Italian museums you can see without coming to Italy

We are living extraordinary times. With increasingly more countries and cities issuing lockdowns due to a situation that is becoming extremely serious, most of us find themselves confined at home, with limited possibilities to go out. Needless to say that non-essential travels are in most countries banned and punished.

In such conditions, it might be easy to get desperate, depressed or simply bored by the lack of activities. Nobody likes to be stuck at home, especially when the weather starts to get better and sunny.

That is why you should try to take your quarantine positively and use the enormous amount of time that is now at your disposal wisely. Indeed, it can get confusing and be slightly overwhelming at first to finally be able to administer our lives as we want and to have enough time to exercise, read or learn a new language. While these are some of the most classic activities to do during a quarantine, there are many other things made available to you due to this exceptional times.

For example, online tours and online classes have made available by many companies and museums. If you were planning a trip to Italy or you are simply curious to visit some of the best museums in the countries, you can now do so from the comfort of your home! Most Italian museums have adapted to the circumstances and are now offering virtual tours to anyone interested in visiting some of the most important museums in the world.

We put together a list of 5 museums you should pay a virtual visit to, hoping that you’ll soon be able to see the gorgeous collections with your own eyes.

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani (or Vatican Museums) is one of the main attractions driving millions of tourists each year to Vatican city. The collection is vast and its beauty and cultural weight simply breathtaking. Here, you can find some of the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art and the most renowned Roman sculptures. One of the most famous section of this immense museum is the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo.

But being the 4th most visited museum in the world and one of the largest ones makes Musei Vaticani particularly crowded and difficult to access.

Today, you have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the art pieces of this museums directly from your home. On the official website of Musei Vaticani, you’ll find 7 virtual tours through which you’ll be able to explore Sistine Chapel, Raffaello’s Rooms, the Room of Chiaroscuri and other beautiful collections. The virtual tour will allow you to move around and to focus on every detail that catches your attention, thanks to the high definition and quality of the images. Appreciate the art and the beauty of the Vatican Museum’s masterpieces from your sofa!

Check their website here Musei Vaticani.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan, contains some of the most famous masterpieces of Raphael and Caravaggio, but it also contains numerous pieces by some of the most renowned Italian artists such as Piero Della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna, among others. Considered one of the best art galleries in Milano and Italy, you can now enjoy the collection online. Despite being mostly of a religious character, the paintings are historically and culturally extremely important for Italian history and being able to admire them from the comfort of your home can be a great way to learn more about Italian history and its years of grandeur during the Renaissance. On Pinacoteca di Brera’s official website, you’ll be able to filter collections based on the material, data or era and artists: enjoy your virtual tour!

Galleria Degli Uffizi

If you know something about art and history, then you might know that Gallerie Degli Uffizi is one of the most prominent art museums located in Florence and one of the most visited and best known in the world. The collections are immense and rich in priceless works, mainly from the Renaissance period. It is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Florence and for how good the experience in real life is, the good news is that you can now have access to the museum’s collections with the IperVision project, created in the current exceptional circumstances.

The museum put at the disposal of those interests a vast assortment of virtual tours made of high-definition pictures of some of the most famous and important masterpieces in the collection, accompanied by some descriptions and interpretations by art experts. It is your chance to take your time and discover the famous and stunning collection of Galleria Degli Uffizi.

For a virtual tour of the Uffizi check their website here.

Musei Civici Di Venezia

Joining other museums that are now closed due to the Coronavirus crisis, Musei Civici di Venezia is now collaborating with Google Art Project. Today, everyone in the world is allowed to access the images in high definition and resolution of all of the masterpieces of the vast collection of this Museum. You’ll be able to explore the rooms and focus on the details that catch your attention thanks to the Street View feature. Simply access the official website and start your online tour!

Scuderie del Quirinale

Part of Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the official residences of the President of Italy, this museum is known to be hosting some of the most important art exhibitions in various themes. The good news is that today, you have access to more than 80 exhibitions online. Simply access the official website and select the virtual tour that most attracts you. You’ll be able to enjoy the exhibition through informative and high-quality videos accompanied by explanations and descriptions by some of the most experienced professionals in the art world.

The Bottomline

It is true, the current situation might be hard to take in. The good news is that technology is enabling us to satisfy our cravings for traveling, enjoying art and learn new things. Join the virtual tours and use them as a preparation for your next trip to Italy, where you’ll be able to see the masterpieces in real life!

Travel restrictions in Italy during covid19 outbreak

It is hard not to open a news channel or some sort of social media platform without hearing or reading something related to the new outbreak that is shaking the world. In Italy, the situation has become surreal, something that was far from anybody’s imagination. While the virus initially seemed very far away, in a matter of weeks, Italy’s inhabitants found themselves confined in their homes, not allowed to leave without a valid (and certified) reason and living a situation that most of us only saw on TV or read in books. Suddenly, the presence of the virus is feeling real. The speed at which it spreads required immediate action, to avoid a catastrophe.

The decree of lockdown declared by the Italian government is asking Italians several sacrifices, all aimed at containing the virus as much as possible. While people are trying to adapt to this new lifestyle, working from home, getting used to not being able to leave their homes for a while, it can be hard for a visitor to get a clear picture of the situation in Italy. Indeed, news and social media tend to aliment citizen’s fear rather than giving clear information about the Coronavirus situation.

But what is allowed and what isn’t during the new covid19 outbreak in Italy? What are travel restrictions affecting the country and its visitors and what do they entail? Here’s everything you should know about the 11th March’s decree created to stop the outbreak and to limit the spread of the disease.

Stay At Home


The basic rule of this decree is “Stay at home”. Many Italians are following it, aid by a massive social media campaign incentivizing people to stay at home and organizing alternative activities to deal with this new situation (such as free online courses, for instance). Leaving one’s home is allowed only for health reasons, to go to work (if working from home is not possible) and for other kinds of necessities, which include the purchase of food or medicines.

Self certification.

Those that have a reason to move should compile a document referred to as “self certification” (autocertificazione) that certifies the presence of a good reason to be leaving one’s home, despite the limitations. Such a document’s validity might be checked by the police (and controls are rising), with strict consequences for falsifying such documents. Indeed, the work needs have to be “certified” by a valid proof.

What Is Open In Italy?


While the whole country is in lockdown, some activities are still open to the public. Finding information might be hard, so here you can find what you need to know about shops and other kinds of services and their availability during this situation.

Supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores will be open, but some restrictions apply. For example, only a limited amount of people is allowed to enter at the same time, meaning that people usually wait outside and will be called by the staff when the time comes. When entering a store, it is essential to respect the 1-meter distancing rule. Penalties apply to those not complying with the new decree. Local markets, including food markets, are suspended, but the direct selling of fruits and vegetables is still allowed, as long as the safety regulations are followed.

Shops selling personal hygiene items, including perfumes and cosmetics are still open, as well as small stores selling pet food and technology. However, all restaurants, pubs, and bars are closed. To supply the lack of restoration, food deliveries are allowed, as long as the sanitary requirements are followed both concerning the transportation and for the packaging.

Beauty centers and barbershops are closed.

What Is Allowed to Do?


Only necessary movements, defined as the need to shop for food and to go to work are allowed. However, citizens are also allowed to exercise outdoors and to take their pets for a stroll, as long as social distancing rules are respected. They are advised to do so when not many people are around. Parks and public gardens are open, for allowing citizens to take short walks and exercise outdoors. No groups are allowed to train together.

Can I Return to My Home Country During the Lockdown?


It is allowed to return to one’s home country or city. After all, returning home is considered an essential region. However, you should be aware that the majority of countries are restricting entrance from Europe and Italy in particular. Some flights are being canceled and travelers should check flight details with their airlines. Most airlines might offer you a refund or arrange a rebooking.

Keep in mind that you might be required to isolate yourself temporarily when entering another country from Italy. Usually, the isolation needs to last 14 days. You are not advised to travel if you present some symptoms of the coronavirus. Even if you don’t present any symptom, you might be subjected to controls both when leaving Italy and at arrival, so be prepared.

What Airports Are Open In Italy?


In such a weird time, your traveling plans might be disrupted. Today, only 18 airports are open in Italy, including Palermo, Rome, and Milano. However, most services are limited to state flights, emergencies, and transport. Some connection flights are still operating. The open airports have been selected for their geographic location and their capacity and because considered essential. Many airlines have stopped operating flights in Italy. Reducing mobility and transports is one of the main measures taking by the Italian government to stop the spread of covid19 in Italy. In total, 23 airports have been closed in Italy. The open airports will be, after the 13th of March, only dedicated to essential movements.

The Bottomline


In such an unrealistic situation, it is normal to feel scared or uncertain. However, it is important to try to respect the limitations, follow the regulation and limit one’s movements. By working collectively towards the goal of reducing the number of contagions, it will be easier to put a stop to the outbreak and to give the sanitary system enough time to deal with the current situation.

Best Traditional Food Market in Rome. An Exciting Food Tour!

We want to guide you through the best traditional food markets in Rome, to live the real essence of the Eternal City, its roots, savours, inhabitants and fresh food products. Discover with us every secret of Rome’s wine and food tradition to buy and eat as Romans do.

This article is kindly provided by http://www.italyrometour.com/

Testaccio market

An original local market where to savor all the delicacies and traditional dishes of the real roman cuisine. Definitely one of Rome’s most popular food markets, Testaccio is a very genuine and ancient district renewed with restaurants, museums and cool venues, that still preserves the original roman spirit. Once, the biggest slaughterhouse of the capital, Testaccio or Monte dei Cocci, is an artificial mound in Rome composed largely of fragments of broken amphorae dating to the Roman Empire. Here is sold every product or food we find in the traditional dishes of Rome’s cuisine, such as the tasty tripe or “coda alla vaccinara” (Roman Oxtail Stew). You will also find: roman cheeses, artichokes, the “coppiette” (traditional Rome’s meat jerky), the amazing pizza and the finest local wines. Here you will witness together with the locals to cooking steps of how puntarelle (Lazio’s chicory) are dressed, or in addition you will discover what coratella is.

Mercado de Testaccio. Roma

Campo de’ Fiori market

In the heart of Rome is situated the most famous and historical local market of Rome, Campo de’ Fiori. A real jewel among the districts of Rome and among the most fashionable piazzas of the capital. A popular open-air market in the morning that turns into a nightlife centre in the evening. In the middle of a charming setting steeped with history and colors, surrounded by fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, you will taste the delicious “pizza bianca” right in one of the best “Forni” (bakeries) of the city, in addition the ham and the cured meats of an old “Norcineria” (Roman Butchershop). All that inside the market. Once there you will find out also the difference between Pecorino cheese and Parmesan cheese in some trusted small grocery stalls where italian mothers go, and finally you will discover Carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish-Style Artichokes) right where they were created.

 

campo de fiori

Esquilino market

It used to be one of the most suggestive outdoor food markets of the city, set around Vittorio Emanuele square, with two rows of stalls organized by genres with an attention for the price and a predisposition to theatricality. For over 100 years it has been the official dealer of the Esquilino district, of the whole city actually, offering typical cold cuts, cheeses, meat, fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. From 2001 the market has turned indoor and is located in the Ex Caserma Sani. The peculiar thing is that, in addition to traditional italian and roman food such as chicory and chard from Lazio, you can find products coming from esotic places like China, India, Romania, Senegal, due to the multi-ethnic nature of the place. This characteristic confers a very picturesque trait to this market immersed into its numerous spices, nuances and strange fruits. But doesn’t end here, because you’ll be spoiled for choice as regards as seasonal foods and vegetables like the gorgeous zucchini flowers, picked and served everyday at the stalls.

San Lorenzo Market

San Lorenzo market, is located in one of the trendiest areas of Rome referring to hanging out, clubs, style and nightlife, and has very ancient roots, dating back to pre-war era. Back to that time the stalls used to be more, but also nowadays we can count 25 stands with farmers selling their products, fish stands, Alberto’s butchery, the “pizzicheria” (a regional delicatessen), fresh pasta and even a bio stall. A distinctive and very appreciable feature of this market is the”Nave dei folli”, a mix between a stall selling bio products and a sort of club. Here you can take an espresso while learning new languages, or reading books about San Lorenzo district, with the trademark of slow food coming from Lazio region. Without a doubt a must-go place either for food lovers or for tourists who want to breathe the genuine air of locals’ life and habits.

 

Rome Testaccio Market: Where to Eat Traditional Cuisine.

Testaccio: Off the Beaten Track in Rome.

If you are a foodie you cannot miss the Testaccio food market and try at least once the Panino con la trippa (tripe sandwich). The Testaccio  in Rome is a residential area where most  tourists would not adventure but if you want to explore the real local food it is the place to go. Testaccio is a short bus ride from  the Colosseum  and central Rome. It has  lots of local produce including fresh vegetables, fresh and cured  meats, and also it has a good variety of street food served from the market stalls daily except on Mondays. The tripe sandwich is particularly indicated if you want to try something really Roman beside the usual pasta and pizza. We recommend to  try  Mordi e Vai for the panino con la trippa. Also around there other stalls offering delicious fried artichokes, and sandwiches  with the bollito (boiled meats).

Panino con la Trippa
While in Rome Eat Panino Con la Trippa
Roa graffiti in Testaccio Rome
Roa graffiti in Testaccio Rome

 

Traditional Osteria in Rome – Lo Scopettaro Lungotevere.

Lo Scopettaro (literally the broom seller  in the roman dialect) is a traditional osteria in Roma Lungotevere off the tourist track worth trying because of the care taken to prepare the dishes on offer. We particularly appreciated the pasta courses. Of course we could not miss to try  rigatoni alla carbonara, and  tonnarelli  cacio e pepe which are freshly made spaghetti (alla chitarra) and a very simple sauce made with pecorino romano (cacio) and black pepper that it is skillfully blended with the pasta cooking water in order to obtain this creamy and tasty sauce.

Carbonara Pasta
Rigatoni alla Carbonara – Lo Scopettaro – Rome
Cacio e Pepe
Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – Lo Scopettaro – Rome

You should pay at least a visit to  Eataly in Rome.

Eataly in Rome is 3rd food mall opened by the company of Mr Farinetti. After the success of Turin and New York, now it is time for Rome. Again a little off the beaten track, you will find Eataly Rome at the Piramide metro stop, not far from the city center. Farinnetti the food entrepreneur this time used a disused railway building to open this mega food mall that has on sale many Italian food items from every possible corner of the country. Foodies will also find restaurants and street food outlets serving anything from fish carpaccio, to piadina to pizza fritta (see picture below).  

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Eataly Rome
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Pizza Fritta – Eataly Rome

 

Rome Tours With Traditional Osteria Lunch and Food Crawl

Interesting tour lead by native Roman Vincenzo who will combine Rome’s ancient history with a food crawl and gourmet osteria Lunch. Not not be missed.

rome
Visit Rome with local guide vincenzo source

 

Ancient Rome

Explore the wonders of Rome with an exciting 3 hour tour. The spectacular tour covers the Roman Coliseum, which features breathtaking exteriors, interiors, and ancient architecture. The Forum Romanum is also a must see and is home to the Senate, Arch Septimius Severus, basilica Julia, and Maxentius basilica. The world renowned city also showcases the Arch Titus, Arch Constantine, and Capitol Hill. The walking tour features picturesque backdrops and lavish scenery at every turn. You can also enjoy world class cuisine set in an elegant Roman restaurant for a slightly additional cost. We will arrange a meeting point for all clients that are ready to experience the allure, and essence of Rome.

Vatican City

As the epicenter for Roman Catholicism, Vatican City is a haven for countless tourists. Your 5 tour starts at St. Peter’s basilica, which includes interiors, exteriors, and Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece sculptures: Bernini Baldachin, Piet, and more. You will also get to see the square and the magic of the Vatican Museums – Borgia’s flat, Raphael’s rooms, Greek cross room, Round room, Muses room, and the world famous Sistine Chapel. The tour also includes the Tapestry, Candelabra, and Geographic Maps galleries that are a must for ancient art lovers, aficionados, and enthusiasts. After a day of exploring Roman architecture at its finest, wind down with a traditional Osteria lunch and fine wines served to perfection. Meeting point for all visitors will be at the entrance of the Museums.

Pope’s City

The 4 hour Pope’s City tour includes the major sights of the downtown area: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Colonna Square, Hadrian Temple, and the Pantheon. The latter features Raphael’s tomb, along with the Italian Royal Family of Savoy tombs. The tour also includes Campo dei Fiori, Navona Square, Marcellus’ Theater, and the ancient Jewish ghetto, which features Octavia Gate. Meeting point for the tour will be discussed with clients, and you will be able to sample traditional Italian dishes via food stands. I do have passes for all spots desired!

Tour Guide Profile – Vincenzo

I was born in Rome and a licensed tour guide since 2009. I am also an art historian, and my clients are mainly English speakers. As a native Roman, I want to help you explore this fascinating and beloved city!