Paris is outstanding. But France's second city outshines the capital in more than a few areas.
Local wine is nigh —
Lyon is the gateway to the Beaujolais viticultural region, which fans out immediately to the northwest.
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A striking young lady —
Lyon's Notre-Dame de Fourviere -- a young maiden (built 1872-1884) compared with Paris's grande dame cathedral (built 1163-1345) -- sits prettily atop the city's main hill.
Musicial ambience —
Mexican musician Gabriela Quintero performs in 2012 as part of the Nuits de Fourviere music festival. The summer festival sees 60 or so shows, many of which take place in an unbeatable setting: Lyon's main Roman amphitheater, built around 15 B.C.
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Cinematic clout —
Two of Lyon's most famous sons practically invented the movies. Auguste and Louis Lumiere are credited with creating the first film camera (the cinematograph) in 1892. Visitors can pay tribute to their vision at Lyon's Institut Lumiere.
Superior cuisine? —
Paris is very good at cuisine. It's just that Lyon believes it's better. L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon is a fabled temple of Gallic gastronomy led by chef Paul Bocuse. The restaurant has three coveted Michelin stars.
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Green respite —
Lyon's Parc de la Tete d'Or offers better green space than anything in central Paris.
Roman reputation —
Lyon was more important than Paris under Roman rule -- a teacher's pet that became Rome's head boy in ancient Gaul.
Rivers run through it —
Lyon has two rivers to Paris' single aquatic thoroughfare. The Rhone and the Saone both curve through the city.