Italian culture and history: 7 Italian museums to visit from home with virtual tours
- WTI Magazine #129 Jul 19, 2020
Waiting to return to visit the huge Italian cultural heritage, several major museums in Italy have decided to make their spaces and collections accessible in a virtual way: what you only need is a smartphone, a tablet or a computer to immerse yourself in the beauty of art comfortably from home.
Don't know which museum to start with? We recommend starting your virtual visit from one of these unmissable museums.
Scuderie del Quirinale
In Rome, the Scuderie del Quirinale virtually reopened their doors to give the possibility to visit online “Raphael 1520-1483”,the imposing exhibition dedicated to Raphael on display until 2 June. On its web-site and social media channels (Facebook page and YouTube channel), the museum tells about the exhibition with the project “Raffaello oltre la mostra” (Raphael beyond the Exhibition): in the form of video-walks in the museum’s halls, the exhibition superintendents and eminent scholars describe the works (more than 200 among paintings, tapestries, drawings and letters coming from all over the world) disclosing the virtuosity of the great Renaissance artist, including curious facts about his life and the exhibition backstage.
The Museo Egizio in Turin
Also the Museo Egizio in Turin – that houses the world’s second largest collection of Egyptian art after the Cairo museum and one of the most appreciated in Italy – decided to offer to the public its enormous heritage in a virtual way. In addition to the possibility to access the database of the collection online, thanks to a 3D reproduction you can have a virtual tour of the temporary exhibition “Archeologia Invisibile” (Invisible Archaeology), currently in display, visiting halls and showcases and browsing any single find (in the Playlist “Archeologia Invisibile" on Youtube” you can learn more about the exhibition topics). Every Thursday and Saturday, on YouTube, they go online with the Passeggiate del Direttore (The Director's Walks), a virtual visit to the museum halls guided by director Christian Greco, while every Monday the museum’s superintendents describe some of the collections’ oddest items.
The Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums have opened their doors to virtual visitors offering eight different itineraries: on the museum’s web-site you can have a 360 tour of the amazing Sistine Chapel, the Vatican's most valuable artistic treasure, of the Raphael’s Rooms, the papal apartments frescoed by the great Raphael, and some of the most important collections, like the Pio-Clementino Museum, that keeps Greek and Roman sculptures, the Chiaramonti Museum and the Braccio Nuovo, that shows sculptures, sarcophagi and stone inscriptions, the Profano Museum with Greek and Roman antiques, the Niccolina Chapel, frescoed by Beato Angelico, and the Room of the Chiaroscuri, with important works by Raphael.
Pinacoteca di Brera
A major part of the collections of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan is now fully available in high-definition (details can be enlarged up to 40 times their real size). What’s more, with the project “My Brera” every staff member displays a different work of art from their own point of view. Together with the Braidense National Library, the Pinacoteca also launched “Appunti di resistenza”(Resistance Notes): a rich selection of material that includes presentation videos of the works, reading of stories for children and recordings of chamber music concerts, also available on the museum's YouTube channel.
Hypervisions is a virtual visit project created by the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, a 360 tour through the museum’s halls and its masterpieces (among which stands out the world’s largest collection of works by Botticelli and Raphael). The virtual tour offers different thematic itineraries and allows moving from one room to another admiring the works with high-definition images and fact sheets. Among the possible tours, you have Factories of Stories, some audio-itineraries that tell about twelve masterpieces of the museum from an unusual point of view, Following in Trajan’s Footsteps, that offers a journey through precious relics from the Trajan Age, or the Botticelli Spring Marathon, a virtual exhibition on the birth of the myth of Botticelli through social media.
The “Duomo”, symbol of Milan in the world, awaits its visitors for an unusual virtual tour: a video on the official web-site by means of extraordinary 360 images crosses the long naves of the Cathedral till the Altare Maggiore, going down into the archeological area and then up to the top, to the spires, going discovering Milan Cathedral’s wonderful artistic and historic heritage. Every Monday at 03:00 p.m., in addition, short virtual tours of the project #IlDuomosiracconta (The Duomo tells about itself) on the web-site and social media: among the topics the Sundial, Tintoretto, the Sacristies, the Bell Towers, the gilding of the Madonnina and the dictionary of the Rooftops.
The Canova Experience
The project “Canova Experience” makes possible a 3D virtual tour of the Museo della Gipsoteca canoviana and the Canova 's birth house in Possagno, in the province of Treviso. Therefore, it is possible to visit the interiors of the XVII century house, today turned in a house-museum, and the rooms of the Gipsoteca (the plaster cast gallery), that keeps plaster models, sketches and marble works of the great artist. You can enjoy the virtual tour online, but also with virtual reality devices (like Cardboard or Oculus) downloading the specific file.
If these suggestions aren’t enough to satisfy your hunger for art, you also have another option: Google Arts & Culture allows you to virtually reach the world’s leading museums. Among Italy’s museums and archeological sites available are the Colosseum, the Museo del Novecento in Milan, the Doge's Palace in Venice, the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, the MAO (Museum of Oriental Arts) in Turin and the Capitoline Museums in Rome.