Dreaming of travel? I certainly am! Once the world opens up and it’s safe to travel again I will, so there’s no reason why we can’t start planning now. Every place that I’ve traveled to has always included a museum or two (or three!) because art is such a central focus in my life. I’m sharing some of the places I’ve been and the wonderful museums I’ve visited from around the world so you can include them in your up-coming trips if you’re starting to think about it like me!
One of the first trips my husband and I took to Europe was to Italy. We both love art, design and architecture so these vacations were so fun and easy to plan. We knew that every city we planned to visit had art museums that had been on our bucket lists for years. One piece of advice would be to buy your tickets online before your trip. There is nothing worse than waiting in a very long line, and believe me, you will if you don’t buy ahead. You’ll also find out about any special collections, shows and exhibits that may be running during your stay while you are on their websites.
Museum of Modern Art: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
I’m going to start with my favorite museum of all time, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. The location is a perfectly romantic setting right off the Grand Canal in Venice and the art collection delivers some of Peggy Guggenheim’s most cherished pieces. The experience starts when you walk up to the jeweled gates, my absolute favorite installation of the museum. While all of the Artists she collected are exceptional, I really enjoyed the special artwork from her daughter Pegeen. Her pastel on paper “Palazzo Venier – Grand Canal, 1960s” shows such an innocence and playfulness of how she viewed Venice.
The Vatican Museum, Rome
If you’ve ever been to The Vatican, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say you feel like you’re walking through a jewel box. Every surface…floor, wall, ceiling, doors, frames are given such special attention and so intricately detailed that it takes such a long time to walk through and take it all in. The icing on the cake is definitely the Sistine Chapel and the Creation of Adam. The ceiling alone is full of so much history for the church, including the Central Stories which the Creation of Adam is part of.
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
In Florence, The Uffizi Gallery did not disappoint. There were so many legendary pieces in the collection but the standout for me was Botticeli’s Birth of Venus. The enormity of the piece really overwhelms you, the size of it is so unexpected yet you’re completely enveloped by it.
The museums are numerous in this beautiful city. We went to The Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, The Rodin sculpture gardens, The Picasso Museum and the Musee D’Orsay. While many of the museums are small and perfectly curated, my favorite is the Musee D’Orsay. Walking through room after room of stunning collections was such an experience. I wasn’t prepared to be overwhelmed with emotion when I came upon Edgar Degas’ “Small Dancer Aged 14” bronze sculpture. I don’t know why it took my breath away, but it did and I found myself standing in the room, looking at his sculpture, trying to hold back tears. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it and to be standing so close to it. I love being able to experience the works of art I’ve studied as an art student and this was one of those moments that crashed down on me in waves that I will never forget.
One of the other things I love to do when I travel is to participate in the activities of each city. We went to The Opera House to enjoy the amazing displays of old costumes but the architecture is also breathtaking. We purchased tickets ahead of our trip and went to an Opera there. It was such a great way to experience the gorgeous architecture and feeling a part of the city, if only for one night.
Musée D’Orsay, Paris
The Picasso Museum, Paris
The Louvre, Paris
The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
We went to Bilbao a year after the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum was opened. We were as excited to see the architecture of the Museum as we were the collection inside. The museum is such a stunning masterpiece sited on the Estuary of Bilbao, with beautiful cafes to have lunch alongside the building.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the photos from our travels and I hope you are inspired to start planning a trip soon.