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Encyclopedia > Grand Tour
The interior of the Pantheon in the 18th century, painted by Giovanni Paolo Panini

The Grand Tour was a European travel itinerary that flourished from about 1660 until the arrival of mass rail transit in the 1820s. It was popular amongst young British upper-class men and served as an educational rite of passage for the wealthy. Similar trips were made by the wealthy of other Northern European nations. Its primary value lay in the exposure both to the cultural artefacts of antiquity and the Renaissance and to the aristocratic and fashionable society of the European continent. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. Grand Tour can refer to: A tour of European cultural centers, once a standard feature of the education of the British elite. ... Download high resolution version (1193x1535, 457 KB)The interior of the Pantheon, Rome, by Giovanni Paolo Panini. ... Download high resolution version (1193x1535, 457 KB)The interior of the Pantheon, Rome, by Giovanni Paolo Panini. ... Facade of the Pantheon The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon[1], from Greek Πάνθεον Pantheon, meaning Temple of all the gods) is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome. ... Categories: Stub | 1691 births | 1765 deaths | Italian painters ... For other uses, see Rite of passage (disambiguation). ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


Travel itinerary

The most common itinerary of the Grand Tour[1] began in Dover, England, and crossed the English Channel to Calais in France. From there the tourist, usually accompanied by a tutor (known colloquially as a bear-leader) and if wealthy enough a league of servants, acquired a coach—which would be resold on completion—and other travel and transportation necessities, such as a French-speaking guide, and set off for Paris. In Paris the traveller might undertake lessons in French, dancing, fencing and riding. The appeal of Paris lay in the sophisticated language and manners of high French society, including courtly behavior and fashion. Ostensibly this served the purpose of preparing the young British nobleman for a leadership position at home, often government-related or diplomatic in nature. , Dover is a major channel port in the English county of Kent. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: , the sleeve) is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... Calais (Kales in Dutch) is a town in northern France, located at 50°57N 1°52E. It is in the département of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... A bear-leader was formerly a man who led bears about the country. ... This article is about the capital of France. ...

From Paris he would typically go to Geneva and experience Switzerland for a while. Then a difficult crossing over the Alps into Northern Italy (such as at St. Bernard Pass), which included dismantling the carriage and luggage, and if wealthy enough he might be carried over the hard terrain by servants. Once in Northern Italy the tourist might spend a few months in Florence and Pisa studying Renaissance art, then move on to Bologna and Venice to do the same. From Venice it was on to Rome to study the classical ruins, with perhaps a visit to Naples for music, and to appreciate the recently discovered archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii and for the adventurous thrilling ascent of Mount Vesuvius. Later in the period the more adventurous, especially if provided with a yacht, might attempt the Greek ruins of Sicily or Greece itself. But Naples, or later Paestum a little further south, was the usual terminus; from here it was back north through the Alps to the German speaking parts of Europe. The traveller might stop first in Innsbruck before visiting Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Potsdam, with perhaps some study time at the universities in Munich or Heidelberg. Then it was on to Holland and Flanders, with more gallery-going and art appreciation, before returning across the channel to England. Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ... Northern Italy comprises of two areas belonging to NUTS level 1: North-West (Nord-Ovest): Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria North-East (Nord-Est): Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Emilia-Romagna Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Aosta Valley are regions with a... St Bernard Pass may refer to: Great St. ... This article is about the city in Italy. ... Leaning Tower of Pisa. ... For the food product, see Bologna sausage. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Naples (disambiguation). ... Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) is an ancient Roman town, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano. ... For other uses, see Pompeii (disambiguation). ... This article is about the mountain in Italy. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. ... Innsbruck is a city in western Austria, and the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... For other uses, see Dresden (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... Potsdam is the capital city of the federal state of Brandenburg in Germany. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... Heidelberg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ... This article is about a region in the Netherlands. ... For other uses, see Flanders (disambiguation). ...


The idea of traveling for the sake of curiosity and learning was a developing idea in the 18th century. With John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) it was argued, and widely accepted, that knowledge comes entirely from the external senses, that what one knows comes from the physical stimuli to which one has been exposed, thus, one could "use up" the environment, taking from it all it offers, requiring a change of place. Travel, therefore, was an obligation for the person who wanted to further develop his or her mind and so expand his or her knowledge of the world. The typical 18th century sentiment was that of the studious observer traveling through foreign lands reporting his or her findings on human nature for those unfortunate to have stayed home. Traveling observation became a duty, an obligation to society at large to increase its welfare. The Grand Tour flourished in this mindset.[2] For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is one of John Lockes two most famous works, the other being his Second Treatise on Civil Government. ...

The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom. Artists who especially thrived on Grand Tourists included Pompeo Batoni the portraitist, and the vedutisti such as Canaletto, Pannini and Guardi. The less well-off could return with an album of Piranesi etchings. Portrait of Charles Crowle Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (1708-1787), Italian painter, was born at Lucca. ... Roman-Egyptian funeral portrait of a young boy A portrait is a painting (portrait painting), photograph (portrait photography), or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. ... The River Thames from Richmond House: a classic veduta by Canaletto, 1747. ... The Stonemasons Yard, painted 1726-30. ... The interior of the Pantheon, Rome Giovanni Paolo Pannini or Panini (Piacenza, June 17, 1691 – Rome, October 21, 1765) was an Italian painter and architect. ... The Lagoon Looking toward Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove (1765-70) Oil on canvas, 31,7 x 52,7 cm Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Francesco Guardi (October 5, 1712- January 1, 1793), Venetian painter, was a pupil of Canaletto, and followed his style so closely that pictures are very frequently attributed... Giovanni Battista (also Giambattista) Piranesi (4th October 1720 in Mogliano Veneto (near Treviso) - 9th November 1778 in Rome) was an Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious prisons. Etching of the Pyramid of Cestius Piranesi studied his art at Rome, where the remains of that city...

Critics of the Grand Tour derided its lack of adventure. "The tour of Europe is a paltry thing", said one 18th century critic, "a tame, uniform, unvaried prospect".[3] The Grand Tour was said to re-enforce the old preconceptions and prejudices about national characteristics, as Jean Gailhard's Compleat Gentleman (1678) observes: "French courteous. Spanish lordly. Italian amorous. German clownish."[3]

After the arrival of mass transit, around 1825, the Grand Tour custom continued, but it was of a qualitative difference -cheaper to undertake, safer, easier, open to anyone. During much of the 19th century, most educated young men of privilege undertook the Grand Tour. Later, it became fashionable for young women; a trip to Italy, with a spinster aunt chaperon, was part of the upper-class woman's education, as in E.M. Forster's novel A Room with a View. Old maid redirects here. ... A chaperon (or chaperone) is an adult who accompanies or supervises one or more young, unmarried men or women during social occasions usually with the specific intent of preventing inappropriate social or sexual interactions. ... Edward Morgan Forster (January 1, 1879 - June 7, 1970) was an English novelist. ... This article is about the book. ...

Thomas Coryat's travel book Coryat's Crudities (1611) was an early influence on the Grand Tour. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the term (perhaps its introduction to English) was by Richard Lassels in his book An Italian Voyage (1670). Some contemporary sociologists view the Grand Tour as the prototype for modern tourism.[citation needed] Thomas Coryat (also Coryate) (c. ... Coryats Crudities: Hastily gobled up in Five Moneths Travels was a 1611 travel and gastronomic book published by Thomas Coryat of Odcombe, an English traveller and mild eccentric. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... Richard Lassels (also Lascelles) (ca. ...

See also

  • Tourism
  • Pop-culture tourism
  • Gap year, the Grand Tour as practiced by British school leavers before they go up to University
  • A La Ronde, an 18th century house built in Devon, England by two ladies on their return from the Grand Tour

“Tourist” redirects here. ... Pop-culture tourism is the act of traveling to locations featured in literature, film, music, or any other form of popular entertainment. ... A gap year (also known as year out, deferring, overseas experience) is a term that refers to a prolonged period (often, but not always, a year) between a students completion of secondary school and matriculation in a university or college or also between college and graduate school or a... A La Ronde is an 18th-century 16-sided house located in Exmouth, Devon, England, and in the ownership of the National Trust. ...


  1. ^ See Fussell (1987), Buzzard (2002), Bohls & Duncan (2005)
  2. ^ Paul Fussell (1987), pg. 129
  3. ^ a b Bohls & Duncan (2005)


  • Elizabeth Bohls and Ian Duncan, ed. (2005). Travel Writing 1700-1830 : An Anthology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-284051-7
  • James Buzzard (2002), "The Grand Tour and after (1660-1840)", in The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing. ISBN 0-521-78140-X
  • Paul Fussell (1987), "The Eighteenth Century and the Grand Tour", in The Norton Book of Travel, ISBN 0-393-02481-4

Paul Fussell (born 1924, Pasadena, California) is a cultural historian and a professor emeritus of English literature of the University of Pennsylvania. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Grand Tour (cycling) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (360 words)
The most contested ones are the individual general classification (Maillot jaune (yellow jersey) in the Tour de France), king of the mountains classification (Polka dot jersey in the Tour de France), and points classification (Maillot vert in the Tour de France).
Jacques Anquetil; France; 5 Tours (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964), 2 Giros (1960, 1964), 1 Vuelta (1963).
Eddy Merckx; Belgium; 5 Tours (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974), 5 Giros (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974), 1 Vuelta (1973)
Grand Tour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (398 words)
In the 18th century, the Grand Tour was a kind of education for wealthy British noblemen.
The Grand Tour was responsible for creating situated knowledges in a generation of young British adults.
A trip to Italy with a spinster aunt as chaperon was part of the upper-class lady's education.
  More results at FactBites »



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