On February 28th, 1787, Thomas Jefferson rode out of Paris, without his servants, setting aside his diplomatic duties for a solo, 1200-mile journey through France and Northern Italy. Although his stated purpose was to seek out restorative mineral waters to soothe an injured wrist, and check on the seaports where his young country had business, he had ulterior motives. Jefferson's plan was to visit France and Italy's greatest vineyards, to both drink the wine and to observe how they were farmed. His goals were liquid enjoyment and economic espionage -- and he took copious notes at every stop.
How To Use This Chart
Zoom in and click on each pin to see Jefferson's notes at each stop. Although Jefferson departed Paris on the 28th of February, 1787, his notes do not begin until March 3, in Sens, which is to the south of the city, somewhat north of Burgundy. Jefferson passed through and stayed in a number of cities on more than one occasion during his journey. If you zoom into Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille & Nice, you can view the pin for each of his visits to those cities.
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Sources: Itinerary and some text via Journey through France and Italy (1787) by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Journal quotes via Notes of a Tour into the Southern Parts of France, etc., 3 March–10 June 1787 at the National Archives