The gastronomic capital of France, if not the world, is not just a foodie hotspot. With UNESCO-protected architecture and awe-inspiring Roman ruins, its one for history lovers too..
Recommended place to stay:
Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France|www.villaflorentine.com|
Official star rating:
The height of luxury, comfort and peace in Lyon, this magical hotel is set midway up the Fourvière hillside. The property served for many centuries as a convent, but has been superbly transformed.
Beyond the grandiose entrance hall are bright, spacious bedrooms with tremendous views down on Lyon. You can also look out across the rooftops of old Lyon from the outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Villa Florentine is home to one of Lyon’s finest restaurants, which matches Michelin-starred food with a memorable setting, complete with garden terraces, conservatory and yet more city skyline views.
It’s a great place to take in the big city while feeling removed from it – perfect for those who want to sightsee but then withdraw to a relaxing retreat.
The Fourviere hillside has long been occupied by religious houses linked to both the hilltop and the town below by typical steep Lyonnais stairways known as montees.
Given the difficult terrain, the area is generally very peaceful, although graffiti artists do daub on the walls along the montees. You get a free fitness workout walking either down into town (down steep steps), or up to Fourviere and its Roman sites and 19th-century basilica.
If you don’t want to tackle steps, it’s a taxi or funicular ride to the sites.
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