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Paris: a day in Versailles

Paris: a day in Versailles
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Today I will take you to discover Versailles, about 40 minutes by RER from Paris. I want to start this post with some useful tips, before telling you about the visit I had with my friend.
Una giornata a VersaillesTo get to Versailles: take the RER B which will take you right to the Versailles station from which you can reach the castle (a 10-minute walk with a slow pace).
Arrival time (my recommendation): I suggest you get there quite early! The line to enter is very long and risk, otherwise, to spend too much time waiting to enter the palace and lose half a day to enter;
Duration of the visit: it takes a whole day, from the opening at 10 am to the closing at 6 pm (7 pm for the gardens.) For the updated timetables always check the official website). Even so, it is not easy to see everything;
Eat something: you can choose between a restaurant and a bar inside the main building (the one in the gallery of mirrors), or one of those found in the gardens. Prices are variable but do not think they are (all)
Una giornata a Versailles prohibitive.
Back to Paris: if you spend the whole day in Versailles, you will need to pay more attention to the information monitors about the trains (there are very few “information men”, to whom you may ask information). If you still have some doubts about which is the right train, try to ask those who are already on the train you think you should take: surely you will find someone who can help you.
My friend and I started our tour from the wings of the “main” building of the castle, obviously continuing also for its “central part”, between studies, bedrooms and extremely luxurious rooms, although simple
Una giornata a Versailles compared to many others. The gallery of mirrors is always crowded: the visitors are many, ever at any time, the path follows a path that I would call semi-obligatory and, apart from everything, it is not possible (I think) to come to Versailles and not pass here. If you think you can take pictures without crowds, I suggest you lose hope right away; it’s practically impossible! After about a couple of hours, stop for lunch included, we go out “finally” from the building to go and explore the gardens of the estate.
Una giornata a Versailles In front of the “exit” from the palace to the gardens, there is the ticket office for a “hop on – hop off” train (ticket of 7.50 euro per person, to be paid separately from the one you bought for the castle). We hesitated about 15 minutes on taking the train and, in the end, we decided not to take it and instead of walking on foot along the long avenues, among the fountains with very particular statues (and undoubtedly beautiful).
Una giornata a Versailles With the map always at hand, putting it in the backpack would be very risky, we continue our walk to the Grand Trianon, also called marble Trianon because the outside is covered with marble. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, it was built “for the first time” by Louis XIV. The interiors are less conspicuous than those of the main building (see for believing: they are always showy, but “with demeanor”) and, arrived here, almost can’t believe the tranquility of this area of the estate, due to time ” late “and in the presence of very few people arrived here. When we leave the building we are very tired, we are almost 4 hours that we turn, but not for this we give up, of course, to continue our tour: there were still several things we wanted to see before leaving, aware that, unfortunately, like many we would not be able to see them. We head towards the area of the “Tenuta di Maria Antonietta”, donated by Louis XVI to his wife when he ascended the throne, and we first find the Petit Trianon: it is defined as a magnificent example of the transition period of architecture from Rococo to Neoclassicism, the building is elementary in the interiors and, above all, it is effortless and clean as regards the outside. When we leave the building we are exhausted, after almost 4 hours walking, but not for this we give up, of course, to continue our tour: there were still several things we wanted to see before leaving, aware that, unfortunately, like many, we would not be able to see them.
We head towards the area of the Maria Antonietta estate, donated by Louis XVI to his wife when he ascended the throne, and we first find the Petit Trianon: it is defined as a magnificent example of the transition period of architecture from Rococo to Neoclassicism, the building is elementary in the interiors and, above all, it is effortless and clean as regards the outside. Each façade has been designed to match the part of the estate on which it faces. I advise you to get up here and enjoy the clean and straightforward beauty of this building that we managed to combine the sense of peace and tranquillity of the surrounding gardens, given by the scarcity of tourists who, at that time, were in that part of the palace.
Una giornata a VersaillesAt that point of our visit, despite the increasing weariness, we accelerate the pace to go and see the last two things that interested us and intrigued (and I recommend going to see if you come to visit the palace). The first thing was the “Temple of love“, a small neoclassical temple built on a small hill in the Petit Trianon’s English garden and which houses a not very large statue entitled “Love carving an arch from the club of Hercules “.
Una giornata a Versailles We conclude our visit with “the queen’s Hamlet“, the “village of the queen”, which I do not know how else to define if not “simply splendid” in its immense simplicity. It is a group of houses in rustic style, built for Queen Marie Antoinette who came here to flee to escape the splendour of the royal court (Marie Antoinette was famous for this desire to escape from the sumptuousness of the court). We find ourselves in a completely different world, it seemed to have erroneously escaped from the castle estate and entered a more frugal and within reach of “normal human beings”. If you have children with you make them see if there are fish in the pond, I’m sure they would have a great time seeing them (they are huge!).
I think this part of the estate is the best way to end your visit to the castle, to get back down to earth before setting off to go out and return to “normal life”.

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