489km (303 miles) SE of Paris; 31km (19 miles) S of Lyon
Vienne is famous for two things: Roman architecture and jazz. With no less than 41 classified historic monuments, Vienne has the most exceptional Gallo-Roman remains in France. The good news for tourists is that many remains can be visited for free. Every summer, jazz fans make their annual pilgrimage for the Jazz Festival that fills this small town with more than 35,000 spectators at the beginning of July. Head to Vienne’s Jardin de Cybele for free concerts during the festival. As the festival director says, “Every Viennois has a history with this festival; it’s in their blood.” Lesser known is that Vienne is also home of one of France’s best-known restaurants, La Pyramide. For train-travelling visitors, Vienne provides an easy twin city break with Lyon.