Villa Belleza

Biarritz was still only a modest refuge for fishermen, surrounded by cliffs and wild dunes, when the Spanish Eugenia de Montijo, Countess of Teba, fell under her spell in 1834. Having become Empress of the French, she took her husband Napoleon III there, who made him build a palace in 1854-1855. From then on, the crowned heads and fortunes of Europe flocked to the first chic seaside resort in history. We will bring you to The Biarritz Historical Museum to discover all the facets of this character and her favorite places, from the Côte des Basques, where she bathed in

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Saint Jean de Luz

Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a corsair city, was marked with the royal event on June 9, 1660, the solemn wedding of  French King Louis XIV and Spanish Queen Marie Thérèse of Austria. The Queen arrived a month earlier in the House of the Infanta. “There are no more Pyrenees” said the Sun King after the ceremony in the Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which concludes the union of two countries at war for 30 years. On June 6, the Treaty of the Pyrenees was initialed on Île aux Faisans, between Hendaye and Irun. Almost 400 years later, it is possible to visit all of these

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This tour we will provide  you a very precise  idea of the oldest Madrid heart The Essential Tour will give you a great overview of the old city. The tour encompasses 16th and 17th-century Madrid, including the grand plazas and traffic arteries that the Habsburg families built to transform a quiet town into a world-class capital. We well take you on a stroll through ‘Essential Madrid’, centering our tour around: Plaza Mayor, The Royal Opera House and the Royal Palace area. We will guide you down medieval streets, across majestic squares and through 1200 years of history. The open-natured people, diverse languages

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Il Guercino vs Velazquez

During the last week in Rome I tried to travel back a few centuries ago and imagine Diego Velazquez visiting the city in 1630. Walking through the rooms of the Barberini Palace, wandering at the Vatican Museum I look intensely at those artists who fascinated him. What did Velazquez think when he came to the halls of Raphael and the Sistine Chapel, when he first faced the masterpieces of Caravaggio? It’s amazing the fascination that these works still produce today. I like to imagine when he met his Italian contemporaries. The art he was just discovering, those have had around

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“Moderation curbs all the vices. The ermine prefers to die rather than soil itself.”

Leonardo da Vinci was an inventor, scientist or draughtsman. Cesare Borgia briefly employed him as military architect and engineer between 1502 and 1503. Cesare and Leonardo became intimate friends and Cesare provided Leonardo with an unlimited pass to inspect and direct all planned and undergoing construction in his domain. Before meeting Cesare, Leonardo had worked as a painter at the Milanese court of Duke Ludovico Sforza in the late 1480s and  the 1490s, until Charles VIII of France drove the Sforza out of Italy.  While in Milano Leonardo painted the masterpiece “Lady with an Ermine”, portraying the sitter of Ludovico

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