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Welcome to a charming little town, also known as the City of Dukes, the historic capital of the Savoy states. Let’s go for a weekend, only 3 hours by train from Paris, which will certainly give you a change of scene.
On the road to the Alps
For once in our digression, we make a more rural detour. Because Chambéry has this particularity: the city is rooted in the shadow of the three great mountains that surround it. There is of course the Belledonne massif, the Bauges and, a familiar name, the Chartreuse. There are therefore a multitude of hiking trails in the area. We advise you to take an original means of transport, the funicular of Saint-Hilaire (but be careful to book in advance) and to discover one of the many hikes in the area. We tested the “petites roches” hike, which will take you to a fairy-tale meadow dotted with wild flowers, to meet the paragliders who fly their colourful wings across the sky. This easy 2h25 hike starting at the foot of the Dent de Crolles also takes you into a dense forest to discover a pretty waterfall and the remains of the Porte-Traîne Mill.
A city with the dolce vita
Back to the city. Even if it still has architectural elements from the Middle Ages, such as its castle, one can feel a real influence of the Italian Renaissance, which gives it a touch of dolce vita. This may be related to the galleries, the loggias, the many terraces in the pedestrian streets, or the multitude of courtyards and interior walkways to explore. Or have you heard of Chambéry’s must-see, the “4 sans-cul”? Also known as the Colonne de Boigne or… the Elephant Fountain! Ah yes, because the names are always evolving…
The streets speak out
This is the theme of the free exhibition Odonymie(s), at the Hôtel de Cordon, until 8 January 2022. It focuses on the meaning of the names that surround us and to which we no longer attach importance: streets, avenues, roads, boulevards, dead ends, etc. Odonymy is in fact the linguistic study of the names of communication routes. It is a way, both geographical and literary, of discovering the city and its history. Original, right?
- Exhibition Odonymie(s), Hôtel de Cordon – 71 rue Saint Réal, Chambéry
- Hikes of Saint-Hilaire, the plans
- Hiking the Little Rocks
- Funicular of Saint-Hilaire du Touvet
+ Music: Climb, Laura Misch +