A fairy tale called Lyon
Lyon has always been a destination that was on my bucket list but every time, at the end of the day, I chose something else. But then, as fate would I had to write something about France, so here I took this opportunity to flag Lyon as a destination visited. And I must say that it is as if I had entered in a fairy tale, because Lyon is almost a Paris in miniature, but the nice thing is that you can walk, plunging into a maze of pebbles and soft lights, bistros and characteristic alleys. Really romantic, so much French that it leaves no doubt. With this premise, I would like to share with you my 5 things to do and see in Lyon.
Saint Jean Cathedral
An old town made of outdoor tables and white and red checked tablecloths. One of the best preserved in Europe, a place where the past blends with modernity in the spectacular architecture that houses modern clubs, in the squares filled with young people intent on making an aperitif and a lots of tourists who are fascinated by the main streets . My favorites? Rue Mercière and Rue Saint-Jean, at the end of which stands the Saint Jean Cathedral. Close by the funicular stop for Fourvière.
Getting the Cable-Car
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Tell me your emotions, after the short run, when the first thing that will be revealed before your eyes will be the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and you will ask yourself once again how the human mind has managed to reach such this spectacular level. I went to Fourvière for one reason: the view. The lady, at the reception of the hotel, had advised me to go there to take some pictures from above and I’m happy to have listened to her, because the view is simply magnificent. Ah, I forgot: there is also a small copy of the Eiffel Tower!
Walking & Walking
Place des Jacobins
When I discovered that I would not need public transportation, it was impossible to keep a smile. I love walking and getting lost in the cities, so I followed a comfortable and flexible itinerary for a maximum of three or four hours, depending on the stops. My advice is to start from Place Saint-Paul and continue towards Rue Saint-Jean, entering the alleys that most inspire you. Once you arrive at the Saint Jean Cathedral, just step outside and take the funicular up to the hill of Fourvière. Take the time you need to explore the area and, once you get off again, continue on the first road and cross the first bridge. You will find yourself in an area that is apparently a bit newer but very characteristic and full of quirky shops and clubs. Here you will find three beautiful squares very different from each other: Place Bellecour, Place des Jacobins and Place des Terreaux. Near the latter, you will be dazzled by the beauty of the Hôtel de Ville de Lyon and the Opéra de Lyon. Not to be missed, even just to notice the way in which it differs from the rest of the city, is Rue de la République, the main and pedestrian shopping street.
Tasting a Bouchon
These are restaurants designed to feed the workers who worked in nearby silk factories and especially proposed entrails, offal and so on, all things that I never eat. Fortunately, but depending your point of view, today the bouchons have reached a compromise with the growing tourism and therefore have also adapted to a more varied menu. However no worries, they propose the traditional dishes, too. Obviously, the whole is accompanied by liters of wine.
Bridges + Sunsets = What Else?
Lyon has many bridges which connect the various areas and arrondissements. Among the 5 things to do in Lyon is certainly to wake up early to treat yourself to a walk in a city that starts the day slowly. It wakes up in the boulangeries that give off very good smells, in the people who run right and left to go to work, in the empty squares that until the night before were full with tourists and locals. It wakes up in sportsmen who train in parks and children who go to school. Another perfect moment to reach any bridges, is undoubtedly during the sunset. But you certainly already imagined it.