Started in the 17th century as a rite of passage for English young aristocrats, the Grand Tour was a trip through Europe in search of art, culture and the roots of Western civilization. The voyage included stops in the main cities of France, Italy (Firenze, Venezia and Rome as a must), Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Flandes, and served as an educational experience for the future ruling class. The exposure to the legacy of Classical Antiquity and Renaissance helped those tourists to establish a cultural hegemony during the following decades.

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