489km (304 miles) SE of Paris; 31km (19 miles) S of Lyon
Vienne is famous for three things: Roman architecture, gastronomy and jazz. Historians flock to see no less than 41 classified historic monuments filling this small town, a testament to the importance of this Roman settlement. The good news for tourists is that you can visit some for free. Gastronomes know Vienne because it’s the home of one of France’s leading restaurants, La Pyramide. Jazz fans make their annual pilgrimage for the Jazz Festival that fills this small town with more than 35,000 spectators. As the festival director says, “Every Viennois has a history with this festival; it’s in their blood.” For train-travelling visitors, Vienne provides an easy twin city break with Lyon.