In the minds of art lovers, Claude Monet and Giverny are forever entwined. He lived in the town 50 mi/80 km west of Paris from 1883 until his death in 1926, tending the gardens he so beautifully depicted in some of his best works. Many of those paintings are now on display at the Orangerie and Marmottan museums in Paris.

Most people will want to visit Giverny in the spring or summer to see the gardens, which have been replanted to look as they did in Monet's time. They are lush, colorful and beautifully laid out. Aficionados will thrill at the sight of the Japanese Bridge and the Water Lily Pond. The artist's house and studio have been nicely restored, too.

Located on the banks of the Seine, Giverny is usually visited on a day trip from Paris. Beware of the crowds in the summer, and try to go on a Tuesday or Wednesday rather than close to the weekend.

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