I have to admit that prior to traveling, I had never really possessed a strong interest in art. That gradually began to change, first while experiencing the political nature of Bogota's street art scene. I grew more passionate when some Italian friends began explaining to me the symbolism behind the religious paintings in Tuscany. I'm not by any means an art expert, but I do enjoy learning about it, and I've been fortunate to have visited some of the world's most beautiful and creative cities.
The best word to describe this Tuscan capital is "enchanting." Everything about Florence is beautiful...the green rolling hills that surround the city, the ancient and detailed architecture, and the painted and sculpted masterpieces housed in the Uffizi Gallery by the likes of Michelangelo and Botticelli. Come to Florence for a taste of breathtaking renaissance art.
This hipster city on Australia's east coast is known world-wide for its street art. Hosier Lane and Centre Place are two of the most colorful and graffiti-filled alleys where artists come to share their creative energy. Melbourne has many talented buskers as well, so you can enjoy some street-side entertainment while exploring the city.
The City of Light is recognized universally as one of the planet's most beautiful cities. The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower are only a few of the monuments that make the city stand out as a place of graceful elegance. The Lourve is a must-see for any art-lover, housing pieces from all across the world. The most famous is the Mona Lisa of course, though I recommend leaving yourself ample time to explore the world's largest museum.
The Bogota Graffiti Tour was one of the biggest highlights from my backpacking trip through Latin America. This free walking tour was led by a knowledgeable local who informed us about the political nature of the art. Take for example, the two art pieces by "DJ Lu" shown below. The image on the left refers the poor working conditions of those in the mining industry, as well as the displacement of local Colombians when big mining industries take over their land. The pineapple-grenade symbolizes the displacement of local small-farmers in Colombia, when big fruit companies such as Dole take their land.
The Vatican, Italy
The Sistine Chapel is so beautiful that I would say it makes a trip to the Vatican worthwhile even on its own. Although it was definitely the most impressive masterpiece here, art-lovers won't want to miss the Vatican museums, St. Peter's Square, the Basilica, or Vatican city gardens. I especially enjoyed the audio tour I invested in while exploring the Vatican museums. It was so interesting to hear about the history and cultural relevance of the art. The Gallery of Maps, Apostolic Library, Room of Immaculate Conception, and Rafael's Rooms were all highlights for me there.
What first sparked your interest in art? A city? A specific artist? Share in the comments below.
I believe in God's grace through Jesus. I love to learn, in a variety of contexts - reading God's Word, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds around the world, and as a student of Linguistics and Foreign Languages at Western Washington University. Pages of My Passport is dedicated to sharing this journey of learning through written and visual content.