Keep on reading and start planning for some great Italy virtual tours you’ll want to go on next.
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Great Italy virtual tours you’ll want to take!
Online virtual city and attraction tours
When it comes to tours of cities and popular attractions in Italy, I can easily say nowadays you can find online almost anything.
Tours and webinars come in all kinds of shapes and for different prices. You can always hop on Google maps and walk on the streets you miss so much absolutely free of charge.
For example, you can go “online trekking” in the Dolomites, one place I’ve been wanting to get to since forever and admire some of the most beautiful natural landscapes.
Also for free, you can walk through the ruins at Pompeii and read a little bit of its history. Since Google provides only a small snippet of information and you’ll most probably want to get much more out of a tour at one of the most iconic attractions in Italy, I suggest opting for a Pompeii online tour with a guide.
Sure, you’ll have to pay a small tour fee, but I think it is totally worth it because you will get the chance to sit down with an expert, learn a lot of interesting facts, and ask all the questions you want.
On the other hand, this is also a great way to support the local businesses back in Italy, when they need it the most.
You can access these tours from only one device, but you can invite the whole family around and have some quality time together learning about something you enjoy.
Want to go to Rome? No worries, there are soooo many options out there, from 3D tours to webinars with tourist guides and historians.
Here are only a few you can choose from:
- Ancient Rome virtual tour
- Visit Villa Borghese in Rome
- Vatican Virtual tour
- Ancient Rome virtual tour developed by the University of Reding
Read also: 30+ Italian gifts for Italy lovers
Learn some art and history, listen to an Italian opera
You can find everything you want related to the Italian culture and art on Google Art & Culture.
Plenty of videos about some of the most important milestones in Italy’s history, special occasions and you can also explore Italy’s most iconic locations in 360˚.
If you are into the Italian opera and you dream of attending a show at La Fenice in Venice, head over to their website and attend your favorite one on YouTube.
Another option related to art, something we’ve watched even before the world turned to virtual tours, is Waldemar Januszczak’s documentaries. He walks on the streets of Rome, Naples, Florence, and many more and tells the story of different art periods in Italy.
I bet anyone will be charmed by these documentaries and will learn a lot about art and Italy.
Netflix and Amazon Prime series and shows
I’ve written here about all those shows you will want to binge-watch if you are passionate about travel.
But if we’re talking strictly about Italy, there are plenty of options to choose from. Yes, most of them are related to food, but who can blame them? Italian food is delicious!
I know, I miss it too, but we’ll get there in just a minute, trust me.
The comedian travels around the world, from Cuba where he tastes rum and dances the rumba, to Italy where he strolls through Florence, tastes Chianti wine and coffee in Naples.
Go on a trip to France, Germany, and Italy by car with Paul Hollywood – a chef and avid auto enthusiast.
If you love Italy as much as I do, this is one show that you will need to watch!
Go from the stunning views in Tuscany, learn about history in Rome, and explore the most amazing Southern region of Puglia.
There are just so many remarkable places in Italy you will want to explore in these 2 seasons together with Italian travel expert Kathy McCabe.
Live the Italian “Bella vita” and learn how to prepare some of the most iconic dishes from Southern Italy, with one of the most famous chefs with Italian roots: Giada de Laurentiis.
Read also: The best Italy subscription boxes to order at home!
Books set in Italy
I just love a good book set in Italy!
And I sure know one thing: there are plenty of options to choose from. Especially books set in Tuscany!
Here is a short list of suggestions you should at least look into:
Even though I find it hard to believe there are still women out there that haven’t read this book or haven’t seen the movie, it is here, top of the list.
Synopsis: “Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.”
Another book turned into a movie with a celebrity in the main role, this action is set in charming Tuscany and follows the experience of its writer.
Synopsis: “Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.”
Run to Naples and follow the lives of Elena and Lila, two girls that grow up in the bad side of town. They learn the hard way about what poverty is and have to make some tough decisions from childhood up to the end of their lives.
Synopsis: “The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries.
Every month on a Thursday evening, a group of four Italian rural women gathers in a derelict stone house in the hills above Italy’s Orvieto. There – along with their friend, Marlena – they cook, sit down to a beautiful supper, drink their beloved local wines, and talk.
Here, surrounded by candlelight, good food, and friendship, they tell their life stories of loves lost and found, of aging and abandonment, of mafia grudges and family feuds, and of ingredients and recipes whose secrets have been passed down through the generations.
Movies set in Italy
I’m sure you’ve seen so many movies set in Italy if you are a big fan like myself. But there’s nothing wrong with planning a movie marathon weekend and see once again all those films that will take you back to the streets of some of the most amazing cities in Italy.
And here I am helping you out with a list of nice movies to watch in bed and dream of Italy:
- Eat, Pray, Love
- La Vita e Bella (Life is beautiful)
- To Rome with love
- Under the Tuscan sun
- The talented Mr. Ripley
- La Dolce Vita
- Room with a view
- The Tourist
- Angels and Demons
Virtual cooking classes
Have you been waiting to take that cooking class with a local Italian nonna or that local chef in Florence? Steal all their secrets and then impress your friends and family back home?
The good news is you won’t have to wait until you manage to get to Italy for that. You can now plan for an online live streaming cooking class with an Italian cook and all your family or just your significant other can attend.
I remember some of my friends from Bari during my studies in Trieste thought us how to do the famous “arancini” and it was so much fun. And later on, I’ve learned to do so many pasta dishes and sweets.
Of course, there are plenty of cooking shows out there and I’ve watched so many throughout time. But taking a cooking class, even if virtually, is much more fun than that.
And here are a few options you can look into:
- A virtual cooking class with an Italian chef in Venice
- Make pasta and live opera in the kitchen from the countryside of Florence
- Luca and Lorenzo family pasta recipe
- Pasta con nonna (pasta with the grandmas)
- The secret of world champion tiramisu
Learn the Italian language with an online class
After studying in Italy I’ve come back home and taken an exam to certify the fact that I am fluent in the Italian language. I know you won’t get there (but, hey, who knows?), but learning a new language, especially Italian, can be super fun.
You will thank yourself in the end because you have really done something productive with your time. And you will be proud when you will finally travel to Italy and will ask for a train ticket or a meal in their local language.
I know from experience that taking online classes, doing lots of exercises (I won’t lie to you and say the grammar is easy), listening to music and watching movies or shows in Italian helps a lot.
But since we’re talking about learning Italian, here are some great online classes and resources you can start with:
Start with a 3-day free trial and you can even choose to join a live stream lesson or online free coaching. As they say, the best way to learn a language is to surround yourself with it, and their methods do just that.
They have the TruAccent, a patent speech recognition engine that will help you with pronunciation, and a phrasebook for learning all the expressions from Italian.
Another thing I found really fun and something that would help someone learn a new language by playing is the “Seek & Speak” function. You can point at things around you and learn how to call them in Italian.
This platform also offers free Italian language classes for you to get used to the structure of their services, but also to the language and see whether you want to commit.
You can choose your level, the reason why you need the language so that they can adapt the curriculum to your needs, and so that you can make fast progress and feel great about yourself.
Back when I started studying the language, there weren’t so many apps and online resources available, thus take advantage of what the internet has to offer these days.
Virtual wine tasting
Let’s be fair, what’s an Italian meal without good Italian wine?
I love my wine, and after a few months in Italy, I had a revelation: I drank at least one glass of wine daily. But that’s just the Italian way.
We did aperitivo, we had a glass for dinner, we went out by the sea with a bottle of good wine. That’s just the way it is.
And why not have a wine tasting activity at home? You will have the chance to learn about some of the best wines in Italy and become a small expert. Or at least you’ll know what to order from now on.
And on top of that, you can support a local business.
Here are a few great options:
- Wine.com virtual tours – Watch a virtual wine tasting through six wine regions in Italy. Their journey will begin with a sparkling wine from Prosecco, then they head south to Campania for an interesting white. After, they will turn to reds from Tuscany, the mountains of Sicily, and complete the event in the hills of Piedmont.
- Torciano wine tasting and wine classes – they have so many instructors to choose from, and you can go for Tuscan reds, white and sparkling, or even have a session with a Sangiovese & Brunello Specialist.
Virtual art galleries
Another great way of living the Italian life and learn about art is to visit some art galleries you would, either way, go to during your trip to Italy.
Watch live streaming cameras from your favorite town
I’ve seen this in a group on Facebook about traveling to Italy and I immediately clicked on the link to see what sights I can watch from home.
I stayed by the Trevi Fountain while raining without getting wet, I visited the Piazza di Spagna, watched the Colosseum and the Milan Cathedral. You can travel all the way to the Dolomites, Venice, and even Tropea.
See all these places and spend some time virtually in Italy here.
Here are a few museums worth checking out online:
- Musei Vaticani in Rome
- Musei Capitolini
- Pinacoteca di Brera
- Venice museumsGo to Milan fashion week virtually
Can you do this? Yes, you can!
Get some fashion inspiration and spend some quality time watching the catwalks of Milan.
Indulge and plan for an Italian night with some Italian products delivered at home
Once you’ve taken your cooking class and wine tasting, plan for an Italian dinner or picnic in your backyard.
Here are a few ideas of the products that would make such an event a success:
- An Italy themed gift basket will supply all the Italian goodies you’ll want and need
- A good Italian coffee maker and some of the best Italian Illy coffee (my favorite since it is from Trieste)
- The pasta maker that will help you get the greatest pasta your husband or family has ever tried
- Some great quality olive oil – you can subscribe and get it at home every 3 months
Check out also
- Virtual tours that will take you around the world
- Best travel shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime
- Books to spark wanderlust
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