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Destinations Offered > England/Wales > Art Galleries of London, Paris and Florence

Art Galleries of London, Paris and Florence

The National Gallery
If you ever took a course of “The History of Western Art” or wish that you had, then this program is for you. During your experience you will be guided by an art expert through the great galleries of art in London, Paris and Florence which is, itself, a work of art. From Hogarth to Hockney you will see, in person, the paintings and sculptures that have, up until now, been pictures in a book. Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” will compete with “The Wedding at Cana” by Veronese for your attention. You will be able to compare London’s National Gallery with the Louvre and then, in turn, with the Uffizi. While art is the focus there is still plenty of time to enjoy these cities’ other attributes both with your personal guide or on your own. The fact that we never take more than six guests adds to the intimacy and the enjoyment
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Traveler's Overview12 days $6,657 per person inclusive of superior rooms in superior hotels, most meals, gallery visits with a recognized art expert, private car and driver. International airfare is additional. Private departures based on your schedule for a minimum of four and a maximum of six guests. Rates for private departures based on two persons on request.
Trip Dossier

Personal Highlights:

• Comparing the styles of Cezanne, Monet and Seurat as they interpret bathers in the latter part of the 19th Century
• Realizing that DaVinci’s Mona Lisa is a lot smaller than you thought and Michelangelo’s David much larger
• Taking the “ Tate Boat” along the Thames from one Tate Gallery to another
• Champagne and dinner at your 1st Class seat on the Eurostar from London to Paris
• Dinner overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Day 1 Depart USA

You board your aircraft for the overnight journey to London eagerly anticipating the artistic experiences ahead


Day 2 Arrival in London

Upon arrival in London you will be met by your driver who will take you into London where you will see all the major sights in a brief orientation tour before arriving at your hotel. We have booked you a table for lunch which gives you the chance to unwind and discuss your upcoming experience. After lunch you have the option of taking a walk in the neighborhood  or taking a leisurely bath to re-hydrate from the flight. The evening has been left open since many people opt for a light snack and an early sleep.


Day 3 Treasures of the National Gallery

Your exposure to European art could not start off at a better place than London's National Gallery which houses one of the greatest collections of Western European paintings in the world with over 2,300 works of art ranging from the 13th to the 20th Centuries. After breakfast your guide, who is an acknowledged art expert, will be waiting to take you to Trafalger Square which is the location of the gallery. During your tour you will see many famous works such as " Sunflowers" by Van Gogh, Rembrandts's "Self Portrait at 34" and three takes on bathers by Cezanne, Monet and, most notably, Seurat. As importantly, your guide will offer lesser known works of significane in the advancement of art. You can continue your discussion with your guide over lunch at the National Dining Rooms located within the Gallery. This evening enjoy the modern fare at William's Bistro in your hotel.

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Day 4 A Tour of Two Tates

From art covering Western Europe you turn today to a more focused look at British Art although other nationalities including American will be represented. Today you will visit not one but two museums named Tate. They, in turn, represent only half of the Tate galleries with another branch being in Liverpool and the other in the Cornish village of St. Ives. With your same art expert you head off to Millbank which overlooks the Thames and Tate Britain which was the seminal gallery in the collection. The major focus of the gallery is British art from the time of Queen Elizabeth I as represented by William Hogarth to Queen Elizabeth II as represented by Lucien Freud. Other British notables include the Romantics like Blake, Constable and Gainsborough, the equine art of Stubbs and the maritime themes of Turner whose 300 paintings comprise their own area named the Clore Gallery. Your tour will take a break at the Rex Whistler Restaurant located in the gallery. After lunch you head to the pier and take the "Tate Boat" across the Thames to Tate Modern which opened in 2000 in what was a disused power station. Here the focus is on modern painters from the 20th Century including Picasso, Matisse, Dali, Miro and Magritte. More contemporary artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein and Hockney are also represented. After your tour of both galleries you are escorted back to your hotel. Tonight try one of the hundreds of fine London restaurants. Indian is always a good choice.

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Day 5 Enjoying London and Eurostar

We have left this day open for you to explore London at your own pace. There are other art galleries that you can visit and noted museums such as The Victoria & Albert. You can also opt for more mainstream activities like the London Eye, the Tower of London or a trip down the Thames to Greenwich or up the Thames to Windsor. Regardless of your chosen day, in the late afternoon your driver will pick you up from the hotel and deliver you to St. Pancras station, home of the Eurostar terminal where 1st Class seats are reserved. In a little over two hours you will have gained an hour, enjoyed a champagne aperitif and a light dinner with wine before rolling into the centre of Paris. Your driver will be there to meet you and take you to the hotel.

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Day 6 Saint Chapelle and the Louvre

Today's excursion will start at Isle de la Cite, the island in the Seine thought to be the site of the original settlement in Paris. Your tour starts with the Conciergerie built in the 14th Century. During the French Revolution, nearly 3,000 prisoners, including Marie Antoinette, spent their last days here before heading to the Guillotine in Concorde Square. Nearby is Saint Chapelle, built by Louis IX to store the crown of thorns and a piece of the true cross. Despite damage during the revolution, over two thirds of the stained glass windows are original. You will tour the church and then adjourn for lunch at a nearby restaurant. After lunch you proceed to the Louvre where you spend the afternoon viewing some of the great works displayed here including The Wedding at Cana by Veronese, Coronation of Napoleon by David, the Venus de Milo and, of course the Mona Lisa by DaVinci. After your tour you are returned to your hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure

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Day 7 Orsay and Marmatton

Today will be spent viewing, arguably, the best collections of 19th Century art in the world. Your host will meet you at the hotel and take you to the Orsay Museum, located on the Seine and home to art ranging from 1848 to 1914. In addition to the large French Impressionist collection, there is also a substantial pre-impression Barbizon school of artists such as Millet and Corot or artists such as Coubet and Manet. There is also post-impressionism exemplified by Van Gogh. The building was opened in 1900 for the World's Fair and originally designed as a luxurious railway station and hotel. In 1986 it was brilliantly transformed into a museum. Your guide will take you on a private tour pointing out some the major works and artists. You then have some time to peruse the gallery on your own. After the Orsay and lunch, you are taken to the residential Passy district where a private 19th Century mansion has been transformed into the Marmatton Museum containing the largest collection of paintings by Monet as well as works by his friends and contemporaries.Tonight sample the excellent cuisine offered by your hotel's intimate restaurant.

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Day 8 Au Revoir Paris, Bongiorno Firenze

Paris is for lovers, gourmets, wine lovers and shoppers so we have left you some time to discover Paris on your own. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Florence. Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to escort you to your hotel. After freshening up you have dinner in the hotel's restaurant which overlooks the Ponte Vecchio and the River Arno.B, D

Day 9 Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo and others.

Your day starts with a private tour of the Uffizi, designed by Vasari as an administrative office for the Medici's, it was, in 1591, turned into an art gallery to make available to the public the great works of art acquired or commissioned by the Medici family. It is a treasure trove of Renaissance art including notable works by DaVinci, Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raffaello and after viewing and studying the art you take a coffee break at the Loggia della Signoria which offers superb views of the Palazzo Vecchio where the Medicis would sit and listen to music. After lunch you visit the Accademia Gallery famous for its collection of sculptures by Michelangelo. In addition to the world-renowned "David", you will also see the four "slaves" created for Pope Julius II and the "Pieta di Palestrina" It is "David" however which is close to the hearts of the citizens of Florence since, as the young hero who is about to defeat the giant Goliath, it symbolizes the determination of the Florentine Republic to defend its freedom no matter the size of the adversary. This evening is left open.


Day 10 Florence, the City as Art

After breakfast your guide will meet you at the hotel to provide an artistic view of the city, the buildings and what they represent to the history of the city and, indeed, mankind. You will visit the Piazza del Duomo and learn the history of the dome created by Brunelleschi and the nearby bell tower by Giotto. A visit to the Ponte Vecchio will be followed by a tour of Franciscan Santa Croce church and its masterpieces by Giotto, Donatello and Brunelleschi. Within its walls are the burial sites of the Renaissance greats, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Dante is also honored but his sarcophagus is empty. A more recent addition is the great composer Rossini. You end your tour in the Piazza della Signoria, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Following lunch, you have the rest of the day free.

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Day 11 Your Personal Florence

We have left this day open for you to explore on your own. Whether it is shopping for fine leather gods or marbleized paper, or spending more time at the Uffizi, the choice is yours. You might think about heading out to the Tuscan countryside for some wine (Chianti is nearby) or decide on a lazy alfresco lunch in one of the city squares. In the evening you have your farewell dinner at our favorite Florentine restaurant with a great atmosphere and even better food.

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Day 12 Return to USA

This morning your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return flight to the USAB
Days 2 - 4
Bloomsbury, London

The Montague on the Gardens
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The Montague on the Gardens is a beautiful Georgian townhouse hotel in the heart of literary Bloomsbury, steps from The British Museum and minutes from London’s theatreland. Exemplary personal service, understated comfort, rich fabrics and cutting edge technology combine effortlessly to create the ambience of a fine country hotel on a London side street. The wide range of dining options includes a bistro style restaurant specializing in modern European cuisine which may also be enjoyed al fresco on the delightful terrace, while in summer the wooden deck area plays host to barbecues and spit roasts, events to savor in the heart of the city. Proud of its AA Four-Star Deluxe status, the Montague Hotel London offers an unbeatable combination of superb value, excellent Central London location, and the fabled Red Carnation attention to the all-important details that transform a good hotel into a great one.
Days 5 - 7
St Germain de Pres, Paris

Pont Royal Hotel
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Since 1923 the Pont Royal Hotel has combined charm and elegance. It is located in the heart of the left bank of Paris in the famous Saint-Germain-des-Pres. About ten minutes walk from the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre museum you find the café de Flore made famous by Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir and the legendary jazz clubs. A hub for French and international artists, Pont Royal has welcomed Camus and Boris Vian as well as painters like Miro, Chagall and Buffet. The hotel has 65 rooms and 10 suites. The restaurant of the Pont Royal was developed by the famous chef Joel Robuchon. You will enjoy refined cuisine in an original and modern setting. You can watch the preparation of your dishes and even create your own menu that allows you to taste different dishes in small portions.
Days 8 - 11

Hotel Lungarno
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Standing on the south bank of the River Arno, the Hotel Lungarno offers you your very own ‘room with a view’ with stunning aspects over Florence – the cultural capital of the world. A monument to the Renaissance, few cities can rival Florence. And, at the heart of it all is the Hotel Lungarno. The large windows in the lobby frame the masterpiece view of the Ponte Vecchio and the palazzi that face the river. The interior design is a smart balance of ivory toned fabrics and ocean blue carpets, with details that recall the elegance of an aristocratic Florentine home. Guest rooms are luxurious, even dramatic, and splendidly appointed. Privileged access to the restaurant, Borgo San Jacopo, provides a delicious view equal to its timeless Italian home cuisine.