Fodor's To Europe!

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Day 4
Next stop: Rouen Previous stop: Paris Return to full itinerary »

Vernon, a nice town in its own right, is the perfect riverside stopping point and springboard for Giverny, where Claude Monet lived for more than 40 years. Keep your eyes peeled for three-dimensional versions of some of Monet's most famous canvases, including Vernon's medieval church, which he painted from across the Seine, and the water lilies in his garden.
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  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture

Experiences

  • Vernon's church of Notre-Dame, across from the tourist office, has an arresting rose-window facade that, like the high nave, dates from the 15th century. Rounded Romanesque arches in the choir, however, attest to the building's 12th-century origins.
  • The Maison et Jardin Claude-Monet (Monet's House and Garden) has been lovingly restored to his original design: the kitchen with its blue tiles, the buttercup-yellow dining room, and his bedroom on the second floor. Across the lane the garden, with its Japanese-inspired water-lily pond and its bridge, remains the high point for many.
  • After touring the painterly grounds of Monet's house, you may wish to see some real paintings at the newly reconceived Musée des Impressionismes farther along the road. Originally a showcase of American Impressionists who flocked to Giverny to study at the hands of the master, it has now been expanded to include an exciting array of exhibitions about Impressionism's origins, geographic scope, and influences.

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