Market Day in Briancon
I have to admit that I knew very little about Briançon before we decided to go there. I didn’t know that it was a walled city or that its fortifications had been named as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Nor did I know that at an altitude of 1,326m, Briançon was the highest city in the European Union. What I did know was that the market was rumored to have great roast chicken and for that reason we made the drive from La Grave, where we were staying, into Briançon to do some shopping.
Located in the lower town, in front of the historic fire station, at the bottom end of the Parc de la Schappe, we found the market area to be a very popular place with plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants. At the market, we found the usual suspects; fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal breads, as well as assorted cheeses and meats, which we sampled and purchased. After our visit to the market, we stopped for lunch at a little pizza place with a lovely patio out back.
As an aside, something I hadn’t expected of this visit to France was how often I would find myself eating pizza, though obvious in retrospect, considering the proximity to Italy.
Following lunch dark clouds were starting to gather overhead, but we decided to risk it and drove up to the old town. We briefly enjoyed the town’s picturesque streets and its Vauban fortifications. I even managed to get a couple of good shots before the skies did more than threaten. Unfortunately our day trip to Briançon was cut short as we ran for the car to escape the downpour.
If you decide to go to Briançon for the market, I recommend showing up early to order your roast chicken. You don’t want to be disappointed, like we were when they sell out quickly, and bring an umbrella, just in case.