Travel Picks: Top 10 art and architecture destinations

Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:22am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - From Picasso in St. Petersburg to sculptures in Sydney, Hotwire.com has compiled a list of the top 10 places to admire famous art around the world. Reuters has not endorsed this list.

1. Paris, France

It may seem obvious, but there's a reason why Paris always ends up on top of most art-lovers' lists. Start with one of the largest and most well-known museums in the world, the Louvre (Musee du Louvre). This museum displays an estimated 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. And of course, the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) is one of the most famous architectural works of art in its own right. Beyond the Louvre, visitors can experience impressionist and post-impressionist French art at the Musee d'Orsay, the surrealist movement at Espace Dali or view modern works by artists like Pablo Picasso at the Musee d'Art Moderne.

2. Florence, Italy

Known as the "cradle of the Renaissance," Florence is overflowing with beautiful pieces of art and architecture. Before even setting foot inside a museum, visitors can take a tour of Firenze to bask in all of the great architecture that makes up the city. From palaces to monuments to religious buildings, the city itself is a giant museum of master architectural work that is sure to leave folks breathless. Once inside these beautiful buildings, be sure to visit Galleria dell' Accademia (Academy Gallery), which is home to Michelangelo's David, or the Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Galleries), to view works from artists such as Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

3. Vatican City

St. Peter's Square is an architectural masterpiece designed by Gian Bernini in the seventeenth century, but it's the Vatican museums and churches that are the stars. These museums hold an immense collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts that have been collected by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. This includes some of history's most renowned works of art, such as Michelangelo's painted ceiling at the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment. Famous works by Raphael can also be found throughout the Vatican but are mostly concentrated in the Apostolic Palace. And don't forget, just outside the Vatican walls sits Rome, which could stand alone as an art lover's delight with its museums and Roman architecture.

4. Berlin, Germany

Over the last 20 years, Berlin has emerged as one of the biggest art venues in Europe with an impressive selection of new architecture, exhibits and art galleries. But even with its new art scene, Berlin will always have strong ties to the past, which can be seen at one of the 17 Berlin State Museums that are divided into five clusters. Museumsinsel (Museum Island), a complex of five museums, is the largest in Europe, and is comprised of the Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, and Pergamon Museum, which were all built on the site of the original city settlement. The museums' collections range from Roman and Greek Classical Antiquities, to 19th century sculptures and paintings, to prehistory and early history.   Continued...