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What’s on(line) this week: Wine tasting and Bits of Bruges

13:48 30/04/2020

Alessandra Teston, the daughter of Italian expats, usually holds her Mosto wine tastings at her cousin’s EU-area restaurant, Gioia. But now she’s moved them online. She’ll send you the wines from her online shop in advance, then you pop the cork and log-in to the webinar platform. Teston will guide you and your fellow tasters through a particular region of Italian vino. Tasting sessions are in English, and the next one is 6 May. Sign up now.

The Brafa Fine Arts Fair at Tour & Taxis thankfully took place in January so didn’t have to postpone or cancel this year’ edition. But now it’s busy putting the engaging Brafa Art Talks online. While new videos from this year will show up sporadically, lectures from previous years are available, too. So there is a wealth of cool subjects to choose from, like Michaelina Wauter, a Belgian painter forgotten for centuries, artefacts from south Pacific islands and the painstaking restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece. Most talks are delivered in French, but there are a few in English and Dutch. Click on ‘read more’ to see the language of any specific talk.


Bits of Bruges provides links to all kinds of, well, bits of information about the Venice of the North. Click on a subject to discover, for instance, what books are set in Bruges, which films were shot in Bruges or videos made in or about the city. The music section is particularly rich, with links to daily mini piano concerts from the Concertgebouw and livestreamed carillon concerts from the city’s belfry. There’s also a cool 360° tour of loads of locations.

The Royal Museums of Fine Art of Belgium offers a virtual journey through art history on its YouTube channel. Fine Arts at Home includes behind-the-scenes talks by the museum’s curators and a great series on pieces in its collection that portray various human rights issues, either directly or indirectly. Its creative workshop playlist, meanwhile, helps kids make a crazy pop-up card or paint a surrealist work just like Magritte. Finally, several online exhibitions lead you through details of several of the museum’s masterpieces. Many of the videos are in English or come with English subtitles attached, while the online exhibitions are all in English.

If you’ve seen a dozen online concerts and made your virtual way through all of Belgium’s museums, how about borrowing an e-book? Belgian site Lirtuel is a digital library, offering some 7,500 French-language books, including a grand selection of Belgian literature. If you prefer to buy e-books, check out Librel, the digital portal of French-speaking booksellers in Belgium.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw