Yes. It’s silly isn’t it, this attention-grabbing title game. Actually, Lyon presents hundreds of reasons to visit, from the dual rivers that intersect the city to the magnificent Vieux Lyon. Let’s just ‘wander’ a bit to discover a few secrets of this second largest city in France.
I’ll just jump right into a premier reason to visit – dining! Somewhere I read that if Paris is the heart of France, Lyon is the stomach. Vraiement! Your food and wine selections in Lyon are seemingly endless.
Discover charming little bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants in Vieux Lyon, where you can dine along a cobblestone street or the river or overlooking the entire city. And between the Saône and Rhône Rivers, Presqu’ile is a virtual peninsula of exceptional dining and shopping choices.
We stop for lunch on an umbrella-canopied terrace, before wandering along one of the most incredible pedestrian streets we have ever seen – rue Mercière? I shouldn’t have mentioned this Utopian dining mecca. I’ll never get past dining!!
The history of this street is as eclectic, as are the plethora of shops and restaurants. Dating to bustling 16th-century merchants and printers; rue Mercière has seen seedier days as recent as the 1980’s, when women of the evening plied their trades. Fortunately for residents and visitors alike, plans to raze much of the street in favor of ‘modernizing’ it failed; for today it is as gorgeous on a summer day, as it is festive during cold holiday evenings. Let’s bid adieu to dining with this reminder that any Lyonnais specialty is available here – from praline tarts to chitterling sausage!
Lyon is an ideal walking city with many pleasant riverside quais and lovely waterfront and hilltop views. We meander through the old traboules – passageways first used by silk workers and later by members of the Resistance in World War II.
We climb to Villa Florentine with our Lyon friend, who always has offered less the encyclopedic vision of Lyon and more the charming inner sanctum. There by the pool, we enjoy a drink, while overlooking Vieux Lyon – an indelible view and experience that soothes the soul on a sleepless night.
Enough for today. We’ll save some of Lyon’s charm for another day. I hasten to add that you not only should include Lyon on your French travel itinerary; you should plan to stay a few days to enjoy
every single open and hidden secret!
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