Few outside of France have heard of Chambéry, and those who have probably know it as a pit stop en route to their favorite Alpine ski stations. Washington, D.C. native Anne Donnelly (on Instagram @amdonn8) has the pleasure of living in this little medieval city in the mountains while she works as an English language teaching assistant in the Rhône-Alpes region.

The former capital of the House of Savoy has something to suit all tastes, she says—”endless outdoor activities in the surrounding mountain ranges and lakes, great local wines and cheeses, a small but fervid arts scene.”

“Chambéry may not be the bustling city everyone wants to live in,” Anne says, “but to me, it represents the best of both a large city and a calm village.” Here are a few of her favorite things about the place she’s proud to call home.

Chambéry Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Chateau des Ducs de Savoie. I’m obsessed with the fact that there’s a real-live castle that was once the seat of the house of Savoy and housed the Shroud of Turin in Chambéry.

Winter is the best time to visit my city because the biggest draw to the region is definitely ski season! Spring and summer are also good times to come, as Chambéry is best appreciated outdoors.

You can see my city best from the Croix du Nivolet, a giant cross located atop the Nivolet peak in the Bauges Mountains. At a height of 5,075 feet (1,547 meters) you access a stunning view of the entire metropolitan area, plus all the surrounding mountains, including a distant view of Mont Blanc.

View of Croix du Nivolet in Chambery, France (Photograph by rookie69, flickr)
The view from Croix du Nivolet (Photograph by rookie69, flickr)

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