The Grand Tour: the 18thC gap year


With the increased interest in history and the visual arts in the 17th and 18th Century and as travel became easier, young gentlemen of means were sent out for what we would nowadays call a "gap year" - although these journeys could last as much as three to five years.


The destination was the great cities of Europe, and in particular Italy with its newly excavated cultural treasures. Young gentlemen would spend time in Rome, Florence and Venice and visit sites such as Pompeii and Etruria. In keeping with this trend Wedgwood even called their new Staffordshire factory Etruria!