Amboise in the Loire Valley is probably the best-known town in the region. Its lovely mediaeval castle and grounds are on the world heritage list and offer an exceptional view of the Loire and surrounding area. In 1516, François I invited Leonardo da Vinci to live in a little château down the road called Le Clos Lucé, used by royalty as a summer residence. Today, visitors can see mock-ups of Leonardo’s incredibly modern inventions. In the summer in particular, Amboise is very animated with lots of eating places along the main street. The best view is from Le Shaker on a little island in the middle of the Loire.