Discussed in this Episode
- Musée des Augustins [6:20]
- Jacobins Church [9:43]
- Compans Caffarelli Park [12:10]
- Jardin Royal [13:19]
- Grand Rond [13:19]
- Restaurant L'Entrecôte [17:36]
- Restaurant Emile (Cassoulet) [18:55]
- Musée Saint Raymond [22:51]
THIS IS AN AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED TRANSCRIPT
This is join us in France Episode 258. Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and join us in France is a podcast where you’ll hear a pragmatic advice for your next trip to France. Hopefully, you’ll get inspired to go beyond Paris and enjoy the rest of France too! On the podcast. I invite travel enthusiasts and Francophiles, such as my guest Matthew Piette on today’s episode, who joined me for a conversation about Toulouse in the southwest of France. Toulouse is the place where I was born and raised and where I live today, but I promise I let him do most of the talking! I thought it would be interesting to get a regular visitor opinion on Toulouse for a change.
After the interview I will also explain how you can get into the da Vinci exhibit at the Louvre which is on now until February 24, 2020.
If you’re interested in this episode, I recommend you also check out Join Us in France dot com, scroll down to the map on the front page, click on the Toulouse area and you see the list of all the other episodes we’ve published about our fair city and region. Show Notes for this episode are on join us in france.com forward slash 258 the number 258
Bonjour Matthew and welcome to Join Us in France!
Bonjour Annie, how are you today?
I’m well how are you?
I’m doing fine. Thank you.
It’s lovely. to hear from you, and we’re going to talk about my favorite topic to lose the lovely city of Toulouse. Great. So, the reason why I was interested in talking to you about this is we’ve had several episodes with Elyse about Toulouse, but as you know, we both live here. So I guess we’re not possibly the most objective people in the world. I was born and raised here. So so I was really curious to hear your thoughts as a first time visitor and especially one that has visited many other cities in France. Okay.
Yeah, um, year. You know, we had been to France this was actually our fifth trip, my wife Lori and I to France. And every time we’ve flown in and out of Paris, and usually as we’re preparing for a trip we you know, we do a fair amount of research looking on different areas in France as to where we would want to go of things that we haven’t seen your I’ve been listening to your podcast for. For several years now, and I have listened to pretty much all of your Toulouse episodes cool. And as we, as we were kind of circling around as to where we should, where we should go, you know, we kept coming back to Toulouse just because it’s an area, we’ve never been into the south of France. And that was that when when we saw as much as that there was as much stuff to do it, there is there was, you know, we we started working on the logistics and everything pretty much fell into place as far as as that as our destination to go.
Yeah. So I assume that the podcast maybe influenced you a little bit?
It did it certainly.
Yeah, that’s what happens with I mean, that’s what people report anyway.
Yeah. Well, you know, it’s, it’s nice to have the, you know, the perspective of somebody who does live there who knows a lot more than just just the highlights, and you get to you get the moment of seeing it as as a real city. Yeah, tourist destination.
Right. So what’s what? What struck you out to us? What What will your your overall impressions?
Well, I think the single biggest thing about to lose when we got there and when we spend time there we were actually there four nights was that it is a real vibrant city. There just a lot of things going on a lot of people out and about, ya know, from the, from the Capitole square to the, you know, Place St. George. Yeah, there. It’s just, you really got a sense that, that people, people just live there, you know, they’re they’re certainly worse some tourists but it’s, you know, it’s nothing like it’s nothing like Paris. Oh, yeah. And, you know, just seeing the students and with the, the industry there. It reminded me, you know, a lot more of Say, Chicago to Washington DC. kind of vibe. People live there.
I see what you mean. Okay. Yeah, that’s interesting. Yes. It’s a It’s a place where you will run into a lot more locals than tourists for sure. When were you here by the way?
We were. Let’s see. We ended April and the beginning of May. So we got into Toulouse…
Oh, yes. Yes. We got into Toulouse on on the Monday, that last Monday in April. Okay. Then stayed until Friday. We went back to Paris
and you had reasonably good weather.
Oh, the weather was beautiful. It was in the I think mid 60s to low 70s the whole time.
Yeah. from somebody who’s from Milwaukee.
Yeah, that that was that that’s not our temperature. At the end of April.
Yeah, I went. I went to Milwaukee several times for work and I would fly out from Toulouse and end up in Milwaukee and let me tell you, it’s not the same at all. The same weather at all, especially in February, which is usually when I had to go. Yeah. Okay, so So what did you see him to lose? Well, we’re talking about know your favorite. So while you were here,
our favorites, I guess they’re probably three things that I would that I put as our as our highlights. We really we really liked the Musee des Augustins. Oh, yes. There. There was some remodeling going on there. So one of the floors was not accessible to us.
Yeah, the whole thing is closed right now. They go Yeah, they I’m not sure when they reopen, but the whole thing is closed at this point.
So that so it is mostly that. I think it was that first floor that we were able to go into that had a lot of the Romanesque statues Yes. Yes. And the end the, you know, the, the statues from the Saint Sernin Basilica. Yes, we’re in there. And, you know, one one thing that I thought was really well done with that museum was that you got to see these the sculptures from a perspective that you never get to see them from. Right? I mean, you’re always looking 30 feet up in the air at them, right? Can’t see the detail. But here, you know, so you here you see these statues, and they’re all kind of at odd angles, because, you know, they’re made to be looked at from that other angle. So that was really interesting.
Yes, because there are I level, the way they display them. Now some of them are pillars, and some of them are on metal posts and they just do different things to display them. But it is pretty cool. There is the
room with all of the capitals from I believe it was three different three different churches. That also was was really, really well done. Again, they’re there at eye level, you can see the arch and they had really great descriptions explaining what the Bible story is. Because Because most the time, you know, I was, I was raised Catholic and you know, you see a guy with a key it’s going to be St. Peter, but most of them yeah, most
of them we don’t know. They were
Yeah. And then they had that. Very cool lamps above each one different in the different colored light. Told you which church was from. Yeah, I thought that was that that was so that was clever. I didn’t. I didn’t pick up on that until about halfway through when Laurie pointed out to me that
right and and you know, in southern France, we have mostly Romanesque churches. Gothic churches are northern France thing, which means that even even into the 1200 and the 1300s in the south of France, they were still building Romanesque churches and Mostly with brick a lot, a lot of brick, local brick. And so it’s a very different style than what you see in Paris or France or Chicago or places like that. Yeah,
we, the hotel that we stayed at was the up near the Basilica of St. Shannon. So, we went into there a number of times. And, you know, we had read that it’s a Romanesque church. So we weren’t surprised, but when you go in there and see it, it you know, the differences are really striking. Between there and the Gothic churches. So that was that was really interesting.
Yeah, yeah, it’s a fairly tall church, but it’s still Romanesque.
Yes. The I guess the second thing that we really liked was the Jacobin Church.
You know, that was that also was just a really a really striking building, building with the you know, that palm column Yeah. What East East End was really was really impressive to see. And, you know, the, you know, we went into the cloisters and there are those rooms in the back there, you know, that closure was was was really magnificent. Yeah. They did, they had a very nice display, the man who was instrumental in the restoration of it, you know, so that was, it was really an interesting building as well, you know, and was it St. Thomas Aquinas as relics are buried there, right. Yes. You know, so. So that was, that was another really fun thing that we saw.
Yeah, it’s a beautiful church. It’s I mean, it doesn’t serve as a church ever. It’s a it’s a concert hall at times, but only for very small. So they might put in maybe 100 chairs or something in that big open space and they might have some choral music, but it’s it’s not used primarily for that. It’s it’s just a place you visit and you go hang out and you just go wow, that’s that’s a beautiful feeling.
Yeah. And and, you know, there when we were there I think, I think it was on a Tuesday and, you know, there were just a just a handful of people in there. You know, maybe maybe 10-20 at the most, you know, again is nothing like what, you know, we’ve been to Chartres. There are a lot of people in Chartres all the time.
Yes, yes, yes. No, it’s, it’s nothing like that. Yeah, I mean, you you have locals, you know, those of us who grew up there we, I mean, I’ve been in there hundreds of times just to meet somebody or to go somewhere where it wasn’t so hot. Like on a day like today. It’s you know, it’s 100 degrees in Toulouse today, as we record this, and so I’m sure there are a lot of kids who are just in there, cooling off, because the space is the Walls are so thick that it doesn’t get near as hot as Sure.
As it is outside. The heat all goes to the top.
So we were when we were there, it was May Day. And when, you know, we needed to get our timing to go on the trip on that time and and, you know, we’re seeing, okay, we’re going to be in Toulouse on May Day. Everything’s closed in France on May Day, how is that going to affect our trip? And are you a little bit? A little bit concerned? Yeah. But that ended up that ended up really being kind of a real, a real benefit to us because it gave us a different set of things to see. So, you know, you know, restaurants and everything. We’re still open on that day. So there were no issues with that. Yeah. But what we, what we ended up doing on that day is we first walked up to the, the Japanese garden, you which which Park is that?
Yes, that’s where the statue of the tango singer
is correct? Yes, yes, please go. Oh, I’m gonna have to remember his name now. The Tango singer. Oh, I forgot. I’ll look it up.
So we so we went through that park. And you know, the the park itself is very nice and the Japanese gardens were were just beautifully done and it was, you know, that wasn’t something that we had expected to to see at all, but that was you know, that was very nice, you know, people in there doing yoga and meditating and just, you know, families, you know, having fun. Yeah. And, and then we we went from there, and this was just a full day and we walked all the way down through Gilets Jaunes demonstration. And we walked all the way down to the other parks, the Grand Rond and the Jardin Royal
Oh, that’s a long way
and spent, you know, we must have spent four hours just kind of meandering and going through those parts and, you know, stumbling across, you know, St Etienne church is there. And, you know there’s the World War One monument you know, the parks, you know, parks in France generally are a lot more popular than the parks in the United States. And I don’t know if this was because it was made a but it was just really really lively. There’s a lot of people out, you know, and especially in the which also Jardin des Plantes. Yes. You know, that’s where, you know, most of the people were in there, you know, little kiosks there where people are sitting around having a beer and it was just a really fun thing.
Yeah, it’s just pleasant. And you really the biggest problem with May Day is that transportation shuts down, especially city buses and metros and things like that. There is not a single one introduced. So you walked a lot. And that’s, you know, that was a great way to handle it. And the tango master is Carlos Gardel. Mr. Carlos Gardel. Yes. Sorry about that. I had forgotten his name.
Yeah. So, you know, the whole the whole time we were there, we did not take public transportation once. You know, not because we were avoiding it, or any way but, you know, we usually, we usually do walk a lot. And the only, you know, the only thing that we missed that we probably would have wanted to take public transportation to was the Abbatoirs Museum. Oh, yes, that one. That one will will be on our list for next time.
Yeah, about twice. I mean, it’s just across the river. It’s, it’s you can walk to it. I mean, like, when you were at Compans Caffarelli, you have to keep walking for another couple of kilometers and then you’re there but it’s, it’s just a little bit of On the way Yes,
yeah. And usually then usually when we take public transportation it’s mostly a time thing, right?
Yeah, yeah. So
yeah, so there were a couple other museums that we that we saw that I thought were were very good. I’m trying to think there’s the one that is in that in that mansion.
By Saint Sernin?
No no it’s right down by the is very close to the Pont Neuf.
It’s Hotel d’Assezat.
Yeah. Yeah. That was there was was very nice.
Yeah. And it’s a beautiful building a beautiful Renaissance building.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s something that we we would have missed, except that we did a tour with the Toulouse greeters and and you know that the I assume your your listeners are familiar with the greeter international greeters program. It’s It’s, you know, it’s a, we were just just Lauren, me with a local guide. And he took us around, we probably spent four hours walking to different things, you know, very, very tailored to, you know, what we were interested in was very nice. He was he was very knowledgeable and he just showed us all this stuff. And you know, it’s the greeter program, and it’s just a nice, nice program altogether.
Yeah, yeah, I didn’t realize they had on in Toulouse. That’s good. That’s really good. Yeah. And, and so did you. Do you have a like a restaurant that sticks out in your mind or the gastronomy the local gastronomy?
Well, the, you know, we find this in France all the time that it’s, it’s hard for us to get a bad meal. And in to lose was certainly certainly the case as well. Our first day there. We went to L’Entrecote. Oh, yes. And that was that was just that was just A lot of fun. Yeah, go to a restaurant they have they have one thing on the menu, you know, and they, you know, come in and asked us, how do you want to cook and we always say, what does the chef recommend? And our waiter waiter said that you want it this way and okay we’d argue and you know so no so so they bring the food and then they bring the they bring the frittes and they serve you the frittes and you know in in, in the United States, we have restaurants where there is all you can eat food too. But they don’t really try to force it on you here we we had our frittes and she you know she came back. Do you want some more? pretty full? No, no, you want some more?
I feel like I have permission now.
Yeah, they do like to overfeed us.
We also went to restaurant Emile. Okay, that was on On the Place Saint George. And we that had been recommended by our, in our, in our hotel life for that because we asked Where can you get a good Cassoulet here? And they said there’s the best. So we had, we had to go and do that. So that was a that was fun and that’s just again also a very lively lively place. Yeah, the sphere is is is very good. But there were, you know, there were just a number of other restaurants that we just kind of stumbled upon where the food was, was really good. There was a little it seemed like there are, you know, scores of these restaurants all over the place. Oh, yeah. And there’s just one we just happen to walk across and it was lunchtime and you know, we sit at a table and the, the owner comes out and, you know, he starts speaking to us in French, and the blank looks on our faces told him he needs to switch in English. So it goes back in and out comes the cook. She says she’s the only one who speaks any English at all and hers isn’t very good but waiting on us the whole time. You know? This is kind of where I, where I want to be right. You know, in Paris, everybody in the tourist area speak English. Yeah. So it was just nice to you know,
now you definitely use your French into those because even though a lot of people do speak English in the tourism industry, there are plenty of small restaurants where no, not so much.
You know, my French is good enough to to get by, you know, I can I can ask. I can ask questions and mostly not understand the answers.
But they know what I’m trying to
do. Yeah. And people always ask people are constantly asking me, what are the hidden gems in Paris and I’m like, by now nothing is hidden in Paris. I mean, unless it’s in a private home, right, you know to find hidden gems you have to come go away from Paris a little bit so
and you know and getting to and from Toulouse well getting anywhere in France is just is just really convenience you know that that train from whereas gear to more partners to Toulouse takes four hours. Yeah. Something like that.
Yeah four hours it’s either four hours or four hours and 20 minutes. It depends where they stop
yeah and you know i mean for it’s there I’ve had a lot worse Monday mornings than taking a train ride from Paris to Toulouse Yeah, so that was that was that’s part of the adventure for us.
Yes, yes. No, it’s it’s it’s very easy to get around Toulouse. So you tried to sorry, you talked about Cassoulet today. Did you like it?
Oh, yes. Yeah, I’m you know, that’s that’s what something that we that we Cook when we’re at home Oh in the winter here so you know so we’ve been eating Cassoulet for a while but you know having it there was you know, it’s always just a little bit better and
are you the cook or is your wife the cook?
Well we both cook Oh, I generally do the the the meat dishes and Lori does the salads and vegetables and so you know it’s something that we you know we like doing and very nice. Certainly. We certainly tend towards the French Belgian end of the of the food spectrum. That’s so good.
So is there anything you didn’t lose that you didn’t like? Like what? So Well, first question most people do not spend four nights in Toulouse Was that too much?
No, no, I don’t. I don’t I don’t think it was. You know, we, we try to get we don’t want to be a real a real hectic pace. You know, I don’t want to feel rushed. Yeah. And you know being able to spend it you know a day going to parks you know we did you know we did laundry one day when we were there. You know, we we take plenty of breaks to sit at cafes and and watch the watch the world go by, you know we did we also went to the museum St. Raymond. Yes. Which is which was which was really nice, but was probably something that if, if we didn’t have the that amount of time, we probably would have missed okay. You know, because he wrote you know, if you want to see Roman ruins you to lose this in the first place that comes to mind, but it was really, you know, there’s just really an interesting perspective on Roman history that we would have that we would have missed otherwise.
Yeah. So that one is the one right by the Basilica, right? Yes, yeah. Been inside for years. I you know, I I live here going to the museum is very much unless Elyse drags me.
Yeah, they had a, you know, they’re the displays there there were the normal, you know, here’s a room full of hundred Roman busts and here are a bunch of coins but they also had a very, really nicely done archaeological excavation from right that area that that you could walk into and and seen on and it was kind of the I think they had a line killed there, you know, sort of the the mundane daily tasks of life that that we tend to forget about. These guys tend to do that too, right?
Yeah, very good. So there’s so maybe kind of early. I mean, the sorry, the mo you might you might skip But otherwise, it was all worth it.
Yeah, yeah. It certainly was, you know, Just seeing the, you know, the more Southern European Spanish influences down there that you know, you don’t you don’t see further north was was interesting. You know, I think people who if you You are only in Paris, your perspective are the, you know, grand Haussmann boulevards and the that view of a city. Yeah and most difference isn’t like that right. Yeah. Most of it is these, you know, crazy little, you know, angled streets where you don’t really know which corner you came. Yeah, yeah. And that’s where, you know, we’ve we ran into some restaurants where we just, you know, here Oh, it’s turned on was turned out here. See what’s down there and oh, yeah, we’re gonna have suffered.
Yeah, yeah. That sounds good. So is this up You would come back to at some point you mentioned you might come back at some point.
You know, it, it, it definitely, it definitely is, you know, we, we, outside of the United States, France is the place that we’ve been to the most, you know, and you get you, you kind of develop skills in going to a place more than once. Right, you get better at it. Yes. Yeah. And, you know, and so, you know, it is certainly an area that I would like to explore more looks like there’s some really interesting day trips. Oh, yeah. I think, you know, that Albi looks interesting. The whole the whole Cathar history is is an interesting kind of, kind of thing. Yeah. You know, and, you know, I think, you know,Toulouse, then maybe Marseille or Nice kind of tying all that together just seems like that would be a really fun trip.
Sounds good. sounds really good. Okay, well, we’ve been talking a while. Do you have, like wisdom you want to share with people travel wisdom, I don’t know to lose wisdom.
Oh, well, I guess two things. You know, one, you know when when we’re, we are guilty of this too when you first you first get there. And then there’s this cafe and you’re kind of like, Oh, I don’t know how to order in there. I’m a little bit, a little bit shy about going and doing it. You just gotta jump right in because they’re there. People are going to help you. Right? People are friendly. You’re everywhere. And you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna make you feel welcome.
especially in South of France, we’re friendly. I mean, we’re not like, yeah, we’re not cold fish.
Yeah, you know, I, I don’t know how many times I’ve been standing on a corner in some city with a map. And somebody comes up to me and says, Can I help you? I mean, people do that. You know, people because people, people are proud of their city. They want to show it off. They want to tell you about it. They want to help you. The other thing is any anytime anybody goes to to Europe, they should make sure they know what the emergency phone number is. Because it’s not it’s not 911 no
it’s 112 Yes.
Hopefully it will never come up but it’s a Yeah, it’s a handy thing is fish it does,
huh? Yep. Yep, that’s good to know. And you know what, this is the kind of city that you come to for the the ambience. It’s not. It doesn’t have the best museums in the world. It does not have the most magnificent Cathedral most famous Cathedral, whatever. We have very nice museums and very nice cathedrals. But to lose is a place where you walk around and it’ll put a smile on your face because a lot is happening around you. There’s always people out. It’s it’s a southern tap. But of course, that also means that in the winter as soon as it gets a little cold or gray, we’re all hiding indoors. So what people of Wisconsin would consider lovely weather. We consider like, Oh, it’s awful. I’m staying indoors.
Yeah, I did. I did. Listen to your podcast about that you had Southern southern France in the winter? Yes. Yes. A while back and, and I remember the woman on there talking about that, you know, it is, you know, maybe maybe five degrees or or leaving zero and I’m thinking well, you know, you were there at New Year’s.
That’s right. All right. Well, I’m delighted that you enjoyed it enough that you’d like to come back and yes, Toulouse is a fabulous place to put your bags down and then do day trips because there are a lot of things and I would say that the ones not to miss are Carcassonne. Definitely. Albi is also excellent. I would go to the Niaux, to the Grottes de Niaux, that’s towards the Arriege. We’ve mentioned several other ones with Elyse. But these are the three that I make sure Nobody misses when they come to visit me. I’m like, Okay, I’m taking you to those. That’s the minimum we’re going to do. You know, and then if we have time for more, we do more but it’s truly a place where you can go explore genuine friends. It’s not flashy, it’s not but but it’s it’s good. It’s it’s good for every bit everyday life and it’s good to have good meals, good wine and all of that stuff.
Yeah. And I think, you know, maybe maybe underrated is too strong of a word, but there isn’t nearly as much information no tourists on to lose as there is for other cities.
No, because Because, I mean most of the people Come here come from the aeronautics industry. We do get a lot of visitors. We do get a lot of visitors from Wisconsin because they work for astronautics. And they come to Toulouse, but, but you have, you have, I don’t know, we just haven’t sold it very well. Like we it’s like people don’t know about it. Or they always have a you know, they want to go to pause. And I guess it might be because there hasn’t been an iconic book like a year in Provence that everybody read, you know, once somebody readable book like that. I mean, there’s been books about like Carcassonne and whatever. But they’re not they they didn’t take take off like, like a year in Provence. And so once people have in their mind, oh, this place is fine. I want to go then they’ll go, you know, even if it’s full of tourists. So so we need to somebody somebody needs to write a good novel that will interest people coming.
We were talking to some friends of ours and week and they were looking at a destination to go with this fall and we we successfully convinced them that Toulouse. This is where they should go where they’re going in November.
Oh, excellent. Well, thank you. We appreciate that. I have nothing to do with the Tourism Board, but I’m glad people will enjoy my hometown. Great. Thank you so much, Matthew, you’ve been a delight to talk to and I’m glad to hear that you enjoy to lose. It’s great.
Yeah, thank you. I appreciate being on okay.
No new patrons this week, which hasn’t happened in a while. I need your support because you know, I like to eat and you get several rewards for your patronage. Visit patreon.com forward slash join us to see the different reward tiers. And thank you so much for giving back. My thanks to Robin violets and Steven Fernandez for sending in a one time donation using the green button. on any page on join us in France that says tip your guide, donations of $20 and above also get you an invite to the secret Facebook group. And if you’d like to support the show without spending a penny you wouldn’t have otherwise, before you go shopping on Amazon, go to the bottom of any page on join us in France calm and click on the Amazon ad. Because you came through my site, I get a small commission, and it doesn’t cost you a penny more. And it’s the same thing with the booking.com ad. And thank you so much for remembering to do that. For my personal update this week, we got our first freeze into lose, and it’s definitely colder. Now someone on Facebook asked if they should bring a raincoat to Paris and rain shoes for the first week of December. Yes, it’s winter in France. This is not this is not Arizona, okay? It’s cold. And because it’s winter I’ve started feeding the birds. I love to stand at my window with a cup of coffee and watch the bluetooths come and go and get all those. I want to attract more Robbins so I put out food just for them. So far I’ve only seen one, I don’t know. And I’ve, I’ve seen some birds I don’t recognize as well she get a book, and I’ll be hosting the book club that I belong to, and also Thanksgiving next week. So that’s a bit much but it’s the season we socialize. So I go all out and do the traditional Thanksgiving feast and on Thursday, on Thanksgiving Day. And then I do it all over again following Sunday with my French family. And you know Thanksgiving is not a French thing but my family’s gotten used to it and they they just like it good. Party, you know, but to them it’s strange to have a feast with no oysters no swag. But they do love the turkey. They barely touch the cranberry sauce. But they always ask you the recipe for the celery and sage stuffing and the cornbread to those they really like those. Last year I made a good pumpkin pie and it turned out it’s much tastier if it’s made with butternut squash. I didn’t know that but it’s it’s better. So, but they’re very funny French but before they take anything from the table, they go sequest meaning you know what is this because they only see it once a year so they forget.
Renovations on my little dog walking paths are going along very nicely. So they dug in that water evacuation trenches on both sides. And now they started down to put down the finished layer and they kept their words it’s going to be a gravel path. Well, it’s not actually gravel. It’s a material that’s used a lot in the south of France. It’s called cone Cassie. It’s, it’s a limestone that they crush down with a big old road roller machine, you know. And that’s the machine with a huge wheel in the front that rolls down slowly and make stuff really flat. And hopefully when it’s all done, my dogs will stop coming home with like a pound of dirt attached to their fur. That would be very nice. Okay, now let’s talk about how to get into the da Vinci exhibit at the level. And I want to thank Patricia Perry for sharing this precious first hand information with me so I could share it with you. She’s been there a couple of times, so she’s got it figured out now. The louver does especially exhibit almost every year. Last year it was the last quarter and this year is DaVinci. Those special exhibits are usually for a limited time, typically three months because they borrowed pieces from all over the world and you know, they can’t keep them forever. These exhibits are free. You just need a regular ticket to get into the loophole right, so no extra cost on top of the normal ticket to the loop. But because this one is super popular, and the louvers really getting tired of having unmanageably large crowds, you need to reserve a time to entry ticket just for the special exhibit. You don’t need to pay for it. But you need a time the ticket the site to reserve your slot went up in June for an exhibit that didn’t start until October. At first you had a big choice of where to go. But now that it’s been open for a while, and everybody’s talking about it, it’s really hard to get tickets. There are still some I’ll put a link to where you go book them in the show notes on join us in france.com forward slash 258 and you can get your own ticket there. The Vinci exhibit closes on February 24 2020. And right now as of that’s November 21, just before Thanksgiving, the earliest tickets I could find were late January. And as always with alula, they put a lot of thought into what they display and why. And they’ve decided to keep the Mona Lisa in her regular room in the Italian painting wing. So let me repeat that. The Mona Lisa is not in the special exhibit. About DaVinci. Why’d they do that? Well, Monalisa is so popular that it attracts way too many people, including loads of people who couldn’t care less about the Vinci really, they don’t over user who painted it. They just want the selfie in front of his iconic painting. And that’s okay, too loud. So for those of you who want to see Mona Lisa, follow the signs to the Italian painting wings, there’s it’s really hard to miss. And you, you’ll get to a line that may or
may not be ginormous depends on the time of day. And when you get to the front, they’ll let a group of about 10 of you in front of Mona, Mona Lisa, for about 30 seconds and then a security person will move you along. So that’s the Mona Lisa experience, which is better, I think, than the huge crowd that used to be in the whole room in front. You know, it was like a big messy crowd and only the most daring visitors ever got to go up close. But I agree with Patricia, that it would be better if Mona Lisa had her own room, preferably near an entrance so that people who just want to see it could be in and out without clogging up the whole museum. Maybe someday but I kind of doubted because if you bring people into the museum You want them to look at great art and then you should let them see just the one piece so I’m not sure they’ll ever fly in France, but I don’t know. Thank you so much for listening, have an amazing Thanksgiving if you celebrate that. And instead of fighting over politics, how about you ask family around the table? What their favorite podcast is, you will discover great shows and someone surely will ask you what our podcasts anyway I keep hearing about them, but I don’t know where they are. You know, half of Americans still haven’t listened to a podcast. They’ve heard of him, but they, you know, they don’t have to listen. So let’s tell them, shall we? And if you want to tell them about joining us in France, even better, but it’s hardly the only one that’s worth listening to send questions or feedback to any ad join us in France, calm, have a great week of trip planning, a great week in France, if that’s where you are I’ll talk to you next week of the join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2019. By addicted to France, it is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial no derivatives license.