When we first arrive in Paris, we will immediately start our adventure by taking a walking tour of Île de la Cité and visit the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral. I don’t think there is still a hunchback of Notre-Dame, but we might find out.
The following day we will enjoy the beauty of Place de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Hôtel des Invalides, & the Eiffel Tower.
Paris within itself is home of so many amazing architectural works of art that are savory to the eyes, many of which are known of, but the history of each of these locations is often neglected. We will learn it all as we are guided by fantastic tour guides with information to enlighten our students.
We will also be visiting Monet’s Giverny Gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked for over 40 years. The garden itself was an inspirational location that held the landscape of many of his well known paintings.
After our inspirational garden excursion, we will use that inspiration to do an art activity focused on perspective, composition, measuring, and drawing. We will create a masterpiece that our students will be able to bring home with them.
On our fourth day we will explore the sculptural Musée Rodin and the famous paintings of the Musée d’Orsay.
Of the many works that are well known there, our eyes will take in such works as “The Thinker” and the gentle drawings of Degas’ ballerinas.
Also, on that day for fun, we will be visiting the Pragonard Perfume Factory where students will mix and match scents before taking a river cruise of the Seine River.
Who has not heard of the fascinating pieces of art that deck the halls of the Louvre?
The Louvre houses the Italian masterpiece “The Mona Lisa”, but its true treasures are less known. Our specialized tour guide will teach us also about the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer, and The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Géricault to name a few.
Upon completing our tour of the Louvre we will travel by train to Avignon.
Arles & Avignon are home to very beautiful sites such as the the Arles Amphitheater which is a Roman amphitheater that sat over 20,000 citizens. It provided entertainment of those times such as chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles between gladiators.
The Pont du Gard in Avignon is a ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses the Garden River and is known as the highest of all Roman aqueducts.
The Papal Palace will also be explored while we are in Avignon. It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. This Papal Palace houses many frescos and paintings that will be explained in depth by our local guide.
As we make our way to Barcelona we will visit the Chateua des Baux de Provence, tour of Aix-en-Provence, Les-Baux-de-Provence, and the Atelier de Cezanne.
From 1902 to his death in 1906, Cézanne worked daily in his bright studio, the birthplace of dozens of works, now preserved in the great museums of the world, among them the last Bathers.
His atelier will give our students the amazing experience of seeing his work conditions and local inspirations for his work.
On our way to Barcelona, we will visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum and tour the Salvador Dalí Museum with an expert local guide. The surreal art of this master artist is sure to warp the student’s mind and see the world in a creative manner.
While in Barcelona, we will take a city tour with a different certified local guide and visit Park Güell, which was designed by the famous artist/architecture Gaudi, also known for his design of the Sagrada Família. Park Güell is a colorful feast for the eyes and rich space for the body to roam. It often reminds foreigners of a Spanish Gingerbread landscape. The buildings in the park look delicious!
We will then visit La Pedrera another famous work created by Gaudi and is often known as the “open quarry” amongst the locals. It was built as two apartment blocks with independent entrances and linked within by two large inner courtyards. The facade has a rhythmic pattern that resembles the interiors.
Our students will also have the amazing cultural experience as they enjoy the music and dance of a Flamenco evening. Feel the pulse of Spain when you attend an unforgettable flamenco performance! Born of Indian, Moorish, Arabian, and gypsy influences, flamenco dance is a passionate display of dramatic poses and colorful costumes, accompanied by song and guitar. Marvel at the intricate rhythms created by a dancer’s steps, castanets, and clapping.
Our final day in Barcelona will include an art activity that will use the student’s inspiration that was gathered up by their educational experiences with Gaudi’s works. First they’ll paint a figurine that they can bring home as a personalized souvenir. Then they will try their hand at pottery!
Afterward we will take a walking tour of Las Ramblas with a local guide and shop the street carts for random souvenirs.
To complete the day we will visit the Picasso Museum where the students will see that he did not only paint oddly shaped people, but had an extensive education of art since he was a child. His father, an artist himself, started training Picasso as soon as Picasso could hold a crayon. Picasso painted like the European Masters by the age of 12 and continued throughout his life revolutionizing the art world. The stages of his work that are so aligned to the periods of his life will come alive as we learn about the great Master Picasso.