Virtual Tourism: Experience England, France, and Italy

April 17, 2020 Frieda Krantz

The Philharmonie de Paris

Working as a musician, there is so much joy in performing and traveling.  While the current world events may have us staying indoors and close to home, there are still many ways to experience the beauty of music around the world!

The links below will allow you and your ensemble to explore the world virtually while experiencing performances, world-famous concert halls, art, and culture along the way. Whether you pair these virtual tours with your next virtual rehearsal or share them with your ensemble members simply to escape your current scenery, we hope they ease the travel bug as well as inspire your creativity until we can get back out there and explore these amazing places together in person. 

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, more commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica

France

Let's start in the City of Light! Take a complete virtual tour of Paris and learn the history of each stop along the way. See an intact Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel TowerArc de TriompheSacré-Cœur, the Latin Quarter, and much more.  

Next visit the iconic Palais Garnier, the Opéra national de Paris!  Here you can virtually explore this magnificent theatre, which served as the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas' novel, The Phantom of the Opera!

Next, visit the Cité de la Musique Philharmonie de Paris, where you can watch the Concert du Jour, posted each day at 8:30 pm for 24 hours, or explore the phenomenal collection on display during a virtual tour of the Musée de la Musique,  home to legendary instruments such as the piano belonging to Chopin and a guitar belonging to Brassens.   

After watching a performance. delve behind the scenes of the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez of the Philharmonie Concert Hall!

Inside the Royal Albert Hall, a beloved concert hall in South Kensington

England

Imagine yourself aboard the high-speed Eurostar as you cross the Chunnel to England.  Upon arrival in London, get the 360-degree view of this gorgeous city and all its main attractions on a clear sunny day!  

Then visit The Royal Albert Hall where you can learn the history of London’s most iconic concert hall, see its magnificent auditorium, and learn from the staff if it is truly haunted by ghosts.

See more of the performing arts locations in the UK by spending some time at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, see recorded performances at The Barbican,  or perhaps catch a live organ recital from Worcester Cathedral!

Finish your virtual tour of the UK with a performance at the Royal Opera House, which is live streaming ballets and operas through their YouTube channels.

Finally, check out The London Mozart Player’s ‘At Home’ series of imaginatively curated and friendly streams, workshops, family-friendly broadcasts and even live recitals!

Outside the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Italy

Travel through Rome virtually and see more than you ever could in one day on foot! Start at the ancient Colosseum, stop by the Vatican and check out its museum collections, and then take in tourist hot-spots like the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Learn about the cultural significance of many of Rome’s piazzas and don’t miss the Pantheon. Fans of Roman history will want to explore the Roman Forum and ancient Pompeii as well. 

Explore Italian masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence or Doge’s Palace of Venice. Stop at St. Mark’s Square and take in the beauty of the surrounding waters.  

Milan is the epicenter or fashion and style. It is home to La Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. You can take a virtual tour on their home website and if you’re hungry for more content, their YouTube channel is a great resource for performances and more VIP backstage treatment. While in Milan, be sure to check out the Brera Art Gallery and the famous Fondazione Prada museum. The Triennale di Milano is also featuring artists and activities on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Venture east to Cremona where you can take a virtual tour of the Museo del Violino. The museum is best known for its collection of stringed instruments that includes violins, violas, cellos and double basses crafted by renowned luthiers, including Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù.

Finally, if you’d like to dance in your jammies to some Italian composers like Verdi and Puccini, The Met in New York is hosting nightly encore performances. The free streams will go live at 7:30 p.m. each day and are available for 20 hours after the performance.

Even if it's only for a brief moment, virtual tourism offers an escape from the rules of social distancing and reminds us that there's a bigger world out there -- and that we're all in this together. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay inspired.


Have any questions for the Encore team? Please email encoretours@acis.com.

Contact the Encore Tours team with any questions or concerns about taking your musical ensemble to new places!

About the Author

Frieda Krantz

Frieda's love of music and travel started early with piano lessons at the age of 5 and continued through high school and college with the addition of her new passion, musical theatre. The first time Frieda left the country was actually on an ACIS tour with her drama club! She spent a week in London, touring England's countryside and seeing the best of London's West End and knew right away that 7 days in this city wouldn't be enough - she had to live there! She spent 4 years studying International Relations there before packing her bag and buying a one-way ticket to Thailand. With nothing but a backpack and a used guidebook, she traipsed through South East Asia. From jumping off waterfalls in Thailand, meditating in Cambodia, trekking across Burma, and swimming with whalesharks in the Philippines, it was a life-changing adventure!

More Content by Frieda Krantz
Previous Article
Virtual Director's Exchange - Episode 1 (Ft. Gerald Wirth and Suzanne Woodruff)
Virtual Director's Exchange - Episode 1 (Ft. Gerald Wirth and Suzanne Woodruff)

In the first episode of Encore's Virtual Director's Exchange, we discuss the new normal with Gerald Wirth o...

Next Article
Maintaining Creativity in a Distance Learning Environment
Maintaining Creativity in a Distance Learning Environment

Erick Crow, the Director of Choral Activities and Drama at Cardinal Gibbons High School, explains how educa...