Thousands of American fans following the USA in its bid for a fourth world
championship will descend upon Lyon, the site of the Women's World Cup semifinals and final.
Lyon is not exactly known as a tourist destination, but it is a wonderful city, sitting on two rivers, the Rhône and Saône. The location in the middle of France's bread basket has made Lyon the capital of French cuisine, dating from the 1800s and the "Mères lyonnaises," the female cooks who started their own establishments and passed down their techniques to chefs for generations to come.
Here are 10 places to check out:
1. Rhône barges. Barges are lined up one after the other on the Rhône's Left Bank, where they have been turned into outdoor beer gardens with great views of the city.
2. Les Halles Paul Bocuse. Indoor food market named after legendary chef Paul Bocuse, who received his training under Eugénie Brazier, the most famous of Les Mères. (Web site)
3. Vieux Lyon. The old town, across the Saône River from Presqu’île, dating back to the Middle Ages. Great place for exploring.
4. Musée de la cinéma & miniature. For film buffs. The coolest part: the miniature sets used in old movies. Located in Vieux Lyon. (Web site)
5. Presqu’île. Located in the heart of the city between the Rhône and Saône Rivers with lots of restaurants and shops.
6. Marche Alimentaire St-Antoine Celestins. Lyon has many outdoor markets, but this Presqu’île market, sitting on the banks of the Saône River across from Vieux Lyon, is one the best with stands selling roast chicken, fresh oysters, olives and fruit and vegetables. (Best day to check it check: Sunday. Otherwise: mornings except Monday when it's closed.)
7. Bouchons. Old-style Lyonnais restaurants can be found all over the city, serving such local classics as Quenelles (dumplings made out of pike) and Saucisson de Lyon (a large sausage usually served warm).
8. Centre d'histoire de la résistance et de la déportation. Chronicles the French Resistance as well as Jewish deportation in World War II. Built on the site of a French military school used by the Gestapo to torture members of the French resistance. Located on Rhône's Left Bank across the river from the Gare de Lyon Perrache. (Web site)
9. Croix-Rousse by mini-train. The hillside village once served as the home for silk weavers. It's now Lyon's hipster neighborhood.
10. Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The basilica is the iconic symbol of Lyon, overlooking the city and dedicated to Virgin Mary, whom Lyonnais thank each year on Dec. 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception, for saving the city from the bubonic plague that swept Europe in 1643 and two centuries later the Prussian invasion in 1870.