Europe Travels: Art Inspired Holidays in France, Spain and Italy

Film Festivals, Architecture, Paintings, Sculptures, Museums of Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and more


Academy Award nominated animation film Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted film and follows the life of Van Gogh. Have you been inspired by the artists’ world and want to plan trip to Europe to admire the masterpieces created and painted by legendary artists, architects and modern day personalities?

Follow in the footsteps of famous artists Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and many more with this art-inspired itinerary that covers 10 cities through France, Spain and Italy.

1. Arles, France

One of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, Cafe du Forum, was inspired by a real location in Arles. And that’s not the only one! Vincent arrived in Arles on 20 February 1888 and took a room at the hotel-restaurant Carrel, and later, one at Café de la Gare. In early September, he moved into the Yellow House, which he had begun using as a studio on 1 May.

Follow the Van Gogh Route and visit all these places as well as the Bridge of Langlois, Musee Reattu, Musee Lapidaire, Saint Maries de la Mar, and many more.

While in Arles, stay in the beautiful Hotel Jules César, a boutique hotel featuring décor designed by renowned Fashion Designer, Christian Lacroix. Sublimated by 18th century elements and contemporary art, the establishment will transport you into a poetic world.

2. Aix En Provence, France

Paul Cezanne was one of the greatest impressionist painters and a pioneer in the cubism movement. He was deeply attached to Provence, where he was born, and spent his time exploring the region and painting the landscapes and homes that had left an impression on him.

The Auditorium at Hotel de Caumont plays the 28-minute film "Cezanne au pays d’Aix", which offers a glimpse into Cezanne’s private life. The film shows his most outstanding paintings (Mount Sainte-Victoire, the Jas de Bouffan garden, portraits of Hortense, etc.), and images of places where the painter lived, worked and expressed himself artistically.

3. Cannes, France

The first-ever Cannes International Series Festival known as CANNESERIES is opening on April 4, 2018 at the Palais des Festivals with “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”. The festival that lasts til April 11 will showcase TV series from all over the world and celebrate new talents with a prestigious international competition for a wide range of genres.

4. Nice, France

The Musee Matisse is situated on the hill of Cimiez, not far from the Franciscan monastery with its Italianate gardens, the Gallo-Roman ruins of an amphitheatre, and Hotel Regina where Henri Matisse used to reside. Matisse arrived in Nice in 1917 as an already successful artist and lived there until 1954.

Since 5 January 1963, the Museum has been welcoming visitors to its collection of works left by the artist and his heirs to the city of Nice where he lived from 1918 until 1954. The museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of his works including oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries and Matisse’s famous paper cut-outs.

5. Paris, France

The Musee Picasso is an art gallery located in the iconic Hôtel Salé dedicated to the works of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. With over 5,000 works and tens of thousands of archive pieces, it is the only public collection in the world that brings you on a journey following the creative process of the artist. The collection consists of paintings, sketches, studies, drawings, sketchbooks, engravings, photographs, illustrated books, movies and documents.

6. Barcelona, Spain

When visiting the city of Barcelona, the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family, known as the Sagrada Familia simply cannot be missed. Antoni Gaudí, one of the most famous figures of Catalan culture and world architecture, spent over 40 years designing the Sagrada Familia from 1883 to 1926.

7. Madrid, Spain

The building that today houses the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785. It was originally constructed to house the Natural History Cabinet, by orders of King Charles III. The monarch’s grandson, King Ferdinand VII, finally decided to appoint the building as the new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures. Featured artists include Raphael, El Greco, Titian, Rembrandt, Tiepolo and many more.

8. Florence, Italy

There are few statues in the world more famous than Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. You can marvel at one of the greatest masterpieces ever created by mankind at the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

Michelangelo was only 26 years old in 1501 when he accepted the challenge with enthusiasm to sculpt a large scale David and worked constantly for over two years to create one of his most breathtaking masterpieces of gleaming white marble.

9. Vatican City, Italy

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. It was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II.

The chapel includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pietro Perugino, and a set of large tapestries by Raphael, illustrating the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

10. Venice, Italy

Formerly the Doge's residence and the seat of Venetian government, the magnificent Palace is a landmark of Venice and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Also known as Palazzo Ducale, this impressive structure was built around a courtyard and richly decorated, and was the meeting place of the governing councils and ministries of the republic.

Insight Vacations runs Luxury Gold trips that specializes in authentic experiences, fascinating activities, expert insights, and VIP perks. Visit their website to find out more about their various Europe Summer 2018 itineraries including French Vogue, French Impression, Spain and Portugal in Style, and Ultimate Italy.

Aditi Kashyap

14 Feb 2018, 10:00 AM

Aditi is the Associate Editor at Vanilla Luxury. She loves to travel and has an obsession with rooftop bars and chasing sunsets. Follow her adventures on Instagram @heydeets.