I’ve written before about LivItaly’s fabulous range of tours led by expert guides. But now that travel is restricted they’ve turned to virtual travel with a series of online experiences: LivTalks and LivWalks. I took the opportunity to watch one of their talks on a very famous Italian traveller and his relationship with the city of Venice. Read on to find out more…
LivTalks And Videos On Demand
LivTalks were a series of live discussions delivered in 2020 which are now available via video on demand. Each is presented by one of LivItaly’s very knowledgeable tour guides, and they cover a variety of subjects including history, art, food and more. Talks on offer include How to Enjoy Chianti Wine Like an Italian and The Last Supper: Beyond Da Vinci’s Masterpiece.
Some of the talks reflect the influence of Italy beyond its borders, looking at subjects like life in the Roman Empire, or Renaissance art. But the one I watched took the opposite approach, and considered the ways in which outside influences shaped the development of Venice.
Marco Polo’s Journey From Venice To China
Marco Polo must be the most famous Italian traveller of all time. In the 13th century he travelled to China, both by sea and overland, and he later wrote about his experiences. The LivTalk I watched – Marco Polo’s Journey from Venice to China – discussed his travels in China and elsewhere. Erika, the very well-informed presenter, emphasised that he was one of many merchants who travelled extensively, and placed his voyages in the context of medieval Venice.
She showed how Marco Polo and other Venetian merchants brought their experience of other cultures home to Venice. This was a period of change and growth for the city-state. As it developed and became a rich and powerful trading centre it began to absorb outside ideas, particularly from Africa and the Middle East. This helped to create the very distinctive character of Venice that is still apparent today.
Erika knew her subject in detail and was able to explain how Marco Polo’s travels were relevant to modern day Venice. Because the session was originally delivered live there was a certain amount of discussion, which is included in the recording. She had the opportunity to answer questions, one of which was – perhaps inevitably – “Did Marco Polo really bring pasta to Italy from China?”.
Try LivTalks For Yourself
There are 55 LivTalks available via video on demand. These mostly focus on Italy or Italian history and culture, but a few are about other European countries. If you’d like to watch one for yourself have a look at the LivTalks library. And remember that you can get 10% off all virtual experiences from LivTours when you use discount code BEWITCHEDBYITALY.
Virtual Travel With LivWalks
LivWalks are for anyone who is looking for a real-time virtual experience. These are the next best thing to being on an actual tour: the presenter is equipped with a web-cam and walks the actual route of the tour as you watch. He or she will talk about the places they are passing and, just like a real tour, you have the ability to ask questions along the way. An added bonus at the present time is that these tours allow you to see the streets of busy cities like Rome without the usual crowds!
Tours currently on offer include The Historic Heart of Naples and A Stroll from Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican. The price that you pay is per household so that the whole family can participate in the tour. (Note that the walks cover locations throughout Europe as well as Italy but your discount code works for all of them.)