This year marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth. In the last half a millennia, there is hardly another human who has seen as much praise heaped upon him. To say his body of work is admirable is a mild statement.
So, when I set my sights on writing a novel about the true identity of the Mona Lisa, I knew I could not miss a chance to travel to France this year to take in all of the fanfare.
For the last month, I’ve been cruising websites and consulting my lovely friend Celia who is a fabulous travel agent about this journey of a lifetime.
At first, I thought I might take my oldest daughter on the adventure. In the end, though, it looks like I will be traveling solo, and I’ve never been more excited.
I’ve busted out the Duolingo to make sure I can communicate with ease. Phrasebooks and maps are starting to pile up as well.
I’ve pulled out my Kate Mosse collection to re-read for inspiration.
Of course, I will be diving deep into the history, preservation, and stories surrounding Mona Lisa. A trip to the Louvre is definitely in the mix.
I’m most looking forward to a week in Amboise, France—especially Clos Lucé where da Vinci spent his final years.
Amboise is my kind of vacation town—a local open-air market for food, quaint house vacation rentals, the ability to walk everywhere, and evenings along the Loire River.
Of course, Chateau Amboise and the history of that magnificent place makes me swoon.