Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

January 18, 2022

Curiosities of my road warrior western campaign!!

Well, I have been saying road warrior in my posts. The reason is I love to travel by car and lucky to be in belle France , both central north and west areas that allowed me to do these trips. I have passed by many many small towns that seems obscure at first but pack a wonderful history and heritage of their own. Therefore, let me use this post to tell you about Etauliers, St Jean de Beugné, and Mouzillon.

The town of Saint-Jean-de-Beugné is located in the Vendée department 85 of the Pays de la Loire region. The St John the Baptist Church built from the 12C to the 15C. It has three altarpieces, and a portrait oil on canvas of St John the Baptist. It is right on the road D137.

Saint jean de Beugné

You can see precious remains of its heritage with the Chapel Sainte Catherine des Mottes, 12-13C near the communal hall in the village of Les Mottes, dating from the Carolingian period or about 751 to 987. An important period in the history of Saint Jean de Beugné, explains the name of St Jean arose from the 8C with the evangelization and the establishment of a priory in the current town depending on the monastery of Luçon. The dominant lord belonged to the Chateaubriand family With the Hundred Years War everything was destroyed and became English possession, The writings tell us that the parish belongs to 2 owners, one to the Marquis de Dangeau and the other to the Chapter of Luçon, A note that during the revolutionary period, the town was called Beugné en Plaine.

The city of Saint Jean de Beugné on its heritage

The town of Mouzillon is located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region. Mouzillon is located in the Muscadet vineyard, 2 km from Vallet, 6 km from Clisson, and 28 km from Nantes.

The tourist attraction of Mouzillon is undoubtedly its Gallo-Roman bridge of four unequal arches which spans the Sanguèze. It would be the vestige of a Celtic road which linked Rouen to Bordeaux and of which Mouzillon would have been a stage. Nearby, the Saint-Julien fountain, said to be miraculous for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. The Saint-Martin Church, rebuilt in the 19C in neo-Gothic style, The church is dedicated to Saint Martin de Vertou, abbot, evangelizer of the region in the 6C.


The city of Mouzillon on its heritage

The vineyards of Nantes on the muscadet grape and Mouzillon

The town of Étauliers is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is located on the D137 road 60 km from Bordeaux.  By the A10 highway/motorway, Bordeaux is 35 minutes away. The highway junction is 3 minutes from the center of the town,

It is a station on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, a town of history, it owes its prosperity to its geographical location. The ancient Roman road, which links Saintes to Blaye, was used for fourteen centuries. In the 12-13C, it was used by pilgrims to Saint-Santiago de Compostela. A hospital, located near the road, run by religious, was intended for the rest of travelers. The D137 road was known under the name of “royal road” (imperial road under the Empire) and dates from the reign of Charles VIII. Its creation involves the establishment of hotels, inns and stagecoach services which are established by the roadside.

The parish Church Sainte Marie Madeleine rebuilt in 1853, neo-Gothic style, of great purity. It was consecrated on July 22, 1857 and is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. The richly decorated tympanum of the facade houses God the Father surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists: a lion, an eagle, a bull and a young man. Stone draperies hide false doors. Many stained-glass windows illuminate the interior of the building. Among the saints represented on these stained glass windows, figure Saint Romain, priest and apostle of Blayais,

On August 3, 1808, Napoleon I, the Empress Joséphine and their retinue made a short stop at Étauliers on their return from Bayonne. Another stopover for the emperor took place on October 29, 1808 while he was on his way to Spain. They were accommodated at the Dezage hotel. During its transformation into city/town hall, a Renaissance style fireplace was left in 1903-1904, which is still in the town council chamber. It is shown to visitors as having been part of Napoleon I’s bedroom.


The city of Etauliers info

The private tourism site Caruso33 on the marvels of the Gironde dept 33 on Etauliers

There you go folks, wonderful road warrior trips in my belle France. Beauty, architecture, history is all around us and I am enjoying every minute of it. Hope you do like the post and venture out into the off the beaten path of my France, you will be even more amazed. For now enjoy Mouzillon, St Jean de Beugné, and Etauliers.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 30, 2021

The story of an American in Paris, Baker!

I have to remind you all that at this moment Josephine Baker is entering the Panthéon of Paris France! For her artistic and even more her resistance efforts for a free France in WWII. Honor where credit is due. Welcome Baker we are all proud of you!

More news! The metro station Gaîté, in the 14éme arrondissement and on the line 13 has a new name: Gaîté-Joséphine Baker!


On a rainy cloudy and cool humid what have you Sunday evening, and my game already , something in my blog. From a story by fame French presenter on the history secrets that I like, Stéphane Bern. Let me tell you a story about a lady not so much mentioned now but worth it in gold.

The story goes from Cabaret to Resistant fighter, as she was, let me tell you a bit about Josephine Baker. She was born very poor in Saint Louis ,Missouri on June 3rd 1906, her mother a laundry lady and her father never knew him, some says he was white. Her mother Carrie put her to work in rich families who mistreated her and exploited her. However, by 13 yrs old she gets into the spectacle virus and gets her first job in a small theatre., where she makes a sensational impression.

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June 25, 2021

Villa Borghese, heaven in Rome!!!

I arrived in Rome with the family, finally. After several business trips and telling them of the opportunities to see here , they wanted to come. Therefore, I obliged and took them all here by airplane Nantes, Roissy CDG, and  Rome’s Fiumicino. It was a very nice family trip and we packed a lot of sights into it. However, one of the best if not the best was the visit to Villa Borgnese a heaven in Rome!! Let me tell you a bit about it and hope you enjoy it as I.

I am back nostalgia sets in on our family trip to Rome ,Italy.  We walked a lot and came by airport bus right into our rental apartment by Nomentano, near metro Bologna. One of the most pleasant trips was to the Villa Borghese park a wonderful ,and a must visit while in Rome for all

The Villa Borghèse  is a municipal park of 80 hectares or about 198 acres in Rome.  It has a large group of buildings on the cultural nature as well as museums i The gardens of Villa Borghese were done following the plans of Cardinal Scipione Borghese to enhance the town and to house his art collection. In 1605 he ordered transformed a vineyard into luxurious gardens fed by several fountainsL This is the most important park in Rome since the Antique period.   The whole of the Villa Borghese was finished in 1633 . The current gardens dates from the 19C and done in the English style. The park was purchased by the Italian government in 1901 and given to the city of Rome in 1903 to be open to the public.




As it is a long story as I go along will post the relevant webpages. First, the area we stayed Nomentana

It houses numerous institutions of great renown and value such as the French Academy of Rome since 1803 and known as Villa Médicis The Villa Médicis was done around 1564 replacing the old gardens of Luculius . The villa is acquired in 1576 by the Cardinal Ferdinand de Médicis that until 1587  (when he becomes the Grand Duke of Tuscany) had done  to house his collection of antique arts, several bronces and several portraits. webpage:



Other important building and center , to me the main one is the Galeria Borghese, a museum exposing great work of art going back in time from the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The casino ,the main building of the villa, has lost most of the stucco decoration which framed ancient statues and reliefs. In 1807, Prince Camillo Borghese sold or was invited to sell to Napoleon I his brother in law, the collection of antiquities which decorated the interior and exterior of the building. webpage:

You have, also, the National Etruscan Museum of the Villa Giulia , you guessed works of arts before Roman times or Etruscans. ; the Villa Giulia adjoining the Villa Borghese gardens was built in 1551 – 1555 as a summer residence for Pope Julius III now it contains the Etruscan Museum. webpage:

The National Gallery of contemporary and modern arts, the largest of its kind in Italy. webpage:

Animal biodiversity in a zoological civic museum .webpage:

Pietro Canonica Museum , sculptor and composer, housing his collection. webpage:

The Carlo Bilotti Museum , an Italian American collector who gave his collections to the city of Rome and is house in the Orangery of the Villa Borghese. webpage:

The Bioparco, one of the oldest zoo in Europe inside Villa Borghese. webpage:

Villa Lubin inside Villa Borghese at Via di Villa Lubin, 2 it open in 1908 and until 1945 was the seat of the international institute of agriculture that is now FAO or the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation ; Since 1959 is the seat of the National Council on Economy and Labor or CNEL. Rome tourist office on Villa Lubin

The Silvano Toti  Globe Theater  was built identical to Globe theatre of London  the most famous of the Elizabethian period, the theatre here was built in 2003. webpage:

The Church Santa Maria Immacolata at the piazza di Siena inside  Villa Borghese . Built end of 18C for orders of Prince Marcantonio Borghese. Part of the complex of Casina di Raffaello; renovation were done in 1826. webpage:

The Casina di Raffaello with lots of kids activities in a renovated old mansion. webpage:


You see the wonderful Pincio Water clock , still going strong from 19C engineering. The Pincio is a hill on the north of the Quirinal that dominates the Campo di Martes with several villas including Villa Borghese where you have the clock.  The clock has four quadrants ideally recalling the trunk of a tree and allowing it to show the time in four different directions, to note his hands in the shape of tree branches to make this structure an architectural element almost natural in perfect harmony with Villa Borghese.



The temple of Diane is a small circular kiosk in the neo classic style and built in 1789 upon orders of prince Marcantonio IV Borghese. By Viale della Casina di Raffaello. All over the park you find wonderful creeks, and flower decoration, . Some of the more remarkable in my opinion are the one honouring Umberto I, son of king Victor Emmanuel II the first king of an unified Italy. King Emmanuel III succeeded but abdicated in 1946 and was follow by Umberto II but he abdicates a month later so becoming the last king of Italy. There is a monument to Goethe, the poet novelist and drama writer , and politician of Germany. Also a statue to George Gordon Byron or lord Byron done in the 19C. OF course, not all on pictures.  From the French Academy on the viale del Belvedere you have a wonderful view of Rome on the Campo Marzio, and perpendicular to the viale della Magnolia with a nice park for children and a magnificent restaurant I had tried on a business trip to dream in Rome , La Casina Valadier. Resto webpage




The Rome tourist office on La Casina Valadier restaurant in English:

The Rome Tourist Office on Villa Borghese park:

There you go folks as said a wonderful park in a huge historically renown city of Rome. I told you, it is huge we could not walked all and came back twice to it while there, so many monuments and buildings to see. My next trip will stay close to it and go at it again.  Enjoy it and do visit when in Rome.

And , remember for happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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