The Grand Tour: Lived experience of Art and Culture
WHAT WAS THE GRAND TOUR
In the past “Grand Tour” was the name of the journey that the European noblemen and rich bourgeois took in Italy, to discover its ancient beauty and its incomparable richness of arts and culture. It was more than a simple tour or a passing fashion, it became a fundamental moment in the cultural training of every cultivated European.
To this end, we put at your disposal highly trained guides that will make you discover in an involving way the artistic beauties of our country in a new light. Besides, they will make you discover the less known treasures usually ignored by mass tourism. We organize theme itineraries – “tailored” on demand -, private guided tours to monuments and museums, attendance to traditional events, and much more.
The passion of the traveler for the unlimited artistic heritage of Italy and its enchanting landscapes is not a product of the modern mass-tourism industry, but also in the past has attracted many cultivated persons who choosed our country for their pleasure travels.
Expensive pleasure, once reserved to few rich peaple, full of troubles like long and unsafe travels, thieves, illnesses. These aspects, far from disturbing the Traveller, made the Gand Tour more appealing.
THE GRAND TOUR TODAY
Today The Grand Tour Europe aims at promoting the knowledge of the Italian naturalistic and cultural heritage in the mood of the travellers of that age
All this made the Grand Tour an essential step in the cultural an human training of the high society’s members, an experience that was much more than what may be reprisented today by a simple plesure travel, in our age characterized by mass tourism and packaged touring.
Anyway We are convinced that the old Grand Tour’s experience have some aspects that we may try to recover, especially for who wants a full experience of Italy’s artistic and cultural heritage whitout loosing the pleasure of discover, enjoing the undestranding of the connections between the many expressions of human spirit.
WHEN THE TERM WAS COINED
The term “Grand Tour” was coined by Richard Lassels in his account “The Voyage of Italy” inl 1670, in which he described his vojage inn Italy, voyage that since 1630 was groving in importance among the cultural elites of northern Europe. Travelers of theis age were, for example, Milton, Marvell, Harvey the philosopher Hobbes.
Among those who left us remarkables travel books the most important where Philip Skippon, William Acton, John Evelyn, John Raymond and, as we said above, Richard Lassels.
The New York Times recently described the Grand Tour in this way:
The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor. The Grand Tour had more than superficial cultural importance; as E.P. Thompson opined, “ruling-class control in the 18th century was located primarily in a cultural hegemony, and only secondarily in an expression of economic or physical (military) power.”