Ahh, Giverny. As I mention in the video below, I’ve wanted to visit the place of Monet’s inspiration for quite some time. It has been #1 on my travel bucket list. Even though it’s only a 50-minute train ride from Paris, you really have to reserve the entire day to see the beautiful gardens and tour his home.
Tip: stay at Vernon overnight and get to the gardens early (9:00 AM) before they officially open. It’s open early for tours and you can just smile and tiptoe in if you’ve already purchased your ticket online. That way you can dodge the sea of selfie sticks and iPad cameras (sigh).
Mom’s in town for two weeks, so we made a day trip last weekend. While it was freezing cold in the morning, we were glad it didn’t end up raining too much.
I fell in love with Monet’s paintings when I went to an expo in San Francisco with my mom and grandma during my childhood. I purchased a Monet-inspired diary, painted my bedroom walls seafoam green, and hung up copies of his water lilies. The landscapes make me feel calm, at peace, and appreciative of nature.
If you also appreciate Monet’s works, visit the Orangerie museum in Paris which has oval-shaped rooms encompassed by his paintings. I can sit there for hours. The museum staff is superb because they are very strict at telling people to shhhh so you can actually appreciate the art in silence. I’ve heard the Marmottan is great for his history as well.
Monet’s home in Giverny is open to view. It was a beautiful experience to stand in the room he once painted in. Aside from Monet’s own paintings, the home is decorated with many Japanese drawings that served as an inspiration for his Japanese-styled garden and bridge.
After Monet died, his estate was in shambles without anyone to take care of it. It was actually thanks to rich American benefactors who helped to restore the house and gardens to what they are today.
I’ll be back to Giverny later in the summer when the flowers are more in bloom. This place is an absolute dream. You may or may not find “can you get married in monet’s gardens giverny” in my search history. :).