By LL Editorial StaffEvery great city has its must-see museum and their great works of art have been studied by students around the world. But to actually view these masterpieces up close certainly adds a heightened level of appreciation for their creators. The works of Picasso, Michelangelo, van Gogh and Rembrandt not only hold the gaze of admirers, but also manage to transcend time providing a common, universal thread.
You may not be able to spend a night at the museum, but you can certainly spend an entire day scouring the collections at New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. With a permanent collection that includes two million works representing everything from prehistoric artifacts to modern sculpture, the museum has a collection that spans the globe and includes one of the world’s most comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Once the museum has closed its doors for the day, it is likely you will find appreciation in another of the city’s masterpieces, such as legendary The Plaza hotel and The Sherry-Netherland both of which offer incredibly luxe accommodations.
Visiting Florence, Italy, is like being in one enormous museum sans walls. Art and sculpture are on display at every turn and many of the city’s buildings have architectural and historical significance, including Galleria dell'Accademia. Built as one of Europe’s first schools of drawing, the museum houses several works, mostly sculptures, by Michelangelo. Yes, The David in all his statuesque glory is found here as well as an impressive and extensive collection of paintings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Unlike the starving artists of Florence past, you can luxuriate in one of the city’s remarkable hotels, such as the Montebello Splendid or Villa Mangiacane, and toast your good fortune with a bottle of locally-produced Chianti.
What can be said about the Louvre that hasn’t already been said? Considered the epicenter of French culture, this 12th-century Parisian institute is home to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, including the enigmatic Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. There are also Botticelli frescos and works by Lippi and Ghirlandaio. The modern I.M. Pei glass-designed pyramid, the gateway to the Louvre, provides a striking contrast between old-world and ultra-contemporary. Be sure to visit the Tuileries and Carrousel Gardens, which add an entirely different element to your artistic outing. Hotel Raphael, located near the Champs Elysees, provides the ideal home away from home while in Paris.