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The Italian museums to visit from home with virtual tours

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:


1. The Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums

 Musei Vaticani - Visite virtuali

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.


2. The Museo Egizio in Turin

 Museo Egizio - Visita virtuale

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.


3. 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. A virtual tour shows you the interior of the Pinacoteca with high resolution photos. See the link


4. Uffizi Galleries

 Gallerie degli Uffizi - Visita virtuale

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.


5. 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 .


6. Milan Cathedral


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.


7. 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.


8. Accademia Carrara


The Accademia Carrara has a rich heritage, with various types of works.
The largest collection is that of paintings, covering a considerable period of time, from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century. The sculptures are limited in number but of great interest, particularly those of the Baroque period. The Museum presents its new App, for an interactive journey through personalized itineraries, and for those who want to get closer to the wonders of the collection from home.
An App tailored for everyone, from the youngest audience to experts, which speaks a contemporary language.


9. Duomo Nuovo of Siena : the incomplete dreams



A journey into the history of a project that was never completed: the New Cathedral, a major construction project that got off the ground in 1339 but was abandoned for good in 1357.
The plague, a lack of financial resources and structural failure all helped to put paid to a project that meant much more to the Sienese than a mere extension to their old Cathedral. The New Cathedral was supposed to bring fame and glory to the old Republic. The unfinished façade, the pillars, the capitals and the bases of the piers are today a fabulous skeleton testifying to a wonderful dream that never was.
Download the New Cathedral Augmeted Reality (Duomo Nuovo AR) to explore the three aisles that were never built and to wonder at the vaults that would have ceiled the new Cathedral, on a virtual tour of what would have been the largest church in the whole of Christendom.


10. Palazzo Reale, Genova


The Royal Palace is a large patrician residence built, enhanced and decorated by two great Genoese dynasties: Balbi and Durazzo. The palace is perhaps the largest seventeenth-eighteenth-century architectural complex in Genoa that has preserved its representative interiors intact, complete with decorations, frescoes and stuccos, as well as paintings, sculptures and furnishings. The vaults of the lounges and galleries are frescoed by some of the most important names of Baroque and Rococo decoration.


11. House of Augustus, Rome


Located on the Palatine Hill it is the result of the union of several houses of the Republican age that Octavianus Augustus bought and reunited in one. It is one of the most refined and elegant examples of the paintings that decorated the rooms of patrician houses. Among the various mansions purchased by Emperor Augustus we also find that which is called "Casa di Livia".

12. Baths of Caracalla, Rome

They constitute one of the greatest examples of imperial baths and best preserved. Built on the slopes of the Aventino, they were inaugurated in 216 by Caracalla. The water supply of the Baths was provided by a branch of the Acqua Marcia aqueduct, which, passing the Via Appia, rested on the already existing Arco di Druso, near Porta San Sebastiano. The plant of the complex has a rectangular shape and was a place not only for sports and body care but also for study and walking. The Baths ceased their function in 535 during the Gothic War. Following the abandonment, they were looted and the precious materials were removed to be reused in others buildings. See the virtual tour at this link.


13. Raphael's birthplace, Urbino

A virtual and interactive tour of the house of the great Renaissance artist. See the link


14. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Cagliari

A virtual tour of the Archaeological Museum. See the link

15. Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Altamura

A virtual tour of the Archaeological Museu. See the link

16. Carlo Felice Theater, Genoa

Visit the Carlo Felice Theater. Click on the link

17. ETRU - National Etruscan Museum, Rome

The ETRU National Etruscan Museum is housed in two magnificent Renaissance villas, Villa Giulia and Villa Poniatowski,  surrounded by greenery and featuring an abundance of open-air spaces. These are temples of culture, but also oases of peace where visitors can experience the splendour of one of the most distinguished periods of Italian history and architecture. See the link

18. MuNDA-National Museum of Abruzzo, L'Aquila

An interactive and immersive virtual journey inside the Abruzzo Museum Complex. See the link

19. Ducati Museum, Borgo Panigale (Bologna)

A virtual exhibition divided into three major categories.
The past, showcases the history of the production bikes, 15 road bikes that illustrate the evolution that has taken place from 1946 to the present.
The racing heritage with a parade of the Ducati racing bikes displayed next to their trophies and the racing suits of the riders.
The major events, a timeline of facts, people and technological innovations that represent the milestones of the company’s history since it began in 1926. See the link


20. Ferrari Museum, Maranello (Modena)

A journey through the history of Ferrari engines. See the link

21. Enzo Ferrari Museum, Modena

The Enzo Ferrari museum, also known by the acronym MEF, is a museum in Modena dedicated to the life and work of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Italian sports car manufacturer bearing his name. See the virtual tour

22. “Virtual Molise” Six Regional Museums

Six museums in Molise, the Paleolithic Museum in Isernia, the Samnite Museum in Campobasso, the Castle of Capua in Gambatesa, the Museum of the City and Territory of Sepino, the Archaeological Museum of Venafro, the National Museum of Castello Pandone in Venafro. Six virtual tours to discover history, art and traditions of this region between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. See the link

See more

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.