Best places to travel for art holidays

"From Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, iconic artworks have not only influenced our culture, but also literally changed the way we see the world."

July 2017 • Jules Verne

Best places to travel for art holidays

From Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, iconic artworks have not only influenced our culture, but also literally changed the way we see the world. For those with a passion for art, seeing these amazing works up close can be a transcendent experience. On many Jules Verne tours, you can experience some of the most famous masterpieces in the world, as well as iconic pieces from other cultures that even the most enthusiastic art-lover might not know. Read on to discover our top picks of the best destinations for art holidays.

Florence

Any tour of Italy will offer up a treasure trove of experiences to anyone with even a passing interest in art, but Florence is a veritable Mecca for art-lovers. Often referred to as the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence has been a home to artists for centuries. Ducking in and out of its tangle of narrow streets, which throng with tourists under the hot Tuscan sun, will afford the visitor stunning views of the architecture that makes this one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Museums such as the and the Palazzo Pitti make Florence an important cultural capital. At these beautifully appointed museums, art lovers can wander in the presence of masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, the doyens of the artistic Renaissance movement who collectively changed the face of Western art as we know it today.

Suggested tour: Discover Florence on Treasures of Florence, a tour that include priority entrance to the Uffizi, Accademia and more.

St Petersburg

In times gone by, St Petersburg was known throughout the world as a cultural capital, famous for its architecture, literature and, of course, its art. While the cultural upheaval of the Russian Civil War and subsequent austerity of the Soviet government interrupted this long history of rich cultural output, in recent times it has begun to be restored.

Established in the 19th century by Nicholas II, the collection of the Russian Museum displays treasures from Russia’s opulent artistic past, and is sure to be a highlight on any art-lover’s tour of Russia. The Hermitage also houses an important collection of European art. Of course, beyond St Petersburg, Russia has much to offer the art-lover, with magnificent collections in Moscow, and the Catherine Palace at Pushkin.

Suggested tour: Russian Capitals includes a special tour of the Fabergé Museum.

Tanjore (or Thanjavur)

Travelling on a Jules Verne tour of India opens doors on endless works of artistic expression and creation. The bright colourful culture of this diverse country has been a source of inspiration to artists across the centuries. Many of the most stunning examples can be found in the temples of Southern India, and Tanjore in particular is known for its unique artistic production.

The city is home to the Tanjore art style, which is characterised by vivid colours and the use of materials such as gold foil, beads, and even gem stones. These iconic compositions can be seen on the walls of the region’s temples, but you can also purchase pieces from shops and markets across the city.

Suggested tour: Take in the beauty of India on our Splendours of Southern India Tour, which allows clients to marvel at the decoration of temples throughout the region.  

Angkor Wat

Those travelling across Indochina on an escorted tour will be struck by the vibrant culture, and how it manifests itself in the cultural production of the area. Dance, music and arts and crafts all thrive on the cities’ streets, as well as in the villages. This immersion in culture is evident in the monumental art of Angkor Wat, which sits alongside the more quotidian art of the arts and crafts which proliferate the region.

In the immediate vicinity of Angkor Wat, there are many stunning examples of this local art. Discover shimmering woven cloths, delicately painted silks, bright lacquered bowls and plates, intricately carved figurines in wood and stone, and hand-thrown pottery.

Suggested tour: Our Grand Tour of Indochina allows plenty of time to discover the local arts and crafts, including turning a hand to weaving yourself.