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The Impressionists: A Retrospective

Program Number: 16940RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/21/2013 - 5/4/2013;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,930.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Art History/Criticism
Meals: 28; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Walk in the footsteps of Impressionists along the Seine, through Paris, Normandy, Provence and the beautiful Côte d'Azur. Discover the origins of these 19th-century painters and their groundbreaking brushstrokes as you study masterpieces in museums and explore the places, gardens and streetscapes that inspired them. Expert lectures and local experiences enhance your appreciation of classical Impressionism.


• Program led by a Study Leader specializing in Art History.
• Explore the masterpieces of French Impressionism at the D’Orsay, Orangerie and Marmottan Museums in Paris on expert-led visits.
• Follow in the footsteps of the artists to explore places they lived & painted: Montmartre, Rouen, Honfleur, Etretat, Provence, the Cote d'Azur & more.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles over uneven surfaces; some standing, both indoors and outside.

Extensive use of Paris Métro (subway system); Métro tickets provided.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Paris, 4 nights; coach to Rouen, 3 nights; train to Arles, 3 nights; coach to Nice, 2 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Paris
4 nights

Discussions orient you to the Impressionist era and its birth in the City of Light. With local experts trace the Impressionists’ footsteps in Montmartre, the area where artists such as Pissarro, Sisley, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet, Zola and Vincent Van Gogh congregated. Have lunch at one of the local restaurants where great artists passed time. Explore the Orangerie, Marmottan and Orsay Museums. Hear a classical music concert at the Sainte Chapelle. Visit Auvers-sur-Oise, where van Gogh spent his last months.

Coach to Rouen
3 nights

Moving to Rouen, encounter Monet’s cathedral and the Normandy coastline, painted by Monet and Jongkind. Explore the coastal port town Honfleur, a favorite of the Impressionists. Find Monet’s water lilies in his Giverny garden.

Train to Arles
3 nights

Explore Arles on foot and study the city’s ancient history at the Roman Amphitheater. Consider the legend behind Van Gogh's ghost in Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence. Visit the studio of Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence and view the oft-painted Mont Sainte Victoire.

Coach to Nice
2 nights
Overnight flight to U.S.
1 night

Discuss the French Riviera and the painters it inspired, including Renoir. Visit the Matisse Museum and sample socca, the chickpea crepes found only in Nice’s open-air market.


The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.

Paris: Comfortable hotel in the heart of the historic quarter. Rouen: Comfortable, centrally located hotel. Arles: Comfortable, centrally located hotel. Nice: Comfortable hotel in the heart of town.
Meals and Lodgings
   Villa Beaumarchais
  Paris, France 4 nights
   Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
  Rouen, France 3 nights
   Hotel du Forum
  Arles, France 3 nights
   Hotel Nice Riviera
  Nice, France 2 nights
 Villa Beaumarchais
Type: Hotel
  Description: Nestled at the corner of the Passage du Grand Veneur, the Villa Beaumarchais echoes the charm of typical lanes of the Place des Vosges.
  Contact info: 5 rue des Arquebusiers
Paris,  75003 France
phone: +33 (0)1 40 29 14 00
  Room amenities: Cable television, complimentary newspaper, air conditioning, phone, internet access, minibar, wake-up calls, private bathroom, bathrobes, hair dryer, pay movies, in-room safe
  Facility amenities: Buffet breakfasts, room service, air conditioning, mini bar, WiFi, safe.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and availability.

 Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Right in the centre of Rouen, at the foot of one of the most beautiful cathedrals in France, the Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale is an ideal hotel for exploring the attractions of this medieval city including the Old Market Square and the Gros Horloge clock tower. Ideal location, not far from the station, in the peaceful pedestrian area of Rouen.
  Contact info: 7 Rue de la Croix de Fer
Rouen,  76000 France
phone: +33 2 35 52 69 52
  Room amenities: All guest rooms are air-conditioned, each with a private bathroom, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi internet.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel du Forum
Type: Hotel
  Description: The charm of a beautiful restored old house in the heart of ancient Arles
  Contact info: Place du Forum
Arles,  13200 France
phone: +33 (0) 4 90 93 48 95
  Room amenities: Equiped with telephone, TV by satellite, mini bar, hairdryer, air conditioning, safety deposit box
  Facility amenities: Swimming pool in peaceful setting, bar with billiard table
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Nice Riviera
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This hotel is in the heart of Nice, a short walk from the Promenade des Anglais. It features a fitness room and a spa center with a heated swimming pool, a spa bathtub and a sauna. A buffet breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s luminous breakfast room or in the comfort of guest rooms. The hotel's lounge bar, Riviera Café invites guests to use the free Wi-Fi or enjoy a drink by the fireplace. Guests have free access to the hotel's on-site spa center. The hotel is half a mile from Nice Train Station and a 15 minute drive from Nice Airport. Place Massena and Vieux Nice are just over a quarter mile away.
  Contact info: 45, rue Pastorelli
Nice,  06000 France
phone: +33 (0)4 93 92 69 60
  Room amenities: Guest rooms at Nice Riviera feature environmentally friendly, bamboo parquet floors and colorful cushions and bed throws. Each room has a private bathroom with a bathrobe, slippers and toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Sauna, Fitness Center, Solarium, Hot Tub, Indoor Pool, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Airport Shuttle, Business Center, Dry Cleaning, Ironing Service, Currency Exchange, Bicycle Rental, Fax/Photocopying. Wi-Fi is available in public areas and is free of charge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Call Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with Orientation at the hotel at 5:00 p.m. You will be staying at Villa Beaumarchais that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the hotel. You will be staying at Hotel Nice Riviera the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: not applicable
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest city or town:  PARIS
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle airport
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers a discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. Use the website below to take advantage of these rates and book your transfers for arrival and departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher. (Please note when using this link that the website does not indicate that the prices are discounted.) The most convenient, although not the cheapest, means of transportation to your hotel is to take a taxi. The cost should be between 40 and 80 euros depending on traffic and the amount of luggage you have. After collecting your luggage at the airport follow the signs to Taxis.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Nice
  Nearest city or town:  NICE
  Nearest highway: A8
  Nearest airport:  NICE
  Transportation from site: Airport transfers from the hotel to the departure airport are included in your cost if you have booked your airfare through Road Scholar and are departing on the day that the program ends. Independent travelers can take a taxi from the hotel to the airport (approximately 30 minutes for approx 30 euros). Or use airport shuttle line n 98, getting on at Albert 1er, approximately 10 minutes by foot from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure for France
(Sunday, April 21)
 Depart From: Overnight in transit

Day 2: Arrival in Paris
(Monday, April 22)
 Morning: Arrivals at Charles de Gaulle airport and independent transfers to the program hotel in Paris. Please note that rooms are not generally available until early to mid-afternoon, so you should plan to drop off your luggage at the hotel and then take some time to explore Paris or relax and have a leisurely lunch (on your own). There are Paris maps available at the hotel, and your Group Leader and hotel staff will be present to provide recommendations and directions.
 Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. In the early evening you will meet with your group at the hotel for introductions, a review of the program itinerary and site orientation.
 Dinner: In a nearby restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Paris of the Impressionists and the Musée D’Orsay
(Tuesday, April 23)

Note: Walking and standing up to two miles over the course of the day. Use of Paris Metro to return to the hotel.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: LECTURE: “Impressionism and Its Place in Art History”. FIELD TRIP on a private motorcoach: an overview of Paris that focuses on the places frequented or painted by the Impressionists.
 Lunch: At the Musée D’Orsay.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Explore the Musée D’Orsay with your Art Historian Study Leader. The museum houses French Art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography and the masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Return to the hotel on the Paris Metro.
 Dinner: In a nearby restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: L’Orangerie Museum and Montmartre
(Wednesday, April 24)

Note: Transportation by Paris Metro which involves walking and unavoidable stairs. Walking and standing in the museum. Montmartre is on a hill; there is some walking up hill, at a leisurely pace.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Using the Paris Metro, head to the Orangerie Museum. Famous for housing Monet’s Water Lily murals, the museum also exhibits masterpieces from the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection, featuring Cézanne, Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani, Soutine, Utrillo and Laurencin. Continue to Montmartre to walk the winding streets of this “village” where many Impressionists lived and worked.
 Lunch: At La Bonne Franquette, the restaurant famous for having been the meeting point of artists such as Pissarro, Sisley, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet, Zola and Vincent Van Gogh.
 Afternoon: Continue the field trip as you step inside the Sacred Heart Basilica, where the murals covering the walls and ceiling are made up of millions of tiny mosaic tiles. Take some time to explore Montmartre independently before returning to the hotel by Metro.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: The Seine River, Source of Inspiration
(Thursday, April 25)

Note: Transportation by Paris Metro. Walking and standing for up to two miles over the course of the visit.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Free Morning. You may wish to explore your historic neighborhood – the Marais, or take in another museum.
 Lunch: Take the Metro to a restaurant near the City Island and the banks of the Seine River.
 Afternoon: Walking Lecture: "Seine River, source of Inspiration for the Impressionists" Follow in the footsteps of artists to understand how the Seine River played an important role in Impressionist art. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: Board a river cruise excursion boat to view Paris from a different perspective. Observe the reflection of light and buildings upon the water, the movement of the clouds and imagine the perspectives of the artists. Afterwards, take some time at leisure to stroll along the quays or visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare. Perhaps pick up a crepe or a sandwich and enjoy a “pique-nique” as you watch the boats on the Seine.
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: Enjoy a classic music concert in the awesome setting of the Sainte Chapelle. Return to the hotel by Metro.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Claude Monet: Impression at Sunrise and His Home at Giverny
(Friday, April 26)

Note: Walking and standing in the museum for up to 1.5 hours. Travel by motorcoach. Walking on unpaved paths in Giverny. The Rouen hotel is situated in the heart of the historic center, which has limited access for motorcoaches. There is a walk of 0.34 miles (about 7 minutes) from the drop-off point, to the hotel. Your luggage is carried from the coach to your hotel room and back by porters.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Departure by coach to Rouen. First, a FIELD TRIP explores the Marmottan Museum, housing the works of Claude Monet and friends, including his painting “Impression at Sunrise” that gave its name to the Impressionist movement. LECTURE ON SITE: “Monet and the birth of Impressionism”. Depart Paris to Normandy. Lecture En Route: "The Influence of Japanese Art on Impressionism".
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP to Giverny, Monet’s house and garden with its famous water lily pond. Take some free time to explore the gardens at your leisure or walk over to the musée des impressionnismes (former Giverny Museum of American Art.) Continue to Rouen.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Rouen: Capital of Normandy
(Saturday, April 27)

Note: Walking and standing for up to two miles during the visit. Walking on cobble stone and paved streets.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: LECTURE in the hotel: "The Search for Light in Normandy". FIELD TRIP on foot through the historic center of Old Rouen. Admire the half-timbered houses, the square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake and the Cathedral, captured in all its shades and angles by Monet.
 Lunch: Enjoy Norman cuisine and learn about the typical ingredients used in its preparation.
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: The Cradle of Impressionism: Honfleur and Etretat
(Sunday, April 28)

Note: Travel by motorcoach. Walking and standing on cobble stone and paved streets.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Depart by private motor coach for a full day exploration of Honfleur and Etretat. Honfleur, situated across the river from Le Havre, guards the mouth of the Seine estuary about 120 miles from Paris. The town shimmers in reflected coastal sunlight, and it was to capture this purity of light that 19th Century artists escaped from their workshops in the capital and flooded downstream. Normandy became the cradle of Impressionism, and Honfleur a favorite base. The town's timber-framed houses, slate-grey facades, buttermilk-white beaches and Wedgwood blue skies are portrayed in paintings by Monet, Courbet, Cals, Dubourg, Boudin, Bazille, Corot, Sisley and Jongkind. Explore the paintings of local son, Eugene Boudin at the small museum that bears his name. Stroll down the street to the church of Sainte Catherine, one of the largest wooden churches in Europe and admire the view of the Old Port.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Continue to Etretat, whose white limestone cliffs and arching formations are depicted in paintings by Monet and Jongkind. Return to Rouen.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise and the High-Speed Train to Provence
(Monday, April 29)

Note: Travel by motorocoach. Walking up to two miles on cobblestone and paved streets. Travel by train (2.75 hours). No baggage handling is available in the Avignon train station; you must be able to handle your own baggage at the disembarkation. The Hotel du Forum in Arles is located in the heart of the historic center, which is not accessible by coach. Luggage is transported for you from the main boulevard to the hotel, a 7-10 minute walk.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart to Paris. LECTURE en route: “From Daubigny to Van Gogh”. FIELD TRIP to Auvers-sur-Oise, where we pay tribute to Vincent van Gogh’s last days. Walk in van Gogh’s footsteps, along the streets of the town to view places where he planted his easel: the church of Auvers, the house of the painter Daubigny, the house of his friend Doctor Gachet, and the field where he painted his last work, “Wheat Field With Crows” (1890).
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to Paris Lyon Train Station to board the TGV (High-Speed Train) to Avignon, and then continue by motor coach to Arles, arriving in time for dinner.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel du Forum
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Arles and Cézanne in Aix en Provence
(Tuesday, April 30)

Note: Travel by motor coach. Walking and standing on cobble stone streets. No coaches are allowed in the historic centers of Arles nor Aix-en-Provence.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP on foot through the historical center of Arles, including the café painted by Van Gogh, the Roman Amphitheatre, Antique Theatre, The Cryptoportico and the medieval cloister of Sainte Trophime. Depart to Aix-en-Provence. LECTURE en route: “Paul Cézanne’s Provence”. FIELD TRIP: Explore the studio where Cézanne painted. Cézanne had this studio constructed in 1901, and it is where he created the masterpieces of his final period, including the Large Bathers. A true shrine to Cézanne, the studio-museum, surrounded by a romantic garden, keeps the artist’s memory intact.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Aix-en-Provence before returning to Arles.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Hotel du Forum
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Van Gogh in Saint Rémy de Provence
(Wednesday, May 1)

Note: Travel by motorcoach. Walking on cobble stone and paved streets. Walking and standing in the museum. Walking in the market.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP to the Provencal village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where van Gogh spent the second to last year of his life, after being forced to leave Arles. Stop just outside of the village to take a look at Glanum, an oppidum, or fortified town, founded in the 6th century BCE, containing two Roman monuments of the 1st century BCE, a mausoleum and a triumphal arch. Arrive in the heart of Saint-Remy and wander through the weekly open air market, filled with local products and typical scenes of everyday life.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP to St. Paul de Mausole hospital, where Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient from May 1889 to May 18890. During much of his stay, he was confined to the grounds of the asylum, and painted the landscapes found outside his window and in the local area, including “Starry Night”. Return to Arles.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel du Forum
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: From Sunlit Hills of Provence to the Blue of the Mediterranean
(Thursday, May 2)

Note: Your luggage will be transported from the Hotel in Arles to where the motorcoach is permitted to pick up passengers on the main boulevard, a 7-10 minute walk.Travel by motorcoach (3 hours plus stops en route.) Walking and standing in the museum.

 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart to Nice, with rest stops en route.
 Lunch: Sample the flavors of Provence: Local produce and cheese, with a wine tasting.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: In the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes, explore the Renoir collection presently housed at the Grimaldi Castle Museum. Continue to Nice.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Nice Riviera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Matisse
(Friday, May 3)

Note: Walking on unpaved ground, cobble stone and paved streets. Walking and standing in the museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: LECTURE in the hotel: “19th and 20th Century Painters on the Riviera”. Learn how the beauty, light and mild winters attracted artists and their impact on the world of art on the Riviera. FIELD TRIP to the Matisse Museum, situated on the hill of Cimiez, in the Hotel Regina where Matisse lived. The museum houses a collection of works left to the city of Nice, where he lived from 1918 until 1954. Return to the center of the city to walk through Old Nice.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Nice Riviera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure
(Saturday, May 4)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Departure transfer by motor coach to Nice International Airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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