Well, what could I say about Amboise, except that I love this town. It is very small but as the saying goes, *small is beautiful*. The thousands of tourists who visit it every year seem to agree.
Amboise is located in the Loire Valley, 35 kms from Tours and about 250 kms southwest of Paris. As with many other towns in the Loire Valley, such as Chambord or Chenonceau (which also are worth seeing), Amboise is famous for its castle built in the 15th century. During the Renaissance, François I decided to proclaim the Chateau of Amboise as the royal residence. You can visit it and imagine King François I walking along its corridors, followed by his courtiers. François I was a good friend of Leonardo da Vinci and it is said that he had a secret passage built between his castle and Leonardo da Vinci’s home, called the Clos Lucé. You can visit this Manor also in Amboise and have a look at all of Leonardo da Vinci’s futuristic inventions. Later, kings tended to forget the Loire Valley and went north to Paris instead.
Although Amboise is very small, all its streets are steeped in history and each summer night, from June through September, its “villagers” make its most prosperous times come back to life in a show set in the garden of the castle.
But Amboise is not only an historical town (but I like talking about its past, as you may have guessed), it is also a city with its own specialties. As part of the Touraine, we can’t talk about Amboise or the Loire Valley without mentioning its famous wines (red, white or sparkling) such as Vouvray, Saumur Champigny, Montlouis. Most people there will tell you that a real “Tourangeau” can’t do without a glass of wine accompanied by some charcuterie. Rillons, rillettes and andouillettes might not seem very appetizing at first sight, but taste them and you won’t regret it!
If I had to summarize Amboise, I would say that it is a nice place to live and to visit. On your next trip to France, put Amboise on your itinerary and enjoy our warm welcome.
By: Alexandra Nougier