FRANCE RHONE ALPS DROME Valence Sophie PicValence is the capital of the Drôme department, and is one of the many cities that proclaim to be the gateway to Provence. Situated on the banks of the Rhône River, Valence was once a Roman colony that later became the capital of the Duchy of Valentinois. The city has always been a market town, known for trading fruits and vegetables. In fact, till today, the name of the city is synonymous with a gastronomy-related place – the world renowned Pic Restaurant [285 avenue Victor Hugo, +33 475441532,] run by the only female chef in France with three Michelin stars, Anne-Sophie Pic.

FRANCE RHONE ALPS Valence Cathedral
While the city is predominantly filled with industrial looking streets, it does have a charming old town quarter. The main sight in the city is the Cathédrale St-Apollinaire [Place des Clercs], which was built as a pilgrimage church in the 11th century. Lying close to the town centre, the old church was heavily damaged during the Wars of Religion and was rebuilt in the 17th century, as a cathedral. Today, the cathedral’s choir chamber houses the tomb of the late Pope Pius VI, who died here, as a prisoner. The town even makes orange rind-flavoured shortbread, shaped like a Vatican Swiss guard to commemorate the pope. Just pop into any pâstissere and ask for un Suisse.

The main commercial stretches in Valence are along rue Émile Augier and Grande Rue. You can arrive at Valence via train at Gare de Valence-Ville, along Rue Denis Papin.




:   1. Tourism Office  2. Train station  3. Cathédrale St-Apollinaire  4. Pic Restaurant (south of map limits; zoom out 3 clicks)

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