Several lucky friends of mine were in Italy lately, and I’ve gone to Italy with them – vicariously.

Vicarious Italy

As I’ve followed their travels through FB and e-mails, I’ve also dug deep into my collection of art and travel books.

Physically I haven’t been to Italy in many years, but I can go there anytime I want with my books, some old photographs, a few websites, my CDs, and a little imagination.

Anything to get me out of Trump’s America – if only temporarily.

I have my favorite memories of Italy –

… wandering around Venice at night with the Tiny Goddess and no destination … visiting my daughter in Florence when she spent a semester there … two visits to Giotto’s Arena Chapel in Padua … Midnight Mass at the Duomo … a walk around Florence on Christmas Day when everything was closed … a stay at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio on Lake Como when the TG and I were very young  … “AIDA” at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome … the Fra Angelicos in San Marco in Florence … the Sistine Chapel with small binoculars … the Tintorettos in San Rocco in Venice … a few fine meals with my family … a room with a view on the Arno.


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Italy: it has the food, the people, the scenery, the music, and the art.

As Erica Jong said, "Whenever I go anywhere but Italy for a vacation, I always feel vaguely disappointed, as if I have made a mistake."

She might have a good point.

Here are some instant Italian vacations:

Maria Callas sings “Vissi D’Arte” from TOSCA (1964, Covent Garden) – very late for Callas, but still….

Renata Tebaldi sings “Un Bel Di” from MADAME BUTTERFLY (live)

Franco Corelli sings “Nessun Dorma” from TURANDOT (lip-syncing)

Website for Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel

The Official UFIZZI Site

The Official PITTI PALACE Site

VENICE IN 3-D – a two-minute tour, thanks to Google

Venice by Night and Gondola ride – a nice, short clip

A good, one hour documentary about Venice and its islands

How Venice Works

A walking tour of Florence

Florence in 4K

The MOTHERLODE – 1.8 million images from the world’s great museums

Ten places to see in Florence (inside a cheesy commercial)

Rick Steves goes to the Ufizzi

Rick Steves visits Michelangelo’s DAVID

Two people visit Michelangelo’s PIETA in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

Images of “Italian paintings from the Renaissance” – for your browsing pleasure;_ylt=AwrTceCn1uRZ._wA3YcPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=italian+painting+renaissance+paintings&fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hspart=Lkry&hsimp=yhs-SF01




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Christian Correa