Giverny is absolutely gorgeous and a place I never expected to visit, but am so glad I did. What a treat to see the actual gardens and home that inspired this French Impressionist painter’s famous works of art. This is the birthplace of the Impressionist movement!
Painter Claude Monet moved to Giverny in northern France, just 45 miles outside of Paris, after seeing the charming village from a train while traveling to Normandy.
Monet rented this farm in 1883 and moved in with his wife and their eight children. By the time Monet died in 1926, the 86-year-old painter had spent almost half his life in Giverny.
There are many ways to travel to Giverny from Paris – I chose a Fat Tire Bicycle Tour (a Texas Company), and it was a blast! We met near the Eiffel Tower then took a private bus to the beautiful wheat and sunflower fields of Normandy on to the village of Vernon. There, we got our bikes, visited the local market for picnic supplies, and had lunch along the Seine River in a beautiful park. After lunch, we cycled the charming bike path to Giverny. We toured Monet’s house and gardens then leisurely pedaled back along the Seine River to the cemetery where Monet was laid to rest.
After strolling through Monet’s private gardens with thousands of brilliantly colored flowers and water lilies floating on the pond, we toured Monet’s home. It is truly as though you are walking through one of his beloved paintings.
One of my favorite memories was simply looking out a window of Monet’s house. Looking outside to the gardens through the window is literally like a framed painting. It was surreal.
It’s so easy to imagine Claude Monet painting in his gardens. This place is fabulous and truly a feast for the eyes and a dreamy French experience!
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photos courtesy by Terri Guthrie