Who knew Mario Testino is Peruvian  |  Lima, Peru  |  When they told me, Carlos we will take you to MATE, the first thought that came to my mind was…. Why are they taking me to a museum of the Mate (typical drink from the south cone of South America), if I am in Peru, and certainly I would much rather go and learn about the Pisco… maybe because they knew I am Argentinean. So I decided to go along based on my curious spirit. Once we arrived to the house, which BTW is beautiful, in the neighborhood of Barranco in Lima, I understood everything,.. silly me. Follow my Instagram Peru Photo Gallery for more tips, photos and videos. 
MATE stands for Mario Testino. An association and gallery which has recently opened in 2012, to bring the realisation of Testino’s new project, at his native Lima, Peru. The mission is to promote culture to both local and international audiences through artistic programs, that today focus on his own career as an international well renown fashion photographer, favorite of luxury brands, celebrities and many magazines such us Vogue or Vanity Fair just to mention a few.
Augusto, Testino’s personal friend and right hand on this project, showed me the whole exhibition and took me around the house. He is also the person in charge of the Cafe attached to the gallery, which BTW I have heard offers a great Sunday Brunch at very reasonable price and with a great crowd and happening. I was lucky enough to share a dinner with him later on at Rafael Restaurant, and learn more about Testino and his humble successful career and projects. Quite fascinating.
Mario Testino, was born on October 30th  1954, in Lima Peru. Since 1970s he based himself in the United Kingdom. His career highpoint when Princess Diana chose him for her Vanity Fair shoot in 1997. Since them he has had a prolific and meteoric career into fashion photography internationally, but never forgetting his origins and becoming a beacon of promotion for Peru to the world, oftenly including productions made either at the Amazonas, Machu Picchu, Nasca Lines etc. Quite recently the Vogue’s September issue 2012 is a proof of this.
If you have some time, and happen to be around the area of Barranco, do not hesitate to stop by. If you are a fun of Testino’s work, you will quite enjoy it, and if not… soon enough they will be welcoming local, regional and international exhibitions from artist at all corners of the world. For more information @ www.mate.pe. So now you know Testino is Peruvian. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

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