Virtual trip of the week

Twin Cities nonprofit Esperienza, devoted to revitalizing rural Italian villages, has introduced a new program called Esperienza Virtuale. The group suspended its 2020 language and culinary immersion trips and is instead hosting free live guided tours online. On May 18 at 11 a.m., learn about Pellegrino Artusi, the father of Italian cuisine, during a visit to Casa Artusi, a cooking school, library and museum. On May 28 at 11 a.m., take an Italian cooking lesson. Sign up for the free experiences at That web page also offers information and registration for Esperienza’s six-week Italian language immersion class ($120).

Kerri Westenberg

Key campsites in state close

Superior Hiking Trail campsites are closed until further notice and the association that oversees them is advising backpackers and through-hikers to postpone planning trips until mid-June to allow time for campsites and amenities to reopen. Campsites on U.S. Forest Service lands in Minnesota and in state parks are closed until May 18, the duration of Gov. Tim Walz’s recently extended stay-at-home order. Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have also closed campsites to overnight visitors.


JetBlue, Spirit depart MSP

Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways have been granted waivers by the federal government allowing them to temporarily halt service to several cities, including Minneapolis-St. Paul. Previously, the two low-cost airlines were required to continue their existing routes in order to receive federal aid, despite extremely low demand of late. Spirit told Fox Business that it would contact travelers about refunds on the affected flights. JetBlue said in a statement to Reuters that it “fully intends to gradually resume service” to 16 airports, including MSP, as soon as it is safe and customer demand returns. The Points Guy noted that the two airlines were already averaging only about one departure a day from each canceled market.

Simon Peter Groebner

Trading places

If you’re inclined to travel this summer, consider trading homes with a friend or family member. Find a friend or relative in a nearby neighborhood or within a short drive who might also be eager for a change of scenery. Think about it: new toys and games in the closet, bikes in the garage, play sets in the backyard and snacks in the cupboard. Agree upfront on what is included in the deal. Consider bringing your own linens, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers and other supplies that will make all parties feel most comfortable. Trade information about local walking paths, parks and appropriate play areas. Then, turn off the news and enjoy the new view.