I am typically cautious when recommending museums. Time has taught me that my intense affair with all-things-art is not something shared by all. What I find fascinating can at times be being boring to some of my globetrotting friends. That said.. this tip is for everyone. Claude Monet’s House in Giverny is more than just a museum; it’s an unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone; anyone that is who enjoys bike rides, picnics, quaint villages, rolling countryside, lush gardens… la bon vivant.
This is my #1 recommendation for a day trip from Paris. Take a 45 minute train ride from Paris Gare St-Lazare to Vernon. Rent bicycles from almost any cafe just outside of the train station (around 12 Euros). Make sure to ask for a map. It’s a pretty straight shot along the river (about 4 miles), but a map will always offer guidance if you do get lost. Destination… Monet’s gardens in the small, village of Giverny.
Make sure not to leave town without filling your basket with treats! Aside from the small cafes, the town has a number of bakeries, cheese shops and butchers. Grab some wine, cheese, pate and bread. Take your time, and find a private spot for a picnic along the way…
Upon arrival in Giverny, signs will lead you to Monet’s colorful, well-kept gardens (open April-October) – the inspiration for much of his art. Our walk through Monet’s garden was like a dreamy journey through a painting; with unparalleled beauty behind every trellis and around every bend.
Monet is my favorite artist. I fell in love with his style (impressionist) at a very young age. Exploring his gardens, and gazing over his pond of waterlilies, made it clear to me that his style was greatly influenced by his surroundings.
While his original pieces cannot be found on the premises, the replicas that fill his studio help paint a picture of the past.
Monet surrounded himself with inspiring beauty and painted it forward, sharing his surroundings through his art.
Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. – Claude Monet
A journey to Giverny is a journey in Monet’s footsteps. Seeing the world through his eyes is a beautiful experience. For me, it lead to a deeper appreciation and love for the simple beauty of his art.
Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. – Claude Monet