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Sylvia is a charming and informed guide. Technically, the live tour was well done without dead spots. It was wonderful to see the sites of Ravenna
There were a few connectivity problems but they were more than erased by the delightful enthusiasm that Silvia exuded when talking about her city.
I signed up for this program only an hour before and didn't even have time to read the description, let alone the three little words prefacing the title of the talk, “Live Virtual Tour.” Because I so deeply appreciated my single visit to Ravenna in 2017 and love mosaics and their history I knew I wanted to see this “talk” on Ravenna. I had an appointment immediately before the start of LVT and thus arrived a few minutes after the tour had started. I quickly realized that our guide, Silvia Giogoli, was doing the walking tour live, without a net, if you will. As she was speaking about the architecture of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, suddenly out of what seemed nowhere she holds a postcard before the camera's lens of the interior ceiling of the edifice that we cannot enter. I found myself enchanted by the freshness of the tour. I guess I had expected a kind of powerpoint talk with pictures and descriptions of buildings and history. Perhaps somewhat overcooked descriptions even if learned. Instead we have postcards appearing before the camera for our inspection as we make our way through the city. Not so different from what happens on any number of walking tours. It was enchanting. Yes, sometimes the signal strength wasn't there to convey clearly what Silvia Giogoli was saying, but I felt I was a member of her group. We were enjoying a beautiful evening in Ravenna with people in the group thinking about dinner as we strolled about. Now, admittedly, I am not at all sure if I hadn't been immersed in Ravenna on another occasion I would have appreciated the walk quite as much. It was almost painful not to be allowed to enter the UNESCO churches because of copyright issues, Yet I do imagine that those watching and planning a trip to Ravenna would have caught a sense of what a walk through Ravenna would be like on just such a warm summer evening. "Oh, yes, here’s Dante’s Tomb, you remember, where Dante was supposedly buried, we saw it on that Context walk. And wasn't there a great place to eat not far from here...?" When I return to Ravenna I would love to go on any tour with Silvia Giogoli. Perhaps especially on one that looks at the mosaics themselves and how these treasures were made. This was indeed one of the more enjoyable talks I've seen on Context Learning. Perhaps especially because for a moment you may have forgotten you were sitting in a living room in Des Moines or L.A. listening to a talk, but instead were being shown an amazing town, Ravenna, “my city” says Silvia Giogoli several times with quiet pride.
The street views and vignettes were inspiring. I definitely plan to visit Ravenna when we get back to Italy. That said, the production was hard to watch. It had a 'live, as you go' vibe, but too many closeups, panting, and glitches. The guide seemed very knowledgeable, perhaps she could use a partner for filming. Thanks for the chance to see Ravenna.
This was a waste of time. I couldn't understand her for most of the time. She needed to have better images of the mosaics that she talked about. They were the main reason for the trip. I needed to look p Ravenna on the computer to find out where it was a there should have been a map shown. We have skipped Ravenna on our several trips to Italy and I still don't know what I missed.