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Lyon: France's Best Kept Secret (III).


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* The slopes of the Croix Rousse. This area provides the perfect setting for a trip back in time. To the West, the Carthusian monastery is only one of ten convents to have been spared by the destruction of the French Revolution. To the East, the descending slopes offer striking views over the River Rhone. In ancient times its slopes housed the federal Sanctuary, dedicated in 12 BC to Rome and Augusta. The famous 'Claudian Tablet,' which transcribed the speech of the Emperor Claudius granting Roman citizenship to the Gauls, was written here in 48 AD.

Culinary Lyon

Most travellers automatically think of Paris when they think of fabulous French food. Lyon is actually the gastronomy capital of France. Bordering the vineyards of the Beaujolais and the Cotes du Rhone, Lyon in an essential pilgrimage for gourmets worldwide. The ideal agricultural climate of the surrounding regions has resulted in a wealth of good produce. Of the many restaurants, taverns and bistros of Lyon, 150 are listed by the Office of Tourism. You would have to live in Lyon for a long time to experience the entire range of popular regional fare. In the famous Lyon 'Bouchon' taverns ('Bouchon' is from the French word for the handful of straw once hung up as the tavern sign), you can find special dishes cooked in the traditional manner, such as at 'Chez Hugon' or 'la Meunière'.

Diners can also be awarded with the opportunity of experiencing first-class restaurants with internationally known chefs such as Paul Bocuse, the inventor of nouvelle cuisine at his restaurant 'Abbaye de Collonges.' Other great acclaimed chefs include Pierre Orsi at 'Relais Gourmand Pierre Orsi' and Jean-Paul Lacombe at 'Léon de Lyon.'

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