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The Grand (Golden) Tour

Have you ever read about the days of the Grand Tour - the idea of young people spending several months in Europe, absorbing enough Culture to last 'em a lifetime before returning home to 'settle down'... Wouldn't that be lovely?

I did travel to Europe when I was young enough to be able to get a Working Holiday visa - the problem being I spent so much time working, I only managed to see that which was accessible at the major galleries in London & Paris - so there's still so much to see. And where to start? How to find those out-of-the-way cultural treasures that are still located where they belong, as opposed to having been ripped from their intended home to be conveniently located for intensive viewing by city dwellers and hurried tourists?

I'd love to visit the sources I've used to make these collages, and I guess the first stage in planning that dream journey is to work out where they all are.

I'm thinking that perhaps local Golden Tarot fans who are lucky enough to live near where the paintings are may be willing to act as virtual tour guides, submitting first-hand accounts, photos, local advice to help Golden tourists and the like.

My first step will be to enter all of the source information into a spreadsheet so I can sort it by country, and then by city, town or region. Then, I'll start a page for each local area, listing the sources and how and where you can access them (if they're open to the public, that is). I could also add links to other sites of local interest.

If you happen to live near any of the sources, or even have just been a tourist in any of the locations and have stories to tell that may be helpful to others interested in seeing the sources 'in the flesh' then drop me an email on

I've only just discovered that the late and much-missed Brian Williams (author/artist of the Renaissance Tarot etc) hosted two incredible Tarot Tours in Italy.

First-hand accounts by several of Tarot's royalty:

Arnell Ando, US:
Mary K. Greer, US:
Fern Mercier, NZ:
Sarah Ovenall and Georg Patterson, US:

I doubt these tours could ever be equalled, but at least there's a path to follow :)

For example, at the Upper and Lower Church of the Basilica of San Franceso in Assisi, located in the Umbria region of Northern Italy you can see literally hundreds of works by:

... all in one place, and in the place they were intended to be seen.

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