Postcard from Giverny, France - In the footsteps of Monet

Monet's garden. Photo (c) Foundation Monet

A visit to the artist's home should not be missed

A visit to the home and gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny is a step back in time. As you view the multitudes of perspectives, you can visualize Monet at his easel, painting the famed waterlilies with the greenish bridge in the background.

The garden is planted with a blaze of color. In springtime, the azaleas, in all hues, are interspersed with every conceivable bulb and spring perennial. The colors are chosen as if from an artist’s palette and continually direct the eye. Every step you take along the curved pathways feels as if you are walking inside a Monet painting. And the light; as the day awakens and shadows form, the view changes and continues to change. The gardens are magnificent in every season as we see nature take its course.

Claude Monet lived in Giverny for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926. He expanded the house on the property to shelter a large family and chose the exterior and interior colors and decorations himself. He painted his dining room a bright yellow to showcase a collection of blue dishes and chose stunning blue tiles and blue paint in the kitchen, offset by a large collection of hanging copper pots, to complement the eye while dining in the adjacent room.

The home no longer has Monet’s original works; they can be found at museums and in private collections throughout the world. They have been replaced by copies in each room so you can see the beautiful gifts from Monet’s contemporary artist friends along with his own works.

Giverny is about 50 miles (75 kilometers) from Paris and approximately one and a half hours driving time, making it a wonderful day trip. The gardens and home are open in 2017 from March 24th to November 1st, daily from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm, with the last entrance at 5.30 pm.

Tickets can be pre-purchased to skip the lines or on site. Normal fare and seniors: 10.20 euros; children under 7, free of charge; children and students: 7.20 euros; disabled, 5.70 euros. There is an e-ticket management fee: 1.45 euros per order.

Don't want to drive?

If you don’t want to drive to Giverny, you can get there by train. The Vernon-Giverny station is situated on the main train line Paris/Rouen/Le Havre. The fastest trains complete the journey in less than 45 minutes. If you arrive by train, you can take a taxi or the bus shuttle. Several taxis are generally waiting at the train station. Fare to Giverny is around 20 euros.

From spring to autumn a bus shuttle links Vernon-Giverny train station and the central bus station in Giverny main parking lot. Tickets are sold onboard vehicle with compulsory validation. Daily round trip fare is 10 euros.

If you are in Paris or the surrounding area, make the time to visit Giverny. It’s an unforgettable experience.

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