BEST BEDS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Europe -

PRINCELY CON­NEC­TIONS There are sur­pris­ingly few tributes to French f fic­tion’s most adorable ex­is­ten­tial char­ac­ter, the Lit­tle Prince, given his cre­ator, au­thor and avi­a­tor An­toine de Saint-Ex­u­pery, was born in Lyon in 1900. Sain­tEx­u­pery’s name graces the air­port and TGV rail­way sta­tion, and there is a statue of au­thor and char­ac­ter on Place Bel­le­cour. But the most vivid me­mo­rial, also cel­e­brat­ing Lyon’s other fa­mous daugh­ters and sons, is the Fresco of the Peo­ple of Lyon, a five-level painted fa­cade be­side the Saone (49 Quai Saint Vin­cent). Look out for the Lu­miere broth­ers, who pi­o­neered film tech­nol­ogy, and Fran­cois Ra­belais, who wrote his bawdy mas­ter­piece Gar­gan­tua and Pan­ta­gruel in Lyon more than five cen­turies ago. More: en.lyon-france.com. La Villa Floren­tine, which clings to the side of Fourviere Hill, is a 17th-cen­tury con­vent reborn as a grand, 19-room ho­tel in 1993. A decade later the ho­tel an­nexed a neigh­bour­ing 15th-cen­tury build­ing, cre­ated an un­der­ground pas­sage be­tween the two, and boosted its gue­stroom in­ven­tory to 28. The pick are the fifth and sixth-floor rooms with mar­ble bath­rooms and phe­nom­e­nal views. Stand­out fea­tures are the pool ter­race with hot tub, sauna and sum­mer-open­ing bar, and a res­tau­rant, Les Ter­rasses de Lyon. The Miche­lin-starred menu of­fers re­fined plates such as crab can­nel­loni with leek-scented milk and roasted An­jou pi­geon with tonka bean, but the star at­trac­tion is the glit­ter­ing cityscape by night. More: vil­laflo­ren­tine.com. • au.ren­dezvousen­france.com

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