European Holidays For Culture Vultures: A Guide To Summer 2022

Europe is home to some of the most renowned artists across the globe, and every piece of artwork, even the very architecture it is housed in, is a testament to the culture and history behind it. Europe is widely known for its historic, yet dynamic and avant-garde art scene, and is constantly changing its approach to the world of art.

It has been the birthplace of many foundational artistic movements, including the Renaissance (1350-1620), the Impressionist movement (1860-1886) and Cubism (1907-1917) among many others, and the diverse landscape and rich heritage continue to inspire new ideas to this day.

Here, we’ll look at three of 2022’s top holiday destinations and must-see exhibits for creatives, culture vultures, and those who simply fancy an ever-popular European roadtrip.

Home to Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci among many other Italian innovators, Florence is essential for any art lover visiting the continent.

The city itself is a haven for architecture buffs and places Italian Renaissance art and architecture centre stage with some of the most glorious examples of religious art of the modern age, including Michelangelo’s David, and Giotto’s Madonna of San Giorgio al Costa.

The best way to view Florence is not by making an itinerary or working your way through a guidebook. Florence is a treasure hunt of a city, with architectural embellishments and lavish frescos tucked away in alleys and niches to be discovered unexpectedly. Make your way through bustling Italian plazas, and sun-scorched cobbled streets, and discover with your own eyes the art and culture of this vibrant Italian city.

If, however, you would like to pencil some exhibitions in the diary, the revolutionary works by Donatello are currently on show at the Palazzo Strozzi and Bargello Museum until the 31st of July.

Donatello’s works were highly influential across the Renaissance period, and the artist was commissioned by the great Medici family to create some of the most famous sculptures and architecture of the Renaissance era, including the Tomb of the Antipope John XXIII and the facade of the Santa Maria del Fiore.

The 22nd of September 2022 to the 29th of January 2023 will showcase the most extensive Italian exhibit of contemporary Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson to date, at the Palazzo Strozzi. This exhibition plays with the effect of light, colours, and shapes to take the viewer on an inspirational journey through Eliasson’s creative development.

As the birthplace of Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Fauvism, a major fashion design capital and a hub for writers and filmmakers alike, Paris has firmly cemented its role in the global creative industries and flourished in traditional and contemporary spheres alike.

Paris is home to some of the world’s most celebrated art collections, including the Louvre which is widely considered to be the greatest art museum in the world, with 40,000 works on display including the Mona Lisa and 9 million visitors every year. The Musée D’Orsay is also an essential visit, with one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including art from famous Parisien artists including Monet, and ranked fifteenth in the most-visited art museums of 2020.

And of course, if your tastes are more modern, you can catch contemporary exhibits at the Saint- Germain, Belleville, and Marais galleries.

If you’re a lover of French cinema, you must not miss the Cinémathèque Française’s homage to actress Romy Schneider on the 40th anniversary of her death. The tribute will feature Schneider’s roles, lines, diary, images, and interviews for a deeper insight into Schneider’s life and creative processes. The exhibition will run from March 16th to July 31st 2022.

The Musée D’Orsay features a collection of hundreds of works by Edvard Munch, entitled A Poem Of Love, Life And Death from September 20th 2022 to January 22nd 2023. While many people are familiar with The Scream, this exhibition is an eye-opening look into Munch’s artistic career and reveals a depth and diversity to his works which often escapes the public eye.

This exhibition is an exciting array of paintings, sketches, prints and engravings which highlight his diverse artistic skills.

Briefly home to post-Impressionist painter Van Gogh, Amsterdam is famously one of the leading influences in art and culture and has several art museums including the Rijksmuseum, as well as over fifty theatres, a symphony orchestra and two ballet troupes.

The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands and showcases over 800 years of Dutch art history, including the great Dutch artists Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer. The collection consists of over 1 million objects with a maximum display of 8,000 pieces, and includes influential works such as The Milkmaid by Vermeer and Rembrandt’s Night Watch.

This year’s lineup will include the works of English modernist sculptor Barbara Hepworth (3rd June to 23rd October 2022) which explore her post-war period, as well as exhibitions of Modern Japanese Lacquer art (1st July to 4th September), XXL Paper artworks (1st July to 4th September) and early photography of Japan (1st July to 4th September).

For something quirky, you could drop in to the Crawly Creatures exhibit, which focuses on the beauty and brutality of the insect world, featuring artists including Albrecht Dürer, Wenzel Jamnitzer, Jann van Kessel and Maria Sybilla Merian, or Clara the Rhinoceros, which focuses on the life and depictions of one of the first rhinoceroses to be brought to Europe (30th September 2022 to 15th January 2023).

Travelling Travails

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries introduced restrictions on who could enter or exit their borders. And while restrictions have now eased across much of the world, it is well worth checking to see what you may be required to do before you are able to travel from your home country to one of Europe’s cultural hotspots.

Additionally, if you are travelling from the UK, you may have additional obstacles to navigate that relate to Brexit.

While much attention so far has focused on the difficulties caused to trade and the movement of goods, Brexit has also introduced some additional criteria that people must meet if they are to travel to certain EU states, and this is something UK tourists will need to deal with prior to their trip.

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