Reflecting on the Grand Tour of Italy
The Grand Tour, which lasted about one hundred years between the late seventeenth and the early eighteenth century in Europe, opened Italy to the rest of Europe and placed it on top of a pedestal as the source of intellectual greatness. Painters, architects, scientists, archaeologists, noblemen, and other curious people flocked to Italy to study its past and present. It offered museums, galleries, ruins, and modern day wonders like the Vatican. As the imperial powers of England and France began to grow at the end of the eighteenth century, the influx of Grand Tourists eventually slowed and and these nations began to see themselves as the greatest intellectual power and their colonies as the next frontier to explore.