With the beginning of returning events to visit in person, John Bensalhia looks at what's happening both in the real and online worlds this month...
While lockdown is slowly but surely being eased in Italy, that means some events can actually be visited in person. The lockdown relaxation means that the likes of museums, shops, bars and restaurants have started to open again in Italy – along with gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities. You'll see an example in this month's batch, but the most important factor to acknowledge is that there is necessary compromise.
The relevant precautions are being taken with face masks, gloves and also reduced numbers per event. Large crowds of people are still prohibited. For more details, visit Georgette's report here and Silvia's report on museum openings
However, many events in Italy have had to be cancelled or postponed, whether for a few months or even a year. But don't fret, as there are still many online events to keep you entertained at home.
11th-14th June 2020
To mark the cultural heritage of Molise and the Municipality of Campobasso, a special online event will be held in mid-June. On the occasion of the Festival of Mysteries, a virtual stage will be the location for a wide range of participants coming together to creatively represent the 13 mysteries of Campobasso. Actors, performers, street artists, musicians, artists, animators, photographers and more will come together to present a memorable depiction of the Mysteries through visuals and graphics.
While the Covid-19 situation has regrettably reduced the number of festivals to visit in person, one positive to take away is the sheer hard work put into virtual events like this. The 11th to 14th June will showcase the results.
Milan, 15th June 2020
What's your favourite drink of choice? Wines... beers... there's also whiskey, and for the connoisseurs and fans, a special virtual tasting is being arranged for the middle of June.
The Scotch Malt Whiskey Society will present its Milan-based testing on 15th June at 9.30pm. The way it works is that you buy the Virtual Tasting Pack, get the contents ready to sample, and experts Mauro and Alessandro Leoni will then take you through five fantastic whiskeys that offer a selection of fine tastes.
21st June - 30th July 2020
It has been announced that the Ravenna Festival will be opening to the public from midsummer. The festival will be putting on 40 events from 21st June, although with the recent Covid-19 pandemic in mind, safety precautions will be paramount. The relevant regulations with respect to social distancing will be followed to the letter, including masks for the audience and a staggered access system. The audience numbers for the first show will be limited to 250.
Riccardo Muti will head the opening concert along with 60-plus members of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and soloist Road Feola. The first concert will be an open air deal at the 15th century fortress, Rocca Brancaleone. Music includes Alexandr Nikolaevič Skrjabin's Skrjabin's, and Exsultate, jubilate motet K. 165 and Et incarnatus est from Mozart's Mass in C minor K. 427.
Cooking schools are always popular here at Italy Magazine's things to do section. Here comes another one: Natalina's Kitchen provides wannabe chefs with a detailed set of courses that benefit from considerable teaching experience. A further advantage is that you can learn from the courses at your own pace. If you want to watch one of Natalina's cookery course videos again until you get the recipe right, there's nothing to stop you. As well as the videos there are extra resources such as menu plans, ingredient lists and timing schedules, all of which are easily downloadable.
There are all kinds of sessions and recipe types available in Natalina's Kitchen. Whether you want to test the water with a mini session or take the plunge with a recipe type such as Cosy and Casual, Family Favourites or Simple And Elegant, there is much here to whet your appetite. Recipes include Risotto, salads, pizzas, gnocchi, pasta, panna cotta... all the classics and much more!
Having been in the pipeline prior to the current global situation, the virtual tour of Milan's La Scala opera house has gone online for all to see.
Those who go online can take a breathtaking virtual tour of the impressive premises of La Scala. There is much to keep visitors entertained, including 240,000 photos from the archives, 16,000 documents, digital exhibits, and costume displays of outfits worn by the stars who have graced the doors of La Scala opera house.
If it's the real deal you want, then RAI TV has devised a platform through which you can tune into a selection of classic opera performances. Furthermore, while the annual opera festival of Summer has been cancelled this year, there is still a bit of good news, with a series of special concerts due in August (albeit with reduced availability in order to keep with the relevant precautions) on the cards.
Throughout June 2020
See Venice has a fantastic range of virtual tours, plenty of which are planned for this month. A licensed and knowledgeable Venetian guide will be online to take you through a certain aspect of Venice – the way these sessions work is to take small groups of up to six at a time, who can enjoy the many fascinating stories, anecdotes and historical facts about this wondrous area.
Specific dates scheduled for this month include Venice Talks... With You (6th or 20th June, 7pm), which explores the basics of Venice with some of the key facts and pieces of information. The Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica: Power, Justice and Religion is happening on 7th or 27th June (again, 7pm), which explores in detail these iconic monuments.
Take a virtual tour of the Venetian Lagoon on 13th or 18th June (7pm) with Luisella Romeo, in which you can find out all about the flora and fauna – and also the boats of the unique marshland area of Venice. Art fans will enjoy the works of the Accademia Galleries (14th June, 7pm) which boasts a superb array of artworks from the likes of Titian, Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veronese. Meanwhile, the 21st June (7pm) looks at Venice from a Jewish point of view, exploring the history and stories of the Venetian Jewish community.
A Slice of Daily Life in Medieval Florence
Mondays, 12pm PT/3pm ET (9pm Italy time), More info here.
Unveil one of the most misunderstood periods of history and how real life in blooming Florentia was, the transition and transformation of culture as the guilds like Calimala (related to commissioning the Gates of Paradise on Florence's Bapistery) began to make their appereance. This event held in English will explore the daily life of local Florentines, clergy and nobles while tying the way of eating during the Middle Ages. This hybrid food/history online event will also cover some unique historic curiosities of Florence's iconic sites such as Orsanmichele, Piazza della Repubblica, Ponte Vecchio and the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo. There will be art and images shared "virtually" to compliment the experience.
Another worthy museum to check out online is Florence's Museo Galileo. It's the home of one of the most impressive global scientific instrument and device collections. The museum is dominated by the life and works of Galileo Galilei, boasting a range of telescopes, astrolabes, sextants and other devices.
However, the museum branches out beyond Galileo, featuring other instruments and artefacts from the Lorraine Dynasty and the Medici Collection. The displays include the methods of research into the principles of electricity and chemistry.
The online tours and galleries of this fascinating piece of history are well worth a look, and make for an excellent substitute for the real visit.