Valence, city of Art and History
As you ramble through the city, you will discover the Cathédrale St-Apollinaire, the oldest monument in the city. Close by you will find the statues and mouldings which cover the facade of the Maison des Têtes and the astonishing Maison Mauresque (a symbol of 19th century enthusiasm for things oriental). Valence also boasts its Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie (which has just been extended and refurbished), a little theatre 'à l’italienne' and the Centre du Patrimoine Arménien (one Valence inhabitant in every ten is of Armenian origin).
The art of yesterday and today : the Cartoucherie at Bourg-les-Valence, a former industrial complex reinvented by companies working in the field of photography, film and animation (including the renowned Folimage studio).
Valence, a well-watered city
Valence is criss-crossed by 17 kilometres of open canals, a place for family strolls and trout fishing. Conscious of its strategic position on the banks of the Rhône, Valence with its Port de l’Epervière ('Pavillon Bleu d'Europe'), contains the number one river port in France. This place, boasting many services, attracts a good many strollers and Sunday joggers too.
A nice idea for an excursion: take a bicycle from the 'station Libélo Briand' (self-service bicycle facility) opposite the Champ de Mars and follow the 'Viarhona' signs ('véloroute/voie verte') to get to the 'port de l'Epervière' (about 3km).
Valence, green city
Eight parks account for 10% of the city's surface area – the largest being the Parc Jouvet with its 7 hectares of grass and mature trees from all over the world. This park is much loved by families and university students (over 10,000 in number).
Hard by, the Champ de Mars contains the famous Kiosque Peynet (Monument Historique) immortalised on 'papier glacé' (a glossy paper), one evening in 1942, by the celebrated illustrator.
Another green escapade: discover the 'Jardin aux Oiseaux' at Upie, a zoological and botanical park extending to 6 hectares and 20 minutes drive from Valence.
Valence, a gourmet city
If you like good food, you will no doubt visit the premises of Anne-Sophie Pic***, the only woman to hold three Michelin stars, who is brilliantly following in her father's footsteps. To the Maison Pic we can now add two new signs, which hang above the establishments of the chefs, Isichi Masachi* of La Cachette and Baptiste Poinot* of Restaurant Flaveurs.
Don't leave without tasting 'le Suisse', the speciality of the city and featuring 'pâte sablée' (shortbread) and orange peel. The Maison Nivon will explain to you the history of the delicacy, whose traditional recipe goes back to 1852.