The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, is striving to give people a taste of global travel by celebrating one of the world's cultures every second weekend. It began the initiative as a way to give locals a flavour of international travel while the country was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping to provide them with positive emotions, such as the joy of travel and the discovery of new cultures in a healthy and safe environment.
As Lithuania has now opened again to some countries, visitors will also get a taste of the colours, aromas and sounds of some different cultures. The initiative kicked off with an Italian weekend, and the cultures of India, the US, France, Spain, Germany and Japan will get their moment in the sun as the summer progresses. The presentation of foreign cultures include food experiences, concerts and exhibitions, educational events, special projects for children, thematic guided tours and other attractions.
The Italian weekend saw the presentation of Vespa scooters and a Venetian-carnival-themed performance in the artistic neighbourhood of Užupis. Italian-themed family events, concerts and restaurants serving special dishes were held, and the events were dispersed around the city to facilitate social distancing and ensure that event attendee numbers did not exceed recommended limits.
According to Remigijus Šimašius, the mayor of Vilnius, many of the city's tour and transport operators, restaurants, hotels, local communities and artists combined their efforts to create these unique experiences. For further information, see the website of Go Vilnius, the city's official tourism and business development agency here.
Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.