Admit it, on your first trip to Paris, going there was
something you just wanted to get “done” -- like
taking medicine or touching up your roots.
Love it or loathe it, IT'S WHAT YOU DO.
So you acquiesce to the prevailing travel wisdom and go by the book,
hunting down Mona (Lisa), Venus (de Milo), and scary images of vicious wars, dramatic seascapes and religious revolutionaries.
Feeling about as much enthusiasm as watching paint dry,
who could blame you for thinking just get it done,
tick off another notch off the bucket list....
There's a larger truth to this.
In reality, the Louvre is outrageously magical, a chance to see
the world in all its spellbinding, historical, and inspirational glory.
And, you’re free to roam as you please.
Can you think of a better deal that that?
Relax, there is no test at the end of your visit.
Just like its host city, the Louvre radiates inspiration and being in the moment.
This is Paris at its juiciest so get ready to savor some very delicious moments
and don't let anyone tell you it's a drag.
Yes, the size is staggering -- formidable, heavy, intimidating -- but
when you think about it, this is what first class travel is all about.
There is nothing restrained about this museum or its treasures.
As the largest monument in all of France,
the Louvre is twice as ambitious as anything you can imagine.
Frescoes from Pompeii, hieroglyphics from Egypt, tapestry, jewels and
maybe the kitchen sink, it's all here under one roof.
So buckle up.
If you think it's too hard or too much, stop worrying over the Big Picture.
Make a plan. Choose a field of concentration.
Look for something that you might singularly be able
to get into -- such as European Sculpture, Egyptian Antiquity,
the French Crown Jewels, whatever floats your boat -- and follow that path.
Rather than following the road much traveled of typical Louvre
wanderers -- bewildered and befuddled -- who suffer through
a spreadsheet of masterpieces with all the other sheep,
you'll be able to dive right in and engage with the exhibits.
and get ready to travel through the centuries.
Don't think museum, think theater - a virtual stage that will come to life if you let it.
Entertainment -- amusement -- recreation -- it's all on tap.
Try getting into a stage show or concert hall for such a bargain.
But that's just half the story.
don't forget, this was first and foremost the former home of french kings,
real people with names like Francois and Charles and Louis.
Even before you enter the building, think of the first french family
trying to re-make this palace into their home sweet home.
And once inside, amidst the collections, don't miss examining
every nook & cranny on your house tour.
House Hunters International on steroids -- with the very best address!
The Louvre is the historic bulls-eye of the map of Paris with its
twenty arrondissements arranged in a clockwise snail pattern
all wrapped around the 1st -- right where you're standing.
Look up, look down, look all around so you don't miss one exquisite detail
of the majestically painted ceilings and gold carvings that surround you.
Stop and think about adolescent monarchs running through the hallways
and courtesans revealing their "assets" in secret chambers.
Was it more prison than home? More hell or more heaven?
It's fun to speculate.
As for the entourage that lived in the palace, well, I think you can see
why Louis XIV and company eventually fled to Versailles.
features -- raw emotion and intimate experience at a glance.
The Louvre is a virtual potluck of faces, assimilating humankind of every persuasion,
its collections flawlessly executing a picture of life across the centuries.
Let's pretend your specific interest is sculpture.
Capturing different angles as you move around each piece, you're moved nearly
to tears by the chiseled depth and dynamic impression the artist has created.
So why not visit the Louvre JUST to look at sculpture?
Save the rest* for another time and focus your love and
attention on the gloriously diverse galleries of sculpted art.
*actually, you'll never see everything -- with well over 380,000** pieces in its collections,
it's not even worth worrying about....
We'll stick to our chosen field of interest, sculpture.
What should you see? Where do you begin?
True, the Louvre is stupendously large and intimidating.
Why waste your precious energy focusing on what you can't see?
Resolve upfront that you will not let your uncertainty
keep you from enjoying what you DO see.
Everyone (with a pulse) enjoys looking at Greek gods and goddesses.
Try starting there.
And don't forget the Marley and Puget courtyards -- definitely a
worthwhile search -- and oh! -- Michelangelo's slaves.....
Get the picture? It's easy once you get started.
"Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try."
and we both stood there contemplating the passing boats, which dazzled us
with their spotlights. ‘Look at them,’ I said, because I needed to talk about something, afraid that he might get bored and go home. ‘They only see what the spotlights
show them. When they go home home, they’ll say they know Paris. Tomorrow
they’ll go and see the Mona Lisa and claim they’ve visited the Louvre.
But they don’t know Paris and have never really been to the Louvre.
All they did was go on a boat and look at a painting, one painting, instead of looking at a whole city and trying to find out what’s happening in it, visiting the bars,
going down the streets that don’t appear in any of the tourist guides,
and getting lost in order to find themselves again.
It’s the difference between watching a porn movie and making love.”
Paul Coelho, author, quote from "The Zahir"
And yes, I, too, totally screwed up my first visit
by relentlessly searching for the "important" stuff.
If it's behind these legendary walls, it's in the big leagues.
So please, if you do yourself just one favor, stop being so logical
and simply walk around on blind faith, feeling your way around
and uncovering your own imagination.
Once the collection of kings and queens, consider your good fortune,
the privilege to see such treasure in the first place.
You didn't need to be born to royalty or fight a Napoleonic war to
secure these rewards -- or as the emperor referred to them, contributions.
You're able to view the world's greatest art at will.
As a guest in the grandest home in the french kingdom,
the Louvre is your oyster and you'll be richly rewarded just for showing up.
Enjoy what you see and save the Napoleon III apartments
or the 19th century french paintings and old Dutch masters for next time.
Yes indeed, you'll be back.
You recognize a good house tour when you see one and it didn't hurt one bit.
"Keep good company. That is, go to the Louvre."
Paul Cezanne, artist
Optimism. Faith. Life. Liberty. Pleasure.
Definitely not a dull day at a dusty old museum.
With the right attitude, you're in for a glorious treat.
It's all happening in downtown Paris at the one and only