I was in my element
I really enjoy art, and personally one of my favourite art movements is ‘Impressionism’, the likes of Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and of course Monet.
Claude Monet lived at this wonderful family residence for over 40 years from 1883 until his death in 1926.
You can easily see why he fell in love with the dusty pink house, swathed in green shutters and set within such tranquil surroundings, it’s so idyllic.
The population in the village of Giverny around the time would have only been about 300 residents. (Although still pretty quiet today, once all us visitors had disappeared).
Arrive as early as possible, it gets busy, and there can be long queues.
As you wander through the rooms in Monet’s house, you do get a sense of a lived-in family home. The salon-studio was a particular favourite of mine, with examples of his works covering the walls.
You get a feeling when you walk into the large sunny dining room and the blue & white ceramic tiled kitchen, that home life was important to him and his wife.
But it’s not until you wander up to the floor above that you truly get to appreciate the beautiful views looking over the walled floral garden below.
Not only was Claude Monet a fantastic painter he was also a pretty keen gardener.
Evidence of this can be seen amongst the masses of flower beds in the Clos Normand (walled garden).
Then the pièce de résistance, the water lilies and the infamous Japanese bridge and creeping wisteria, flanked by the weeping willow.
I know there are crowds around, but it is still peaceful, as everyone wants to be transported to that serene setting in Monet’s paintings.
Weaving along the paths the planting is amazing, and the fragrance from the flowers are uplifting.
Wandering around the main pond, the theme remains oriental, and there is an incredible swathe of bamboo.
Once you’ve visited Monet’s home, take a stroll through Giverny village.
It’s mainly pedestrianised and is a pleasant walk with a very ‘arty’ theme about it, as other artists resided, here not only Monet.
You pass by some lovely French homes & boutiques, and you can also visit the Museum of Impressionism.
Off to Church
Gary knows me all too well, and I never pass up the opportunity to visit a historical cemetery. So, we make our way to Sainte-Radegonde Church at the end of the village, as this is the final resting place of Claude Monet and his family.
I particularly enjoyed the visit to Giverny & Monet’s home & if you are also a fan then be sure to squeeze it into your Normandy visit.
Adult admission is €9.50 to visit the house & gardens in 2017 – Parking is free
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To visit Giverny? We used Rouen as our base for exploring the region.
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