Small talks from Versailles: why Versailles is in Versailles?

When talking about Versailles' royal palace, I noticed that many people do not expect it to be so far from the city centre. To be accurate, the Chateau is not even in the outskirts of Paris, being Versailles a nice, indipendent town with about 90000 inhabitans located 14 miles west to the Ville Lumiere. To …

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Hell’s never been so cool – Focus on Rodin’s “The Gates of Hell”

"The Devil pulls the strings which make us dance; We find delight in the most loathsome things; Some furtherance of Hell each new day brings, And yet we feel no horror in that rank advance" - C. Baudelaire. There is something very true in this Baudelaire's quote and I am not referring just to moral …

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When the Louvre was evacuated and Mona Lisa went missing

Two of the most frequently asked questions in my Louvre tour are: "What happened to the Louvre during WWII?" and "Why the museum was not pillaged?" The answer is an amazing history that worth to be told and should be transformed into a movie. Ready to discover it? Everything started in 1939, before the war …

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Focus on a Masterpiece: The most ancient statue in Paris

The last time I was in the Louvre one of my guests asked me to surprise him. He had already visited the museum several times so he was looking for something "new". Well, "new" is not really an adjective you often hear in the museum, where the youngest works are about 200 years old and …

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Small Talk from Versailles: a day with the Sun King

Thanks to several tv series and movies everyone knows that a very strict etiquette controlled, in ancient times, the social and private lives of the European royal and aristocratic families. Each country had its own rules that were progressively abandoned, especially in the last two centuries. Today we can still gossip - in a good …

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Focus on a Masterpiece: Le Balcon – The Balcony (Manet, 1868/69)

Today I was dreaming about having a balcony in Paris. Not necessarily a huge one. A small one would be fine for me. One like Le Balcon (The Balcony) painted by Edouard Manet in 1868/1869 would be perfect. I love that picture. It really is one of my favorite paintings ever so I decided to …

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