Lyon is a vibrant and exciting city in the east-central region of France. Lyon is the second-largest French urban area, after Paris and before Marseille. Lyon has a reputation as being the French capital of gastronomy due, in part, to the presence of many of France's finest chefs in the city. Also adding to this reputation is Lyon s location near the Beaujolais and the Cotes de Rhone, two of France s best wine growing regions. Local restaurants known as bouchons offer local dishes and wines and a welcoming atmosphere. After a large meal, take a stroll though the city at night to see the 200 sites that are lit up by over 100,000 projectors.
Lyon also has plenty to offer avid sightseers during the day. The narrow passageways (traboules) that pass through buildings in the Saint-Jean and the Croix-Rousse areas, have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cinema was invented in Lyon in 1895 by the Lumiere brothers. Visit the Mus e Lumi re for a description of this and other inventions by this famous duo. Other sites include the church of Saint Francis of Sales (home of the Cavaille-Coll pipe organ), the Opera House, the African Museum of Lyon (oldest museum in Lyon), the Place Bellecour, the Musee des beaux-arts de Lyon, and the Sainte Marie de La Tourette monastery (1960). If you happen to be in town on December 8, make sure to enjoy la Fete des lumieres" (the Festival of Lights), a celebration where the local population all place candles in their windows.