The grand tour of Italy: traveling through the past and present to define our future

By Newsroom America Feeds at 16 May 2017

Italian culture—art, architecture, music and food—have made Italy great in the eyes of the rest of the world. Have you ever wondered how these Italian masterpieces from the past have shaped today’s present, and how they can continue to be a source of inspiration in the future?

Three hundred years ago, Italy’s “Grand Tour” was a journey made mainly by wealthy young people from Venice to Sicily, going through Tuscany, Rome or Naples, to discover the legacy of classical art and Renaissance Masterpieces. Europe’s upper class families made a tradition of sending their sons and daughters to explore  the country’s artwork to inspire a love of culture and creativity. Today Google brings this journey back to life, but this time we’re making it available to everyone, everywhere.

We’ve  reinterpreted the The Grand Tour of Italy on Google Arts & Culture through vivid exhibits and storytelling from partners including the Comitato Giovani della Commissione Nazionale Italiana for UNESCO, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia—Museo Correr and Cà Rezzonico— Accademia dei Fisiocritici, Consorzio per la Tutela del Palio di Siena, Outdoor Project, and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Working together, and with a little help from Google’s technology, we’re proud to present The Grand Tour of Italy,  which explores four cities in five Cardboard tours, 25 videos, 21 Street View tours, 38 digital exhibitions and 1300+ images.

People everywhere can embark on a digital trip from Venice to Palermo, going through Siena and Rome to see some of the cultural treasures of Italy, experience timeless traditions, take a closer look at masterpieces in ultra-high resolution and discover Italian innovations that have changed the modern world.

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Festa del Redentore, find out about its origins and history, or usingsimple Google Cardboard, you can experience the magic of the Redentore fireworks display with a 360° virtual tour. Enjoy the excitement of a tradition that shapes the life of an entire city, and experience the preparation for the Palio di Siena, as if you were right there. In one click, you can go to Pienza and discover how a small town with a population of around 3,000 created a new approach to town planning, later used in laying out larger modern cities. Take a virtual walk around Rome and stop to look at the statue of Pasquino, hear the story of the talking statues and the “Pasquinate”, the forerunner of today’s social media. Go into the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele of Palermo, the largest opera theatre in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. It used to be exclusively for the city’s upper class, but now everyone can enjoy it.

Our digital journey continues to Venice (and in the coming months in Siena, Rome and Palermo), where we’ll help residents of the city prepare cities for a digital future. Free seminars and workshops organized with our partners will help spread digital skills among citizens and make sure the younger generations are ready to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology.

If you’re in Venice, come and see us from May 19-21 at the Arsenale Nord, Tesa 94 (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to discover how these fascinating stories come to life. If not, don’t miss the chance to discover more about the project and download Google Art & Culture app on Android and iOS!

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