see + do
21 Rue de l'Hôpital
Tel: 33 3 85 51 23 50
Concierge.com's insider take:
On the southeastern edge of the Côte Chalonnaise wine district in southern Burgundy, Tournus is a handsome town on the Saône River that was founded by the Gauls, turned into a major river port by Julius Caesar, and is now home to about 6,000 inhabitants. While vestiges of the Roman city still stand, the town's medieval foundations are the real draw here. St. Philibert Abbey, a Romanesque fortress church with a labyrinthine crypt and a barrel-vaulted ceiling in the cavernous nave, has stood here for 1,000 years. On the south side of the abbey, monastic buildings from the 12th and 13th centuries surround the remains of an 11th-century cloister. Guided tours, available through the tourist office, last about an hour and 15 minutes.
A 15-minute walk southwest across the historic center of town, the Hôtel-Dieu–Musée Greuze, a local history museum dedicated to 18th-century court painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze, displays art and objects in a 17th-century hospital similar to the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune.
Tournus's sycamore-lined riverbanks are a great place to relax at a café, and few towns in Burgundy have more or better restaurants (we recommend Aux Terrasses for updated Burgundian classics). If you're staying the night, La Tour du Trésorier, an antique-filled B&B near the abbey, is a good bet.—David Downie
St. Philibert Abbey open daily 8:30 am to 6 pm, October through April; 8:30 am to 7 pm, May through September. Religious services 10:30 am Sundays.
Hôtel Dieu–Musée Greuze open Wednesdays through Mondays 10 am to 6 pm, late March through early November.