Carrick a Rede rope bridge Steve

Subject spotlight: Infusing art into any travel program

Art abounds all around us, especially when we travel.

The most popular destination cities, of course, include the world’s most important and famous museums. Hart Travel Partners groups regularly explore the Louvre and Orsay in Paris, the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence, the Tate Modern and National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh in Amsterdam, a trio of splendid galleries in Madrid and a host of others.

But our groups do more than just visit these museums. Our faculty and students conduct lessons, attend seminars, participate in workshops and more. While we also regularly create specific art-focused travel programs, many of our groups will incorporate art museums on their trips, regardless of their curriculum or destinations.

Plus, our groups experience art in more than just world-famous museums. In the past year, HTP groups have enjoyed various art-focused experiences in their programs, including:

  • In Madrid, groups often spend a day in the “Triangle of Art”: the Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Prado features classical works by famous artists from the Spanish school of art, such as Velazquez, El Greco and Goya. The Reina Sofía spotlights contemporary artists, such as Picasso and Dalí. And the Thyssen-Bornemisza includes a formerly private collection of pieces from the 13th to the 20th centuries.

  • In Cuba, groups take a morning drive to the outskirts of Havana to the house of José Fuster, the “Picasso of the Caribbean.” Every inch of his house is artistically adorned with his brightly painted sculptures and mosaics. His talent and style is so distinct and popular that it has spread to other houses next to his, creating an eclectic Gaudí-esque neighborhood known as “Fusterlandia” (right).

  • In Paris, groups have conducted special art workshops and have visited local artists’ studios, such as 59 Rivoli, to meet with artists and discuss their work.

  • In Beijing, groups visit the 798 Art District, or Dashanzi, a 50-year-old factory complex that has been re-invented into a popular art community that has attracted top artists and hosted various exhibitions.

  • In Berlin, our groups have held meetings with the Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design.

  • And our groups have explored open-air street galleries, including the East Side Gallery in Berlin (on the remains of the Berlin Wall) and the political murals in Derry and Belfast (on the remains of the walls dividing Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods).

We also have produced a number of programs primarily focused on art. A couple of our most successful itineraries have been:

  • Photography in Paris — Planned in conjunction with faculty, we produce an annual two-week program in Paris that allows students to study photojournalism and architecture then put their techniques to practice throughout the City of Light. Groups visit the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine and the Fondation Louis Vuitton building, designed by Frank Gehry, a famed venue for exchanges between artists and visitors from around the world. Groups attend lectures and presentations at the SPÉOS Paris Ecole de Photographie, the École des Beaux-Arts, about the architecture of the Louvre, and about photography with Dominique Escartin. And students conduct their own photoshoots at the Palais Garnier Opera House, the Sorbonne, Sacré-Coeur Basilica and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Faculty and students also enjoy time for review sessions of their own photography work.

  • Art in Italy — From Michelangelo’s David to Ghiberti’s Baptistry Doors, from the awe-inspiring frescoes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling to the spectacular mosaics of Ravenna, our groups explore the most renowned art throughout Italy. Students visit the Vatican Museums, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, the Borghese, the Accademia, the Uffizi and more during stops in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Ravenna and Venice.

While we can create any art- or photography-focused itinerary just for your group, we also can incorporate art experiences, including museum visits and workshops, into any program.

Ask us for our recommendations to add a touch of art to your next travel program. Just call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. — it’s that easy.


Steve Hart
Hart Travel Partners

Louvre Pyramid photo credit: Penny Ann Dolin, Arizona State University