Autumn 1516: Leonardo da Vinci, 64 years old, has accepted the invitation of Francis I, to reside in France and become “first painter, engineer and architect of the King” He left nearly all of his works behind in Italy but he crossed the Alps on the back of a mule he carried with him some manuscripts, notes, sketches and three paintings: Virgin and Child with St Anne- the Mona Lisa- St John the Baptist. The sovereign himself was waiting in Amboise to meet the great Italian and granted him one of the region’s castles, the chateau Clos Lucé , where Leonardo spent his last year of life and died in 1519.
The last three years of Leonardo life and works are the focus an extensive series of initiatives along the Loire valley,
From 18 June until the end of the year the Castle of Clos Lucé will host the exhibition “From Clos Lucé to Louvre Museum: three masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci”: the Mona Lisa, Saint John the Baptist , Virgin and child with Saint Anne which will be added to the permanent exhibition of Leonardo engineer.
Many events also at the royal castle of Amboise: guided tours dedicated to Leonardo, visits of the castle following a role-playing path inspired by historical events. historic night shows in July and August
The Loire Valley is the logical extension from Paris: only 1 hour away from the magical city it can be reached in many ways. We offer an array of regular tours, small groups or private crafted tours.
For our FIT clients who prefer to drive we provide a large choice of accommodation in the region: 5 stars Castles, Maisons d’hôte, demeures &t auberges de champagne along our suggested itineraries .
For cycling enthusiasts, the Loire à Velo track is one of the most beautiful in Europe. The route winds its way through the region and cover more than 800 miles a combination of travel, nature and culture. Lets us suggest some s cycle routes itineraries we will take of every thing for you.