Picasso once described art as “the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Any art lover knows that this is very much the case, that good art is mysteriously powerful thing. While every corner of the world produces art, these three cities are amongst the standout experiences that must be on any travelling art lover’s bucket list.
Florence is any art lovers dream. As the birthplace of the renaissance, it makes sense that this beautiful city houses an abundance of art in and out of the museums tucked amongst its cobblestone piazzas. Art lovers will want to linger for hours in the expansive collections of the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Galleria Accademia. The former is overflowing with masterpieces, with pieces by da Vinci, Titian, Michelangelo and many others – as well as a whole room of Botticelli- waiting to be discovered in its expanse of rooms. The Galleria Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s famous David. As if that weren’t enough of a draw, the museum also features three of the master’s other famous sculptures, and a supporting collection full of artistic superstars.
Outside museums, art abounds wherever you meander. Let the pleasant walks of this friendly city guide you past Piazza Signoria, where looming sculpture masterpieces stand under a loggia for all to enjoy. Earn your gelato climbing the stairs of the Duomo and be treated with Giorgio Vasari’s stunningly massive (and at times heart wrenching) frescos of the Last Judgment. Visit the San Marco Museum to wander the rooms of this ancient Dominican monastery (the cloisters of which are still in use) to discover the works of Renaissance painter Fra Angelico frescoed throughout. When you need to clear your palate between artistic experiences, the refreshing piazzas and Tuscan food of the city are waiting to entrance you with their charms.
Visiting Nice will make you want to be the kind of person who carries a sketchbook (that is, if you aren’t already.) Wandering it’s old town, picking up picnic lunches and dried lavender at its daily flower and farmer’s market, catching the view from its quiet cemetery hill, and breathing in the sea air, you’ll feel ready to sip café au lait while pondering your first masterpiece. Seek inspiration at the Musée Marc Chagall and the Musée Matisse. The first is a mesmerizing collection of Chagall’s uniquely dream-like works, the highlight of which is 17 paintings from his entrancing works illustrating biblical messages. The Musée Matisse features a collection of works left to the city by the artist and his heirs after his death. Both of these artists have an innovative use of emotive color and form that will make you wonder if there’s something special in the air in Nice, a city they both called home.
For another unique artistic experience, hop on Nice’s tram system. The stops feature modern art, resulting in artistic expression tucked in all corners of the city. Even the announcements on the train feature the voices of modern artists.
It’s hard to know where to begin in Chicago. First of all, there’s the Art Institute of Chicago. Give yourself some time to soak in this glorious museum experience- the museum houses more than 260,000 works of art, including a renowned collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. These include a few of Monet’s Water Lilies, Tolouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge, and Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, just for starters. The museum is also home to an impressive collection of American and African-American work, making it a unique museum experience to anyone who has delved into the European art scene. Even better, perhaps, than the Institute, however, is the art collection of the city itself. Wandering its streets you’ll find a goldmine of modern works, including a few by household names like Picasso and Chagall and iconic Chicago pieces Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) and Crown Fountain. The best part? It’s all set to the backdrop of Chicago’s welcoming Midwestern culture, vibrant music scene, and fabulous food.