The gardens of Aranjuez, south of Madrid, Spain

The gardens of Aranjuez, located in the fertile plain of the Tagus in the south of Madrid (within an hour), is a space where nature blends with art; resort of kings and source of inspiration for many artists, there are fountains, sculptures and ancient trees. It was here that walked the monarchy and the Spanish court in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The gardens surround the Royal Palace. The best known are the gardens of the Prince, the island and the Parterre. The master Joaquín Rodrigo was able to interpret this place in his famous Concert of Aranjuez. The Island Garden is considered the most important and characteristic of the time of the House of Austria (sixteenth century) and is surrounded by the waters of the Tagus. There are white marble nymphs which adorn the staircase that provides access to the orchard where Queen Isabella II used to stroll. The trails are drawn in a grid and you can smell the aroma of boxwood while you walk through them. There are also small waterfalls. The garden of Paterre before the palace façade, presents paths bordered by hedges, cut following a geometrical balance (like French gardens of the time). Two large fountains are found there, that of Hercules and that of Ceres and also marble vases with colorful flowers. The garden of the Prince, designed in the English style, has almost 150 hectares. Formerly, these huge spaces were dedicated to hunting parties. We find a wide variety of trees, monuments, ponds and fountains there.


If you visit the garden between May and October you can enjoy to do it on board of the Train of strawberry; this is an ancient railway.

Split, Croatia

Split is the second most populated city in Croatia and the seat of Split-Dalmatia County. The city was established inside the huge palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (of Dalmatian origin); built between 294 and 305 and had an area of 39,000 square meters and then it continued expanding around the palace. From 1420 to 1797, Split became part of the Venetian Republic; that is why the historic center of this had Venetian-style buildings (Rector’s Palace, City Hall, Venetian tower). France and Napoleon ruled Split from 1805 to 1813. From 1815 to 1919 it was a part of Austria. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary and with the founding of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the city was part of the Yugoslav Dalmatia. Today, Split is a major industrial and tourist port and is listed on the UNESCO list of world heritage. We find still part of the palace on the waterfront as the Maritime gate known in antiquity that allowed ships to dock directly.


The historic center is just a short walk from the harbor. Inside, there is a part that today is a big market with stands that sell souvenirs. You can also visit three museums that are located inside the old city and two other museums in the exterior. There is also a cloister that was rearranged by Rodin.