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Normandy: Top Spots to Find the French Artist in You

 The city of Rouen.

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What further allure does the French countryside need than its own cinematic beauty? Head northwest from Paris into Normandy and you’ll find a landscape so richly varied you’ll be hard-pressed to catch a breath: from verdant fields to sandy beaches, the snaking banks of the Seine to chalky cliffs plunging precipitously into the sea. Even so, Normandy has manufactured a grand excuse for visiting this particular summer: the region’s first-ever Impressionism Festival, with more than 300 events through September 26, 2010. Important works from collections across the world have found their way here just for the occasion. Normandy is, after all, Monet’s home territory. And if you keep your eyes peeled in the self-proclaimed “birthplace of Impressionism,” you’ll find more than one famous painting come to life.