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Travelling for culture: the Grand Tour
Travelling for culture: the Grand Tour

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In this free course you have been introduced to the Grand Tour as a cultural phenomenon of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, in which members of the elite travelled to European destinations – particularly Italian cities like Rome – for the purposes of leisure, education, and enhancing their social and intellectual status. An encounter with the ancient world and its fragmentary remains was a central part of this experience, and you have seen how Grand Tourists commemorated and reflected upon this encounter in various ways, especially in art and literature. Even within antiquity, ancient artefacts and buildings like the Colosseum could carry different meanings in different contexts, and visitors in the modern world have played an important role in the ongoing reinterpretation of what ancient cultures mean today.

If you are interested in delving further into Classical Studies and different ways of studying the ancient world, you might be interested in our free course which introduces you to the Greek and Latin languages: Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

If you’d like to learn more about studying Art History, try our free course Art and Visual Culture: from Medieval to Modern.

For more on different ways of approaching poetry, try this English Literature free course: Approaching poetry.

And if you want to explore Creative Writing in more depth, try our free course Start writing fiction: characters and stories.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A112 Cultures.