Die Italienreise des Freiherrn Guidobald von Welsperg und Primör 1675–1676
The article exemplifies the role of the Grand Tour as the conclusion and culmination of an aristocratic education. The educational journey of the Tyrolean nobleman Guidobald of Welsperg began immediately after he completed his academic studies at the university of Innsbruck, taking him and his tutor through Italy, which was particularly popular as a Grand Tour destination thanks above all to its political diversity and cultural richness. Although Rome’s importance was waning, it continued to be regarded as the Caput Mundi by Catholic noblemen, especially during the 1675 Jubilee, underscoring the religious aspect of the journey. The advantages Rome had to offer must inevitably have had a formative effect on the young Tyrolean nobleman. The costs of the journey were high and out of reach of the majority, and therefore represented an important element of social distinction. At the same time, such an educational journey was a means of improving one’s education and polishing one’s manners that was almost obligatory for career purposes. Only by visiting foreign countries and courts could one acquire the Weltkenntnis, or knowledge of the world, qualifying an individual for higher posts at court, in the diplomacy or administration.
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