Hermitage on Palace Square, St Petersburg
Hermitage on Palace Square, St Petersburg

If We Can't Take You To The World, We'll Bring The World To You

Dear Andante Travellers, 

We know these are uncertain and very strange times, and in times like this distractions are often welcome. However, as an Andante guest, we know you'll be looking for something more than empty entertainment. So, with this in mind, we have rounded up a selection of ways in which we can bring the world to you now that we're all having to stay at home for a while... Okay, okay – we may have included a few non-educational updates, but hopefully they'll make you smile!

Explore Russia's Hermitage museum, thanks to Apple

To promote its brand new iPhone 11, the wonderful and innovative folks over at Apple have produced a one-take "cinematic journey through one of the world’s biggest museums in St. Petersburg, Russia" – namely, the iconic Hermitage. This video lasts for over five hours and takes in 45 galleries, 588 masterpieces, and live performances – all shot in 4K on the iPhone 11 Pro. So, if you've always wanted to discover the Hermitage and have had to halt your travel plans, you can at least do so virtually. 

When things return to normal, why not join our Russia tour (departing 27th September 2020 and 21st May 2021) and experience it in person?


Discover world history thanks to the British Museum's interactive timeline

Starting from 2,000,000 BC and moving all the way through time to the present day – and spanning all continents – why not spend a few hours learning more about the world's incredible history? With topics including Art & Design, Power & Identity and Religion & Belief, there are endless artefacts to view and things to discover. Each point on the easy-to-use interactive timeline opens a pop-up complete with images, text and even audio, making your journey through the ages an engaging one.

Click here to discover the world and launch the website now. 

Penguins get to roam freely now that aquarium is closed to visitors

The penguins of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium recently got to explore their surroundings after it closed to the public. Writing on Twitter about their little excursion, the staff at Shedd explained: "While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviours with. This morning, Edward and Annie explored Shedd’s rotunda. They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Springtime is nesting season for penguins at Shedd, and this year is no different!"

Click here to watch them exploring their surroundings. 

Virtually wander among exhibits at the Louvre in Paris

If you're after a bit of couch culture, why not head to the Louvre's official website to take one of its virtual tours? While there are only three on offer, they are interesting ones – and we would recommend you take a look! The first is a virtual tour of its Egyptian Antiquities, comprised of artefacts from the Pharaonic period. Then, you can explore the remains of the Louvre's moat or 'visit' the Galerie d'Apollon, which was destroyed by fire in 1661 and rebuilt by Le Vau. If you're tempted to treat yourself to an Egyptian adventure in the future, just click here to see what's on offer with us here at Andante.  

Click here to start your own virtual tour now. 

Get your arts fix, thanks to Google

From a chance to virtually explore the fabulous National Archaeological Museum in Naples, which we visit as part of our classic Pompeii tour, to a Google Street View tour of the iconic Taj Mahal, as visited on our North India adventure, Google's fantastic Arts & Culture project is a one-stop-shop for... well, arts and culture. Read pages from Frida Kahlo's personal diary, enter the Doge's Palace in Venice or take a video tour of the Easter Island moai – the choice is not only yours, but it's huge, too!

Click here to visit the Google Arts & Culture project. 

Try your hand at painting – Rembrandt style!

If you'd rather do something a bit more interactive than merely observe, why not dust off the paints and brushes and try a Rembrandt masterclass? Thanks to Amsterdam's great Rijksmuseum, you can do just that. The museum has four online tutorials available – and for free – which can teach you how to paint a self-portrait like Rembrandt, how to draw emotion like Rembrandt and more. What's more, if you go to their YouTube channel, you'll find even more great how-to content!

Click here to browse the various video tutorials available. 

Embrace moments of togetherness during tough times

When everything feels a bit overwhelming, it's great to stop and take stock of the little moments of togetherness that help bridge the gap. Take Italy, for example. Residents are currently under strict quarantine orders, but they have been finding ways to come together and bring some life to the quiet streets. 

Watch Italian citizens singing and coming together amid current lockdowns in the video to the right. 

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If We Can't Take You To The World, We'll Bring The World To You was published on 19 March 2020