Venice Grand Canal. Credit: Shutterstock / Supplied
Venice Grand Canal. Credit: Shutterstock / Supplied

New Virtual Art Project Offers a Taste of Italy From Afar

Modern cities and historic ruins, rolling hillsides clad in olive groves and emerald green vines; sun-kissed islands that feel like a hidden piece of paradise for you and you alone. Italy is more beautiful in person than words could every portray. So, it’s a shame then that the majority of travellers aren’t able to experience its magic – the food, the conversation, and the buzz that falls its city streets from dawn till well into the night. Or can we?

Immersive Cities, a brand-new online art exhibition brought to life by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne (ICC Melbourne), is a unique way to experience a taste of Italy from afar. The audio art experience transports listeners across the oceans to soundscapes of five diverse, culturally rich Italian cities: Torino, Venice, Naples, Palermo and Bari.

Wander through two of Torino’s open-air markets and listen in as Italians haggle with vendors, listen to women chatting with one another across the balconies of Bari’s historic centre, or enter the workshop of a traditional oar maker in gondola-haven Venice.

The exhibition was curated by Dr Leandro Pisano and a team of seven artists – Enrico Ascoli, Enrico Conigli, Francesco Giannico, Marco Messina, Nicola Di Croce, Philip Samartzis, VacuaMoenia – and is designed to be consumed while playing in the background.

IC Melbourne Course Coordinator, Kylie Doust, said the exhibition acknowledges the current challenges of travel on a global scale, but is a way to still go on a cultural journey.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the way that we are experiencing things has continued to evolve drastically, with travel no exception. Providing a dopamine hit and evoking countless emotions, its absence over the past 12 months has certainly been a frustrating reality for many Australians.

“In creating ‘Immersive Cities’, the purpose is to elicit a similar response for listeners, bridging the gap between our current reality and where we wish we were. Specifically, for those lusting after a little slice of Italy.”

Established as an invitation for its language students to support and expand their learning, in late 2020, the IIC Melbourne decided to expand the exhibition as a gift to all Italophiles, art and culture lovers alike.

Immersive Cities is available for all to explore via

Written by
Chris Ashton

We're Chris Ashton and Simon Ceglinski, two Aussie travellers with a love of exploration and adventure, and the odd bit of luxury thrown in. We seek out street art, street food, and scuba diving wherever we go, and prefer the road less travelled over well-worn tourist paths.

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Written by Chris Ashton