Annecy a Little Venice:
Annecy, in the Haute-Savoie region, is a beautiful and popular resort town on the northern end of the Lac d’Annecy. Take a stroll around the old town and you’ll quickly see why this town has earned itself the tag of Little Venice.
A network of canals criss-crossing the town and bridges decorated with beautiful floral baskets remind of Venice. Here and there, amongst the narrow arcaded streets, a medieval tower reminds that the town has an ancient heritage.
In the 1600s and 1700s, Annecy became important because of the beginning of the reformation and counter-reformation movements. Political philosophers travelled the area to debate the roles of church and state and the area became the powerhouse of political thought that really changed the face of the Europe.
Things to do in Annecy
If you have limited time here, it’s worthwhile having a quick view of the environs by taking a one hour boat tour on the lake to Talloires and back. Buy your ticket at the kiosk to the left of where the boats are moored, and make sure you choose one with English commentary. You can choose to do a dinner or lunch cruise in one of the bigger boats – we saw one getting ready to leave, but we haven’t heard any reports on the quality of the food. As you cruise around the lake, you’ll notice that the Annecy locals enjoy their fishing!
After the boat tour, wander around the winding cobbled streets of Annecy by following the canals. You can’t miss the 12th century Palais de l’Isle, which is a little prison in the middle of the Thiou canal (there’s a cafe inside its courtyard). Also hidden in the narrow lanes are churches from the 15th and 17th centuries, and plenty of cafés and restaurants to keep yourself going while you enjoy the ambience of the place. Make time to have a little break and try some Reblochon cheese or Tartiflette which is the specialty here.
Annecy’s Big Coup
Well, if you haven’t heard of Annecy before, you will most certainly hear more about it in the coming years. Annecy’s big coup is that the French Olympic Committee chose this picturesque Alpine city as its candidate for the 2018 Winter Games. Annecy beat Grenoble, Nice, and Pelvoux to win selection. Whilst less well-known than front-runner Grenoble, with the Alps soaring above its pristine lake, Annecy is considered a picture-perfect site for the games.
Annecy has also been home to the International Animated Film Festival for over 45 years. The festival which takes place in June each year is open to five film categories, each using different animation techniques: feature films, short films, commissioned and TV films and graduation films.
Map of Annecy: