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390km (242 miles) SE of Paris; 87km (54 miles) NW of Lyon

This industrial town on the left bank of the Loire is a popular excursion from Lyon and Vichy because it's home to one of France's greatest three-star restaurants, the La Maison Troisgros.

In a neoclassical mansion built at the end of the 18th century, Musée Joseph-Déchelette, 22 rue Anatole-France (tel. 04-77-23-68-77), showcases an exceptional collection of Italian and French earthenware from the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th centuries, as well as Roanne earthenware. Hours are Wednesday to Monday 10am to noon and 2 to 6pm. On Sunday, the museum is open only in the afternoon, and on Saturday there is no noontime break. Admission is 4.50€ for adults, 2.50€ for students, free for ages 17 and under, and free for everyone on Wednesday afternoon.