From La Serenissima to the Eternal City: The Grand Tour in 18th-Century Venice and Rome

“Sir, a man who has not been to Italy is always conscious of an inferiority…”

Samuel Johnson

“In Rome I have found myself for the first time.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The spectacle of Venice afforded some hours of astonishment and some days of disgust.”

Edward Gibbon

The tradition of the Grand Tour of continental Europe as a “finishing school” for well-born, young men peaked in the years from 1763 to 1796. During a time in their late teens, these individuals from the moneyed, upper classes considered visiting the major art centers of Europe with a


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