The Breakers, Newport, Vermont, United States

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer cottages and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence. Cornelius Vanderbilt II bought a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport in 1885, some years later he asked architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa and replace the framed house which had been destoyed by fire a year before. He built a 70 room house, in Renaissance Italian style inspired in 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. He had important collaborators from different countries. Gladys, the youngest daughter of the family inherited the house. She opened the house to the public in 1948 to raise funds for The Preservation Society of Newport County, in 1972 the association bought the house and designed it as a National Historic Landmark. We also found a stable and carriage house about half a mile from the house.
Tips
You can buy the tickets on line before your visit; you’ll find different combinations to save many if you take more than a visit for different houses.
You can have an audio guided visit too.
There’s also a shop to buy souvenirs.

Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Madrid, Spain

The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is one of the residences of the Spanish royal family, in the Sierra de Guadarrama, 13 km from Segovia and 80 km from Madrid. The name comes from an old farm of Hieronymite monks who were nearby. Henry III built the first refuge and Henry IV built a shelter and a small chapel dedicated to Saint Ildefonso Bishop and the Catholic Monarchs in 1477 gave it to the monks who used the rural place to pray and to rest giving origin to the village taking the same name. It was Philip II who converted it into a sumptuous palace. In 1718, Felipe V, in love with the place, bought it from the monks and built a palace like Versailles and its gardens. The palace became the summer residence of the Spanish king and his court. Felipe V and his second wife are buried in the collegiate church. Several important episodes in Spanish history took place in the palace. The palace and its addictions are in U-shaped and in its gardens there are trees that are over 300 years. There are two terraces and a chapel (the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity). Inside, the palace is deeply baroque with beautiful frescoed ceilings and gold painted wood moldings with imposing glass lamps.

Tips

The palace is open to the public. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes to visit the gardens because it is worth it not only for its plants and flowers but also for its fountains and monuments. From Thursday Saint they put the fountains on work at 17:30 on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The eight large fountains are operated alternately, but on May, 30th, July, 25th and August, 25th they work all at once. You have to pay an entrance fee, but on August 25 the admission is free.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

The Victoria and Albert Museum (“V & A”), is a large museum of arts and sciences in the heart of London’s South Kensington in a place known as Albertopolis. It was created in 1851 as the South Kensington Museum. It was built on land acquired through profits had during the 1851 World Fair, designed to resemble several museums and educational institutions aimed at converging education, industry, science and art, mainly dedicated to industrial goods and crafts. In 1880, the collection of the India Office was incorporated into the museum. The decorative arts are the specialization of the museum collection with a wide variety of objects from different periods. Also included in the crystal, pottery, high fashion dresses and accessories, furniture, tapestries, silverware, toys, statues, etc .; with approximately 4.5 million objects.

Tips

It is open daily and admission to the Museum is free but sometimes there are exhibitions that require paid access.
You can get there by public transport to Earl’s Court Station with the subway and then you have a regular bus with a frequency of 3 minutes that leaves you at the door or you can also make a walk of 20 minutes.
If you plan to spend the day at the museum, you have two cafeterias, one inside and the other in the garden (closed in December and January) where you can have a hot or cold complete meal or just a drink and a snack.
You can bring your camera and make pictures almost throughout all the museum except for temporary exhibitions.