Someone, distorting his nose, will think: still France? Yes, because France is one of the most pet friendly countries in the world! And this time we’ll tell you about one of the most romantic corners at the foot of the French Alps that includes two gems like Annecy and Chambéry.
Annecy and Chambéry: at the foot of Mont Blanc
Our journey dates back a few years ago when Arturo was still with us, but the memories, beautiful, of those places are still very vivid and clear. And for this we want to share them with you.
Symbol of Annecy, in addition to its pure water lake, is the Palais de l’Isle, in the heart of Vieille Ville, the old town, a twelfth century castle whose shape resembles that of a ship.
The charm of this town on the water, on which their image is reflected elegant swans and towers surrounded by ivy, is incomparable.
Beautiful is lost in the maze of narrow streets that cross the Thiou canal, between pastel-colored houses and balconies overflowing with geraniums.
Annecy is called the “Venice of Savoy” and as the Venetian town boasts picturesque bridges including that of Loves, under which flows the river Thiou, once cluttered with the waste of the many tanneries and mills of the city and today is one of the cleaner in Europe.
We suggest you stroll through the stalls of the colorful market held on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings along the rue Sante-Claire, the “Grande Charrière” or Magna Carriera, the road that linked Chambéry to Geneva in the Middle Ages.
For this market, a hundred producers descend from the mountains to propose a riot of aromas and flavors among sausages with walnuts, blueberries and smoked firewood, while on the stalls they roast their grandmother’s bread and tomini. But there are also honeys of all kinds, rhubarb, mirabelle and sweet apple cider. Impossible to come back empty-handed!
Do not miss the trip on the lake that takes its name from the village and completes the visit of the city: starting from March to October they make tours that last one hour and allow you to admire the peninsula of Duingt, the Bay of Talloires and the castle of Menthon Saint-Bernard which houses an aquarium, the Alpine Lakes Regional Observatory and the Annecy Museum.
The landing stage is on the bank of the Jardins de l’Europe, behind the Town Hall and the boats leave about every hour.
Other atmospheres in Chambéry, historical capital of the Duchy of Savoy until 1562. The city, rich in ancient jewels, boasts an intact heart of five hundred years, with a maze of passages covered under the houses that form a network of 5 kilometers, a time infamous but today experienced as pleasant shortcuts for locals and tourists.
Walking through the old town of medieval origins you can breathe an ancient atmosphere: here stands the Castle that was the most prestigious residence of the princes of Savoy, the House that reigned in Italy for almost 1,000 years. And at Chambéry, references to Italy are present everywhere. From the Sardinian colored facades to the palaces of the palaces galleries, to the strong Piedmontese inspiration of its main 19th-century artery, the rue de Boigne, with its Turin arcades.
The tour of the vieille ville, the ancient city that extends over a surface of 17 hectares, starts from the Fountain of the Elephants, a monument erected in 1838 by Victor Sappey, who is the symbol of Chambéry. The old town is divided in two by the rue de Boigne overlooking noble residences such as the 17th century Hotel de Morand, the Hotel Chabod de Saint-Maurice, a Gothic-Renaissance building and the 17th century Hotel d’Allinges.
At the end of the street there is the Castle of the Dukes of Savoy composed of a series of buildings from different eras ranging from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century, much changed over time, among which stands out the great bulk of the Tower of the Treasury.
In the chapel of the complex was preserved from 1502 to 1578, the year in which it was transferred to Turin, the Holy Shroud that in 1532 was saved just in time by a fire that destroyed much of the old Pavilion and the Holy Chapel.
The heart of the city is Place Saint-Léger in the middle of which stands an imposing fountain and where the second-hand antiques market takes place on the second Saturday of the month.
To San Francesco di Sales is dedicated the cathedral with a Gothic facade of the ‘400 and an elegant and austere cloister of the’ 600, the only one that remains in Chambéry. The itinerary ends with a walk on the rue de la Croix d’Or, the road that in 1500 was traveled by those who went to Turin from Lyon.