A City Reawak­ened

Robb Report (USA) - - Time Well Spent -

IT WASN’T LONG AGO that Bordeaux was cloaked in a dark and dirty layer of soot. But the port city brims with new life thanks to Mayor Alain Juppé, whose am­bi­tious ur­ban-re­newal project has buffed and pol­ished the 18th-cen­tury Hauss­man­nian struc­tures, Ro­manesque churches, and cob­ble­stone streets to a bril­liant shine.

No longer a mere pit stop en route to the vine­yards, Juppé’s new Bordeaux over­flows with rea­sons to stay in town: Newly con­structed trams, pedes­trian walk­ways, and bike paths now con­nect the his­toric city cen­ter with bur­geon­ing neigh­bor­hoods packed full of vi­brant cafés, bou­tiques, and mu­se­ums. And perched on the banks of the Garonne River in the Bassins à Flot district is per­haps the most con­vinc­ing ev­i­dence of a city on the rise: the strik­ing new Cité du Vin (lacit­edu vin.com). The mu­seum, whose curv­ing fa­cade re­sem­bles a gi­ant glass of swirling wine, is eas­ily worth a full day of ex­plo­ration on its own. Wan­der its mul­ti­sen­sory ex­hibits trac­ing the world­wide his­tory of wine­mak­ing be­fore em­bark­ing on a self-guided tour of the Lat­i­tude20 wine bar’s col­lec­tion of more than 800 vin­tages.

The his­toric Grand Théâtre

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