Lyon

Lyon the third-largest city in the nation (pop. 413 000) is set in the Rhone-Alpes region on the Rhone and Soane Rivers. Get a sweeping view of the city and its waterways from the Basilica of Fourviere which contains a fine collection of 19th-century Byzantine art (the basilica is reached by cable car). Other attractions are Roman ruins the Italian Renaissance architecture and cobblestone streets of the vieux quartier (old quarter) and a fabric museum with a collection of some of the worlds finest silks (the Jacquard loom was invented in Lyon). Dont neglect the puppet museum (in the Hotel de Gadagne) or the admirable Gallo-Roman and art museums. End the day by relaxing at a sidewalk cafe. Nearby Collonges boasts Paul Bocuses restaurant (it once won the nearly unheard-of rating of four Michelin stars!). If time permits spend an extra day and visit Perouges a medieval-era weavers village where the Richard Lester version of the movie The Three Musketeers was created.

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