High-Resolution Walking Tours of Italy’s Most Historic Places: The Colosseum, Pompeii, St. Peter’s Basilica & More

The glob­al tourism indus­try has seen bet­ter days than these. In regions like west­ern Europe, to which trav­el­ers from all parts have long flocked and spent their mon­ey, the coro­n­avirus’ cur­tail­ment of world trav­el this year has sure­ly come as a severe blow. This goes even more so for a coun­try like Italy, whose stock of his­toric struc­tures, both ruined and immac­u­late­ly pre­served, has long assured it touris­tic pre­em­i­nence in its part of the world. So much the worse, then, when Italy became one of the coun­tries hard­est hit by the virus this past spring. But its recov­ery is well under­way, as is Europe’s reopen­ing to trav­el­ers.

Or at least Europe is reopen­ing to cer­tain trav­el­ers: much of the con­ti­nent has remained closed to those from cer­tain afflict­ed coun­tries, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. Of course, the U.S. has also banned entry to trav­el­ers who have recent­ly been in many of those Euro­pean coun­tries, and how­ev­er you look at it, this sit­u­a­tion will take some time to untan­gle.

Until that hap­pens, those of us who’ve had to indef­i­nite­ly sus­pend our planned trips to Italy — or even those of us who’d nev­er con­sid­ered going before the option was removed from the table — can con­tent our­selves with this set of high-res­o­lu­tion jour­neys on foot from the Youtube chan­nel ProWalk Tours, all shot at length in real tourist spots amid vis­i­tors and locals alike.

Whether the Colos­se­um and Pala­tine Hill in Rome, St. Peter’s Basil­i­ca in Vat­i­can City, and the towns of Pom­peii (in two parts) and Her­cu­la­neum both ruined and pre­served by Mt. Vesu­vius, ProWalk’s videos show you all you’d see on an in-per­son wak­ing tour. But they also include fea­tures like maps, marks in the time­line denot­ing each impor­tant site, and onscreen facts and expla­na­tions of the fea­tures of these his­toric places. Com­bine these with the immer­sive vir­tu­al muse­um tours pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture, as well as the recre­ations of ancient Rome in its prime and Pom­peii on the day of Vesu­vius erup­tion, and you’ll have the kind of under­stand­ing you could­n’t get in per­son — and with no dan­ger of being whacked by your fel­low tourists’ self­ie sticks.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Vir­tu­al Tour of Ancient Rome, Cir­ca 320 CE: Explore Stun­ning Recre­ations of The Forum, Colos­se­um and Oth­er Mon­u­ments

An Ani­mat­ed Recon­struc­tion of Ancient Rome: Take A 30-Minute Stroll Through the City’s Vir­tu­al­ly-Recre­at­ed Streets

See the Expan­sive Ruins of Pom­peii Like You’ve Nev­er Seen Them Before: Through the Eyes of a Drone

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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