Vienne is a Gallo-Roman town located in the Isère department (part of the Rhone-Alpes region), at the edge of the Rhône River, 30km to the south of Lyon. The town developed on the left bank of the river (east), facing thus the town of Saint-Romain-en-Gal and Sainte-Colombe. Vienne houses about 30,500 inhabitants called the Viennois.
Vienne has been inhabited since the most ancient times. Around 40 AD, the town grew on each bank of the river and became one of the largest towns of Gaul. It boasted outstanding monuments, some of which can be visited. Its economy was mainly based on trade exchange thanks to the River Rhône. In 1450, Vienne was connected to the France kingdom, and lost its importance in favour of the cities of Lyon and Grenoble.
Nowadays, Vienne is a Town of Art and History label: it is home to 4 museums, 41 historical monuments and rich collections. In terms of economy, the town is essentially devoted to services, but holds however some high-technology industries. It benefits from an intense commercial and cultural activity all year long. Its animation becomes complete with the Jazz Festival, in the beginning of the summer. The local authorities organizes visits of the town by scenic railway.
Its four museums display Vienne’s history and culture. The archaeological museum is located in Saint Pierre church, one of the most ancients of France. It is home to Gallo-Roman sculptures, amongst which the famous Tutela, a popular deity, as well as mosaics, monuments and gravestones. The museum of Fine Arts tells the story of the end of the Gaul period: crockery, bonze statute of Pacatianus, French faience, paintings and so on. On the right bank of Rhône River, the archaeological site and museum offer on several hectares the ancient Vienne with its houses, traditional workshops, commercial premises, thermal baths… Finally, visit the Drapery Museum and discover the history of textile industry (the principal activity of Vienne during the 18th and 19th centuries).
In 2009, a property is France is sold €3,197 /sq m on average. In Vienne, Isere, property prices are below the national average: €2,215 /sq m. The town is thus an interesting location for an investment considering all his assets: rich history and archaeological heritage, closeness the third city of France, Lyon, great road facilities… If you are looking for a second home or a main home, Vienne could be worth considering.
In terms of rental, Vienne is an excellent market for buy-to-let investors. Indeed, nearly 63.4% of the inhabitants are tenants, and only 33.2% are property owners. The town offers thus excellent rental opportunities, and it should not be difficult to find tenants. 3-room and 4-room apartments are pretty sought-after, whereas there is only 4.7% of studio flats in the town.
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Culture and archaeological heritage: when visiting or living in Vienne, some monuments are not to be missed. The Roman theatre was built around 40-50 AD and is one of the most important theatres of Antiquity (and the largest Roman theatre of Europe). It houses each year many events amongst which the Jazz Festival. Auguste and Livie Temple is dedicated to Rome and August cult and dates back to the end of the 18th century. Cybèle garden displays the vestiges of a quarter of the Gallo-Roman town: archways, houses and terraces. The Pyramid is a 20m tall monument. It is a gorgeous and beautiful edifice absolutely to be discovered. Finally, gaze at the old town, cathedrals, churches and mounts all around the commune.
Events: two main events take place in the town each year. First, Rhône en fête is a popular festival. The locals organize animations along the theme of Rhone: music, choral songs and folk dances. But the most famous one is definitely the Jazz Festival which gathers international stars of jazz music. Each evening, you can attend concerts. During the day, free concerts are also organized in the area, in Cybele Garden for instance.
Street market: Vienne is home to the largest town market of the Rhone Alpes region with nearly 400 stall keepers. It stretches over 2.6km and is very popular. It takes place on Saturday morning in the town centre. This is a great place to meet and speak with the locals, discover local produce, typical dishes and admire the rich heritage of Vienne.
Transport links: Vienne is equipped with quality facilities (Rhone River, developed road and motorway networks, closeness to Lyon airport). Lyon airport is located 31km to the east of Vienne. Regular flights lead to the main French and European cities. A shuttle drives from the town centre to the airport. Grenoble airport is an alternative, situated 45 minutes to the south east of Vienne. By train, it is easy to travel in the region. Furthermore, the high-speed train can be taken from Valence, 45 minutes to the south of Vienne, or Lyon, 20 minutes to the north. Being located around 30km to Lyon, the town boasts numerous motorways connected with Paris, Marseille, Geneva and Chambéry amongst others. Finally, regular routes will let you move in the town centre.
Rental opportunities: with over 60% of tenants in Vienne, the rental market is excellent. This is a great location for a buy-to-let investment. The town is sought-after mainly for its closeness to large cities like Lyon, Grenoble and Valence. Furthermore, property prices are affordable in the area; the return on investment should be quite fast.
Apartments: they are the most common type of property in Vienne. Indeed, the ¾ of the dwellings there are apartments. Some are very modern and located in residential sectors. They are in general luminous and may come with a parking / garage, balcony, cellar. Other may need some works but are habitable. They are ideal for buy-to-lets and should be fast rented.
Detached houses: in the surroundings of Vienne, you may find houses of different kind. One-storey houses are often new built, the front façade and shutters are painted in soft colours. They come with a piece of land, terrace and garage. They are often located in the countryside and offer quietness and beautiful view. Some luxury properties hold a swimming pool, a large land and are often very modern. Ideal for those who are looking to settle in the area.
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