If you're looking for an idyllic rural holiday, staying rustic, a gite Lorraine, is a great way to enjoy the French countryside while still being close enough to major towns and cities for day trips and excursions.
The city of Nancy is a large city in the Lorraine region and boasts a wealth of attractions and sights for day trippers. 2013 is a great time to visit Nancy as Renaissance celebrations, festivals and events are taking place all over the city this year. The huge square of the Place Stanislas is one of Nancy's main attractions and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At over 125 metres long, the square is impressive and is a popular meeting place.
The square contains many notable buildings, including the City Hall. The Musée des Beaux-Arts has an impressive collection dating back to the 14th Century and covers everything from the post-Impressionists to contemporary art by local artists. The museum is hosting a Renaissance exhibition throughout the summer and has borrowed paintings from the Louvre and a number of other French and European galleries and museums for the duration. Nancy's Musée de Lorrain is housed in the old 15th Century palace on Grande Rue and is well worth a visit.
The stunning architecture of the building itself is almost as impressive as the museum's collections and gives an idea of the wealth and grandeur the dukes who built the palace must have enjoyed 500 years ago. The Chapelle de Cordeliers next-door is also worth a look and contains the tombs Lorraine's dukes.
As well as its many cultural attractions, Nancy is a wonderful city for simply wandering around and exploring by foot. There are many pleasant walks in the city and lots of green spaces. If the weather is fine and you don't want to spend all day indoors in the city's museums and art galleries, the spectacular Jardin botanique du Montet is a huge botanical garden and provides a beautiful setting for walks all year round. There are other gardens and parks scattered throughout the city, including the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron and Parc Sainte-Marie.
Eating out is a pleasure in Nancy, with countless bistros, restaurants and pavement cafes. Be sure you sample the local pastries from one of the many local patisseries dotted about the town. If you're staying in a gite Lorraine, stock up on a box of these sweet treats to take back to your accommodation with you and enjoy at your leisure.