Is Mona Lisa Based in Part on Da Vinci’s Male Apprentice ?

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Another day, another Mona Lisa theory. The world’s most famous painting has mystified and captivated us for centuries, and it won’t stop here. The latest theory is that the model for the Mona Lisa is actually two people: Lisa Gherardini, and Gian Giacomo Caprotti, da Vinci’s apprentice, model, and—some say—lover. Via artbean.com

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Francois Pinault, Luxury Goods Magnate, to Open Private Museum in Paris

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Ten years after he gave up in exasperation trying to build a museum for his vast contemporary-art collection, François Pinault, founder of a luxury-goods empire, has finally found a French home. The 18th-century Bourse de Commerce, next to Les Halles in Paris’s heart, will be converted by Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect, into a museum that will open in late 2018. Via nytimes.com

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Did you know? Saint-Véran in the French Alps is the highest commune in Europe

Saint-Veran in the French Alps is the highest commune in all of Europe

Located in the beautiful French Alps, Saint-Véran is the highest commune in all of Europe. It is perched on a flat grassy outcropping above a river valley. The Aigue Blanche river descends from the Queyras mountains on the southeast side and curves around the outskirts of the village property to create a magnificent valley view and feel. Tourists enjoy the village for it’s quaint and authentic vibe, often coming for both hiking and quiet relaxation. The village was at one […]

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Fairytale French Chateaux

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Paris offers all the attractions of a modern metropolis, but it can also be an enchanting experience for a traveler weary of the city’s hustle and bustle to explore the majestic French countryside. A drive or railway trip through the country will allow you to experience all that France has to offer, and historic castles are some of the most popular attractions outside the capital. With dozens of these medieval structures still standing, a vacation in France can also be […]

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A Very Brief History of Early Paris

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  Paris has changed a lot over the past 10 millennia: the earliest evidence of human habitation dates back to around 9,800 years ago, when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers made their home in what is now the 15th arrondissement. Excavations at Bercy turned up fragments of three wooden canoes, dating from between 4,800-4,500BC, and iron age hatchets from eastern Europe, suggesting that these early Parisians had already established trade relations with other areas of Europe. In what is now rue Henri-Farman, archaeologists […]

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This Ol’ House

Cairn de Barnenez

Dating from around 4,800 BC, one of the earliest megalithic monuments in Europe is the Neolithic cairn at Barnenez in Brittany. It predates the oldest ancient Egyptian pyramids by more than two millennia, and is considered to be the oldest extant building in the world.

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Nice Wines

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By that I mean, wines from Nice. “But wine doesn’t come from Nice!” I hear you exclaim, “It comes from Champagne, and Bordeaux, and…” Mais oui, this is true… but it also comes from Nice. The only AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) within city limits, Bellet is not only one of the smallest in the country but also one of the oldest (since 1941). Granted, when mention is made of this coastal area between Cannes and Monaco, vineyards are not what […]

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Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat

Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat

Sandwiched between Monaco and Nice is Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, which, according to a 2008 study by Citi Private Bank, and Knight Frank, is the most expensive peninsular in the world, and almost the most expensive place to buy property – beaten only by Monaco and London. Real estate prices in Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat are roughly three times as high as in Paris, and double those of Tokyo.

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Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges

Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges

Although not as well-known as its world-famous November counterpart, last weekend, Burgundy’s wine capital, the town of Beaune, held its annual Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges wine auction of over 100 barrels of local and premier cuvées in order to raise money for its 132-bed hospice. Now in its 54th year, the charity event, which attracts oenophiles from around the world, kicked off with its usual half-marathon race, followed by two days of wine tasting by industry professionals and the public. Sunday afternoon […]

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Champagne and Burgundy recognized by UNESCO

Day tour in Champagne from Paris

The 39th assembly of UNESCO, held in Bonn Germany on July 4, saw five cultural sites accepted – two in Denmark, one in Turkey and two in France. Both French sites are recognized for their viticultural heritage; the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne around Reims and Epernay, and the 1,247 climats, or individual terroirs, of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy. Also recognized are the historic centres of the town of Beaune and the city of Dijon, both located in […]

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