During the ongoing national lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, Italian cities are mostly deserted. Staying at home and practising proper social distancing is crucial to keep the virus under control but this does not mean that you cannot enjoy the achingly beautiful pictures of empty Italian cultural landmarks and museums in the safety of your apartment.

“ArT you ready?” is the second big social media campaign promoted by the Italian Government. The first one, #iorestoacasa, reached the public consciousness quickly becoming one of the slogans of this quarantine. The main event took place on March 29, but we can only hope that this trend will not go away soon, unlike the virus, keeping us company with the beauty of Italian art in the long days at home.

MiBACT (the Italian Ministry of Culture) is promoting this flashmob to encourage Italian Instagram users, professional and amateur photographers and everyone else to share their pictures of museums, archaeological sites, libraries, and archives. This virtual tour of the Italian cultural heritage will focus on lesser-known and unusual images, took before the quarantine, depicting empty views and deserted buildings, where art is the sole protagonist.

Before the lockdown, such pictures were a trend on their own, known as the #emptymuseum. Today they are a dramatic reminder of this difficult circumstance and, at the same time, of the importance of culture for a country such as Italy. Italian cultural heritage, although temporarily closed to the public, is alive and represents the soul of the national identity.

Instagram is the leading social media in this campaign. You can participate actively (with the hashtags #artyouready and #emptymuseum), or just relish in the results by accessing it. While it is not a bad idea just to lose yourself in it, a good point to start exploring is the Ministry account.

It is a small but welcome relief. It will not only help Italians not to lose touch with their artistic heritage but also remember the world how beautiful Italy can be and how magical can be discovering new and unusual places and way to experience them.

Source: Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo