Grand TourIn the 18th century, the Grand Tour was a kind of education for wealthy English noblemen. It was a period of European travel which could last from a few months to 8 years. During the Tour, young men learned about the politics, culture, art and antiquities of neighboring lands. They spent their time sightseeing, studying, and shopping. Italy with its heritage of ancient Roman monuments became one of the most popular places to visit. At the same time, art students from all parts of Europe also came to Italy to learn from ancient models. Sometimes, the trip south was as liberating sexually as it was aesthetically, as several erotic drawings show.
During the 19th century, most educated young men took the Grand Tour. Later, it became also fashionable for young women. A trip to Italy with a spinster aunt as chaperon was part of the upper-class lady's education.