Explore Paris and Provence. Which France is for you? Paris, the global icon with its heaps of culture and joie de vie, or the pastoral countryside, the star model for renowned impressionist painters?
- Depart for Paris, France:
- Arrive in Paris, France: Meet your tour director and check into hotel.
- Tour Paris: Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Then ascend up the Eiffel Tower for an unbelievable view of Paris.
- Optional Versailles Excursion: Explore Louis XIV's decadent Palace of Versailles. Tour the Hall of Mirrors, the royal apartments and the gardens.
This costume workshop is a lively role-play activity that puts you in the shoes of the monarchy, clergy, nobility, bourgeoisie, or peasantry to explore the issues underlying the French Revolution.
- Claude Monet's home visit: Visit the beautiful home of Impressionist Claude Monet at Giverny (before April 1, a visit to Van Gogh's last home at Auvers-sur-Oise will be substituted).
- Musée de l'Orangerie visit: Officially opened in 1984, the Musée de l'Orangerie houses the collections of Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume. It includes 144 paintings by such artists as Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse and many more. Be sure to check out Monet's Waterlily series!
- Visit the Louvre: The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
- Visit Musée d’Orsay: You wouldn't think a railroad station would make a great museum, but the sweeping ceilings, huge walls of glass and beautiful neoclassical flourishes of the former Gare d'Orsay (Orsay rail station) make this the perfect, appropriately elegant setting for the collection of 19th- century art held here. The Musée d'Orsay's eighty galleries contain paintings, sculpture, belle époque furniture, photographs, objets d'art, and architectural models. You'll see some of the most beautiful paintings in Europe, including Renoir's "Moulin de la Galette" and Manet's "Déjeuner sur l'herbe."
- LEAP Cover the Canvas:
Live the artist life. Explore line, color, perspective, negative space and form, then paint a masterpiece inspired by the beauty of Paris.
- Pont du Gard and Nîmes: Travel to Avignon on the TGV (Europe’s fastest train). Next, visit Pont du Gard. A true masterpiece of ancient architecture, the Pont du Gard aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. Discover more about this startling monument as you follow the course of its history through the ages. Then take a tour director-led sightseeing tour of Nîmes amphitheater and Maison Carrée.
- Les Baux de Provence:
Which is mightier—the pen or the sword? You decide! Learn basic calligraphy and fencing moves to gain new insight into old-world traditions.
- Tour Provence: Take a tour director-led sighseeing tour of Aix-en-Provence and visit Cezanne Impressionist Studio.
Make a sales pitch for a masterpiece by Cezanne, Monet, or another artist whose works highlight Provencal landscapes. Understand the impact that the light and landscape had on these artists.
- Depart for home: