(27 august 2014)
Annecy is a town in the French Haute Savoie with just over 50,000 inhabitants, 120 km from the Italian border of Val d’Aosta.
If I had to imagine how it could ever be done on the land of a fairy tale, well, I would imagine as Annecy.
Infact, as you arrive to Annecy you have the feeling to have been transported to a parallel dimension, where the urban traffic, confusion, big apartment blocks in the suburbs give way to tree-lined avenues, manicured lawns, well-maintained water canals, flowered balconies, water play. In short, a postcard-town, where every corner, every street, every planter, becomes a point to download the memory card of your camera.
Sure, Annecy hides well his own less photogenic and ordinary soul. Infact, it’s sufficient to get away from the city center to return the dimension we are most known made of cars and smog, supermarkets and traffic light crossings, like any city. But this does not interest to tourists who like to dwell alone in front of the cards that open up before your eyes at every corner of the city, imagining that you are really, for a few hours, in a fairytale place.
Annecy lives in perfect symbiosis with its own lake, a stretch of water of about thirty square kilometers, and the small Thiou River, a natural outlet of the lake. The streets of downtown are well inserted between the various channels of the city, although any comparison with Venice seems rather bold.
The starting point of Annecy visit is certainly the Island Palace, true symbol of the city and, according to wikipedia, among the most photographed monuments in France. And then the castle (see the photo), which welcomes tourists to return from the boat-trip on the lake. Although ignored, there is the central church of San Francesco di Sales, which houses the mortal remains of the saint.
A city, in short, it deserves a visit of at least a day or two, even if the return to the city in the ordinary dimension of every day will be really hard.