The second part of our family day in the Loire Valley was spent in gorgeous Amboise, home of newly accessible Chateau du Clos Lucé.

The little city of Amboise, which dominates the Loire is both home to a medieval royal castle and the Le Clos Lucé where Leonardo Da Vinci spent more than 3 years at the end of his life from 1516 to 1519. Da Vinci came to Amboise invited by the king Francois 1er (Francis 1) and stayed there until his death. Do you know that he brought with him 3 paintings from Italy, of which Mona Lisa is obviously the most famous! A copy of Mona Lisa is on hanging in his atelier.

Chateau Clos Lucé is now fully accessible with a wheelchair-lift to access the exhibition areas. What a blessing to be able to enjoy this great exhibition featuring Da Vinci’s work! With so many small size and full size reproductions of many of his inventions even the most reluctant kids wants to become engineers!

It was really impressive to realise that he basically invented most of all things that Mechanical Engineers would spend the next 3-4 centuries finalising: moveable bridges, tanks, helicopters, bicycle, parachute, kite

The only thing missing there among his innovations is a wheelchair, but I guess he had that in his mind too!

Don’t forget to spend time in the beautiful garden where Da Vinci’s work is also on feature. If you have time, make sure to enjoy food with a view of the Loire from the top of Amboise.

If you continue south to Charente Maritime, also visit La Rochelle, Saintes and Rochefort.

There you can for example enjoy the great hospitality of our best Top Host Brigitte at Clos de Garenne: