DAY 1 BARCELONA
Arrival in Barcelona and meeting with the accompanying guide. Tour of the Picasso Museum, whose halls house a collection of more than 3500 works of the painter from Málaga, which makes it the most complete in the world with works from Picasso’s youth. Lunch. Afternoon tour of the Sagrada Familia, the the most ambicious and representative project of the architect Gaudí, unfinished due to his early death (he was hit by a street car). Panoramic tour of the city, where we can contemplate other modernist architectural works, such as: La Pedrera, the Casa Milà, the Casa Batlló and Parc Güell. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 2 BARCELONA – FIGUERAS – AIX SAINT PROVENCE
Breakfast. Departure for the town of Figueras. Tour of the Dalí Museum, the largest surrealist work in the world. It occupies the building of the former Municipal Theater, contruction from the 19th century destroyed at the end of the Civil War. Lunch. Departure for Aix-en-Provence, birthplace of Paul Cézanne, university city and city of art, with a very rich architectural heritage. Panoramic tour of the city: the Cathedral of Saint Sauveur, constructed between the 5th and 18th centuries, which is seen in the absence of a homogenious aesthetic in the main façade, influenced by the architectural movements from the 12th to the 16th century, Town Hall, the Clock Tower, the Square of the four dolphins, the Cours Mirabeau, which is the most prestigious avenue in the city and was created in 1649 where before the medieval wall of the city stood. It is famous for its four fountains and its trees. The stores and the trendy cafés date from the 19th century. At that time, the artists from the region, including Cézanne and Picasso, used to have coffee. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 3 AIX SAINT PROVENCE – ARLES
Breakfast. Tour of the studio of Cézanne, which will allow us to discover the space from where the masterpieces of the last period arose with slowness and perfection, as well as the domestic objects of the painter and his artistic preferences. Tour of the House of the Jas de Bouffan, family house of the Cézannes from 1870 and declared Historic monument in 2002. In the grand oval salón on the ground floor, Cézanne painted, directly on the walls, twelve grand compositions that, in 1912 were withdrawn there: “The Four Seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn”, “The Portrait of his Father, Louis-Auguste Cézanne”, “Landscape of the bather on the rock”, “The entrance to the palace”, “Romantic Landscape of the Fishermen”, “The Game of Hide and Seek, according to Lancret”, “Portrait of Achille Emperaire”, “Contrast”, “Christ in Limbo and the Pennitent Magdalen”. From 1866 to 1895, Cézanne set up his easel in the park, and painted thirty-six oil paintings and seventeen watercolors that represent the house and the farm, the woods and the chestnut promenade, the pond and its statues…Lunch. Departure to take an excursion to Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh settled in 1888. He came from Paris, where he had spent almost two years, had seen a great deal of painting and had been in contact with most non-conformist painters at the time: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Paul Gauguin. With Gauguin he had personal contact and was able to appreciate his work done during his trip to Martinique. Despite the fact that Arles was snow covered when he arrive, Van Gogh persisted in his search for the blinding light of Provence. He immediately began to pain outside, walking the region of Arles on foot. He rents as his studio a part of the Yellow House contiguous with the Station Café where he was staying. Curiously in Arles we cannot view today any works by the painter. His painting is oriented toward Impressionism, he makes series, various paintings on the same theme, such as those of the Moulin family or the first on the sunflowers. He maintains correspondence with several painteres, among them Paul Gauguin, whom he encourages to come to Arles to form a community of artists to share experiences and search for new forms. On October 23 Paul Gauguin arrives in Arles, and Van Gogh and he begin to Paint together. It is the case of the Station Café or of the paintings in Les Alyscamps (Champs-Élysées in provenzal), ancient Roman Necropolis close to Arles that later served as a Christian Cemetery. But eveything has an end and, sometimes, it is accelerated. Van Gogh wore himself out painting, he was vehement, psicologically unstable and he drank a lot of absinthe. Gauguin also had a strong and unstable character. They argued a lot and the 23rd of December the fight became violent. The incident is confused, but the most plausible version is that Van Gogh threatened Gauguin with a shaving knive and, after Gaugin fled, in his delirium he cut off part of his left ear. It was the end of their collaboration, but they continued to exchange letters until the death of Van Gogh in 1890. Today we can see the places from where Van Gogh painted now famous paintings. Paintings that one day were despised and today note ven the States could buy. Some 10 places are signposted: Forum Square, “Le café le soir”; Trinquetaille Bridge; the wharf on the Rhône (quai du Rhône); Lamartine Square for “la maison jaune”; the patio of the Espace Van-Gogh for “Le jardin de the maison de santé”; and the highway along the Arles-Bouc Canal for “The Washerwomen”. The amphitheater and the Alycamps Necropolis appear in several of his paintings. Return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 AIX-EN-PROVENCE – NICE
Breakfast. Departure for Nice. Panoramic tour. The Old City encloses in its alleyways immense small treasures. Small stores, crafts, smalls bars and flirtatious restaurants. In Old Nice there are still certain stores located beneath the medieval arches, recently restored, chiefly in the streets Rue Pont-vieux and Rue de la Prefecture. The Palace of Justice and the Palace of the Prefecture, beautiful neoclassical buildings, are also interesting. We will be able to contemplate the Opera, classical example of Second Empire style, Town Hall, from 1730, Rossetti Square. Opposite, the Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate, erected in the 16th century and whose Bell tower is from the 18th century, Massena Square, true heart of the city, the Basilica of Notre-Dame, which is the largest church in Nice. Constructed between 1864 and 1868, the The English Promenade (Promenade des Anglais), maritime promenade known thourhg the world and symbol of Nice; in its origins the promenade was no more than a small path two meters wide. An Englishman, the reverend Lewis Way paid the construction of the actual promenade in 1820. Therefore, it was quickly baptized by the citizens as the “Promenade of the English”. Its current appearance is due to the reformsof 1931. Lunch. Tour of the Museum of Fine Art, situated in a mansion from 1878, and where we will be able to see collections of painting from the 17th XVII (chiefly Italians), 18th (Fragonard) and 19th (Romantic, Realist, Oriental, Symbolism and Impressionism, e.g. Degas, Dufy, Sisley) and sculptures by Rodin. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 NICE – ANTIBES – CAGNES SUR MER
Breakfast. Tour of the Matisse Museum, situated in half of the olive grove of Cimiez Park, in a recently renovated Genovese mansion from the 15th century. The painter lived in the city from 1917 until his death in 1954. In this museum they have the personal collection, with works from all the periods, offering a complete panorama of his painting. You will be able to contemplate some of his first paintings, dating from 1890 up to his famous gouaches, more than 236 drawings and 218 engravings, next to illustrated books by the artist himself. Departure to take an excursion to Antibes and visit the Picasso Museum, in the Grimaldi Castle. In addition to the beauty of the place, it is a very intimate museum as far as the exhibition of the works of Pablo Picasso. Lunch. Departure for Cagnes sur Mer to visit the Renoir Museum, situated in the heart of a beautiful area of olive and citrus trees, where we will discover a panoramic view that extends to Cap d’Antibes. This house museum was the last dwelling place of Auguste Renoir. A typical house of the Mediterranean Coast, where there are various works of the artist, as well as his personal objects. With his collections, 14 original paintings, sculptures, furniture and studio, it is a moving testimony to the creative and family world of the master Impressionist who spent his lasts 12 years of his life in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Return to Nice. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 6 NICE – MONACO – NICE
Breakfast. Departure for the Principality of Monaco, small enclave of little more than 30.000 inhabitants situated very near the city, and known for its famous inhabitants, as well as for its casino, its stores, its marina and its luxurious hotels. Tour of the Oceanographic Museum of Jacques Cousteau. Lunch in a restaurant in Montecarlo. Return to Nice at dusk to enjoy free time in the city. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 7 NICE
Breakfast and END OF TRIP