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France tours offer a wide variety of experiences to cultural tourists hoping to experience classic art and epic scenery. Few locales encapsulate these ideas quite as well as the Norman commune of Giverny. This scenic getaway in the North of France boasts a beautiful assortment of plant life set amid rolling hills and once served as the personal refuge of noted impressionist painter Claude Monet.
Monet first moved to the village in 1883 with his second wife and children, and would reside among its splendid lakes and hanging trees until his death in 1926. It was here that the artist would create some of his most celebrated works, including the Water Lillies series that features roughly 250 watercolor landscapes based on scenery found throughout his personal flower gardens.
Visitors can explore these gardens for themselves by heading to Money's House, a living museum dedicated to the painter as well as the local history. The house itself is well appointed with unique Asian décor that was popular among many members of French high society of the day, and many of the Japanese prints collected by Monet during his travels are still on display in the house. While Monet's work is not exhibited in the house, the artist's famous water garden has been well preserved and is a popular draw for visitors to the museum.
Monet is not the only impressionist painter to have spent time in the region, and vacationers on France tours can learn about some of these artists at the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny. A more technical form of art is on display at the Natural Mechanical Museum, which showcases some of the devices that helped usher the country into the industrial revolution, as well as a variety of more modern machines. The Hotel Baudy is another must-see for art lovers in the area, as the property was once considered the heart of the art scene in Giverny.
Active adventurers can also take to the hills to explore some of the lush greenery and flowering plants that populate the area. These trails lead across the area's rolling hills and will bring visitors up close and personal with sweeping views of the Seine River valley and the surrounding area, as well as several stunning meadows ideal for a picnic.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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