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Romans sur Isère - a town of shoes

Romans sur Isère is a large town that lies in the Drôme department of the Rhône-Alpes, in south-eastern France. This busy centre of industry is also beautiful and has a rich and varied heritage dating from Roman times. It is perhaps best known today for its reputation as the shoe centre of France, with many of the country's top shoe designers choosing a base there. Romans sur Isère is surrounded by typically Provençal/Alpine countryside, with extensive vineyards and the Vercors Mountains visible in the distance.

Lots of sights to see

Romans sur Isère is set on the banks of the River Isère which adds an even more picturesque quality to the town. Although Romans is large and has a strong industrial heritage and sector, there are many glorious old buildings and monuments to see and much of the town is very beautiful. Among the best sights are the lovely Collegiate Church of Saint Bernard, whose exterior is as stunning as its frescoed interior, and the Jacquemart Bell Tower which dates from the 15th century, having been built to replace the old 12th century gate in the ramparts that once protected the town from attack. The ramparts are now gone, but there is still plenty of historical interest left in Romans. Many of the houses are of Renaissance or Mediaeval origin.

Don't miss the Shoe Museum

One of the most popular attractions is the fabulous Shoe Museum. Here not only are there amazing collections of the shoes of famous characters from history but also the beautiful buildings of the former convent that houses the exhibits.

Shopping and dining is excellent

Moving to more modern times, Romans sur Isère has even more to offer. The shopping and dining in town is excellent. There are several factory outlets and designer shoe shops drawing in lovers of foot fashion from far and wide, as well as top quality restaurants showcasing the specialities of the area. These include ravioli and "pogne", an orange blossom-flavoured bread, baked in the shape of a ring.

Sample some nougat in Montélimar

Cities like Valence and are great for visiting, with much to discover and certainly to taste. Montélimar is, of course, the capital of nougat. The gastronomic specialities continue in the town of Die (pronounce "dee") where a delightful sparkling wine called Clairette de Die is produced. This is perfect for celebrations and aperos!

Outdoor and adventure sports on offer

Leaving aside the food and drink, if you can, the countryside of the area is spectacular and offers opportunities for a number of outdoor and adventure sports. Not far from the town is the border with the Ardèche department, which is famous for its dramatic gorges and associated activities. Other activities on offer in the area around Romans include rock climbing, kayaking, walking, mountain biking and golf.

How to get there

If you want to travel by air you can head for Lyon, Chambéry or Grenoble. Lyon is served by British Airways, Air France, easyJet and BMI ; Grenoble by Flybe, easyJet, Ryanair and charter airlines; and Chambéry by Flybe, Bmibaby, Jet2, British Airways and Snow Jet. Train travel is also a great way to travel as Valence, just eleven kilometres from Romans sur Isère, has a TGV station linking to Paris. Drivers will find the town from the A49 motorway.

Property prices and availability in and around Romans sur Isère

For lovers of Provençal and Alpine style living and views, the Drôme and towns like Romans provide a more realistically priced alternative to the very expensive properties found in those areas (although it must be said, this is not among France's cheapest destinations). For those with money to spend there are some really wonderful properties on the market.

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Romans sur Isère AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Romans sur Isère?

Romans sur Isère is situated in the south-east of France. It lies in the north-east of the Drôme department.

Romans sur Isère Property Map

IN THE REGION OF RHÔNE-ALPES

Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DRÔME

Drôme Guide

  Drôme Map


Population: 33,440


Access: By air: Fly to Lyon, Grenoble or Chambéry. By rail: The super efficient TGV service will take you to nearby Valence. By road: The town lies close to the main A49 motorway


Economy: The economy is traditionally based on the tanning industry and today is a great centre of shoe manufacture. Nuclear fuel, metalwork and engineering are also important.


Interesting fact: Some of France's most celebrated shoe designers are based in Romans sur Isère.

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