Class of SYA France 1969 50th Reunion

June 24-July 3, 2018

Join classmates to celebrate 50 years of friendship!

Please mark your calendar for this memorable weekend of reconnecting and reminiscing in Rennes followed by a week-long bike tour through Bretagne.

Starting in Rennes, we'll revisit old favorites and see some new. On Tuesday, June 26, we'll depart for St. Malo to begin a seven-day bike tour.

Even if you can't join the bike tour, meet us in Rennes for the weekend. Bring your family.

Schedule of Events in Rennes

June 24-June 25, 2018

Please note that this is a work in progress and not yet confirmed.


Sunday, June 24

Guided Architectural Walk through Rennes with Benjamin Sabatier
10:00 a.m.

A faculty-led architectural walking tour of Old Rennes to help reacquaint you with some old favorites and discover some new!
Family friendly

Class Dinner
7:30 p.m.

We’ll gather at Leon le Cochon to celebrate our 50 years of friendship.
Family friendly

Monday, June 25

Stroll through Parc du Thabor
8:00 a.m.

Start your day with a casual stroll through the gardens en route to school with SYA France Summer students and faculty.
Family friendly

Back to School
10:00 a.m.

Visit the “new” school, Villa Alvarez and learn a little more about today’s student experience and curriculum by attending classes crafted especially for your visit. End your visit with a buffet lunch in the school's garden.
Family friendly

l’Institut Franco-Américain
5:00 p.m.

Return to the original home of SYA France, where students attended classes from 1967 until 1981 when SYA moved to its permanent home, Villa Alvarez. The longstanding partnership with the Institute continues today. (And let’s recreate the class photo on the back stairs in the courtyard!)
Family welcome

Bike Tour through Bretagne

June 26-July 3, 2018

Imagine a seven-day bike tour through coastal Bretagne: from St. Malo to Dinan to Combourg to Fougères to Pontorson to Le Vivier sur Mer and back to St. Malo. With an average ride of 25 miles per day over generally flat terrain, this is perfect for even the recreation cyclist. And really, electrically-assisted bikes are available for an added fee.

Why should you hop back on a bike?

    1. It's an outside-the-box adventure (take your grown kids!);
    2. Bicycles bring out the child in each of us(especially if they are electric assisted);
    3. It is forecasted to be a dry June in Brittany;
    4. It's fun/fitness/French/freedom;
    5. Riding daily enables increased caloric intake.

We'll travel on June 26 from Rennes to St. Malo via SNCF; there are multiple trains available. We'll get to the hotel, handle bike logistics and such to begin pedaling on Wednesday, June 27. Our last day of pedaling, July 3, will bring us back to St. Malo for one more night of salty-air sleep. The hotel list for the six nights can be viewed here.

The bike tour is managed by and must be registered for separately from reunion. Contact Alexandra Pitzer at 877-462-2423 or direct 423-756-8907.

    Where to Stay in Rennes and Travel Tips



    Where to stay

    Balthazar Hotel and Spa
    rue du Maréchal Joffre

    Hôtel de Nemours
    5, rue de Nemours

    Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement
    1 rue Paul-Louis Courier

    Novotel Spa Rennes Centre Gare
    22 avenue Janvier

    Mercure Rennes Centre Gare Hotel
    1 rue du Capitaine Maignan

    Marnie and Mr. H
    3 rue du Chapitre

    Airbnb - many options to choose from!

    How to get from Paris to Rennes

    Please be advised that there are planned rail strikes that could affect travel. Find up-to-date information here. If you'll be using a mobile phone while in France, please add the phone number to the registration form where indicated. This will help to keep the group connected in case of emergencies, car pooling, etc.

    The TGV (train à grande vitesse) runs directly to Rennes from Terminal 2 at Charles De Gaulle or from Montparnasse in Paris.

    Information and schedules may be found here. Select “Paris Airport, France (CDG)” or “Paris, France” for the Montparnasse station. Tickets may be purchased in advance. Reservations are recommended. The train station is minutes away to the center of Rennes. There is construction at the Rennes train station, but follow signs to the taxi stand.  Download the SNCF app here.

    The Rennes Bretagne Airport operates direct and indirect flights throughout the year to 120 destinations. The airport is located outside of the city. Plan to take a taxi to your hotel. A journey from the airport to the center of Rennes is about EUR 18 (during the day) to EUR 20 (at night).

    Car Rentals
    If you are planning to rent a car and your hotel doesn’t offer parking, you can find parking information here. You can  also reserve a spot through this vendor.


    Things to Do in Rennes



    Musée des beaux-arts
    20, Emile Zola Dock


    Musée des beaux-arts is a municipal museum of fine arts in the French city of Rennes, the capital of Brittany. Its collections range from ancient Egypt antiquities to the Modern art period and make the museum one of the most important in France outside Paris, notably for its paintings and drawings holdings, and for SYA, eight of the series of 16 Le roi vu par le Peuple, acrylique sur toile, 100 x 80 cm, by J.P. Lemée.

    La Criée – Centre d'art contemporain
    Place Honoré Commeurec

    This contemporary art center is based on Place Honoré Commeurec in Rennes city center, in the central market building that was designed by architect Emmanuel Le Ray in 1923. With its four creative platforms (Art at the Centre, Looking to the Future, On Continental Shores, and Territories in the Making), La Criée brings art to the general public via exhibitions, artist residencies, conferences, seminars, workshops and events.

    The Champs Libres
    10, cours des Alliés

    The Champs Libres, an innovative cultural center designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc in the heart of Rennes, is home to the Brittany Museum, the Science Centre and the library of Rennes Metropolitan District. The Champs Libres is a unique and exciting blend of science and art that offers visitors a plethora of experiences and perspectives. With exhibitions and installations, visual arts, digital arts and literary and artistic performances, this is a truly vibrant cultural center.

    The Brittany FRAC
    19, avenue André Mussat

    Whether you are a connoisseur or just curious, at Brittany's Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC), you'll find a collection of contemporary works that will catch your imagination and open your mind to artists from a variety of backgrounds. The aims of the Brittany FRAC are to collect, showcase and raise awareness of the work of contemporary artists. It has built up one of the largest collections of contemporary art in France, with some 4,800 pieces. The Brittany FRAC promotes access to all forms of contemporary creation for people of all ages. It displays a wide variety of works by French and international artists. Alongside more well-known names such as Raymond Hains and Jacques Villeglé, talented young artists are leaving their own mark on our era. The premises of the Brittany FRAC, designed by architect Odile Decq, house an extensive program of temporary exhibitions.

    Historical Sites and Monuments

    City Hall
    Place de l'Hôtel de ville

    Did you know that Rennes has its own Panthéon? Come and admire this fascinating memorial in the City Hall. After the fire in 1720, Jacques Gabriel, architect to the king, planned to bring together the city hall, judicial tribunal and clock tower in a single building on a new square. Its concave shape brings to mind buildings designed by the great architects Le Vau and Hardouin-Mansart. It perfectly complements the convex opera house opposite. Famous Breton figures such as Duguay-Trouin, Laënnec, Renan and Chateaubriand are all depicted in its great hall.

    Parlement de Bretagne
    Place du Parlement de Bretagne

    Although the Parlement of Brittany building may seem like a solid part of the city's history that has survived the ages untroubled, in reality it might never have been able to open its doors to visitors today. The building has certainly had an eventful past. Designed by Salomon de Brosse, it was spared in the great fire of 1720, only to be partly burnt down in 1994. Extensive restoration and renovation work have since given a new lease of life to the historical building, which houses several fine examples of 17th-century French pictorial art. One night was luckily not enough to destroy a century of building work! Inside, the Parlement building boasts prestigious French-style ceilings, sculpted gilded wood panelling and allegorical paintings, culminating in the magnificent Grand'Chambre, or main chamber. Please note: prior to each tour, a film about the fire and the work to restore the building is shown at the tourist information center.

    Palais du Commerce
    Place de la république

    The river Vilaine was canalised in the mid-19th century, with a covered stretch between the Nemours and Berlin bridges that was officially opened in 1912 by the mayor Jean Janvier. An imposing palace was built here between 1885 and 1929 by Jean-Baptiste Martenot and later Emmanuel Le Ray. The building was commissioned by the mayor Edgar Le Bastard to make the southern part of the city more attractive. It originally housed the Trade Exchange and the post and telegraph office.

    Portes Mordelaises
    6 Rue des Portes Mordelaises

    A castle entrance gate with two towers, defended by a drawbridge and featuring two smaller gates for carriages and pedestrians, once led to Mordelles. This symbolic setting was where the future Dukes of Brittany swore an oath to defend Brittany's freedoms. The mediaeval walls to the west were built on the site of a third-century wall. An artillery platform was added on the fortified gateway (or barbican) to protect this entrance to Rennes.


    Saint-Yves Chapel
    11 rue Saint-Yves

    Saint-Yves Chapel houses the city's architecture and heritage discovery centre. The permanent exhibition "Rennes, a City of Art and History" in the restored 15th-century chapel tells the story of the city through its heritage, as depicted in photos, models, pulpits and headstones.




    Marché des Lices
    Place des Lices

    Calling all food lovers, connoisseurs, gourmets and culinary enthusiasts – the Marché des Lices is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling! Discover for yourself the fabulous selection of fresh, delicious produce from vegetables to cheese, cider, fish and much more.

    Every Saturday at dawn, the Marché des Lices – France's second largest market – comes to life, bringing you the very freshest, finest produce. The stalls explode with colors, smells and tastes. Come along and soak up the wonderfully festive atmosphere! Don’t forget the galette saucisse!

    Parc du Thabor
    Place Saint-Melaine


    Enjoy strolling around one of France's most beautiful parks. As you explore the wonders of the Thabor gardens, you'll be drawn to the romantic, elegant atmosphere. Here even "L'Enfer" – which means "hell" in French – is a delightful open-air theatre venue. The former garden of the monks of Saint-Melaine Benedictine Abbey was redesigned by Denis Bühler, a famous 19th-century landscape artist. Spanning 10 hectares, it boasts French-style gardens, an English-style park, a cave, bandstand, aviary and an impressive rose garden featuring over 2,000 varieties!

    Le Vélo Star
    Rent a bike from one of the many stations located across Rennes. Learn more here. See the map of location rentals here.


    Places to Eat in Rennes



    Rennes’ culinary landscape, while French at heart, offers an impressive number of award-winning restaurants and local flavor. Alumni, staff and faculty favorites are marked with *


    Le Fournil Vasselot *
    13, rue Vasselot

    La Boite à Cookies *
    3, rue Rallier du Baty


    Bistrot à Tartines *
    2, rue des Fossés


    Le Haricot Rouge*
    10, rue Baudrairie Rennes


    Le Synthi *
    2, rue de Châteaudun

    Penny Lane*
    1, rue de Coetquen


    Crêperie La Gavotte*
    41 rue Saint Georges

    Crêperie St. Anne *
    5, Place Ste Anne

    La Fabrique St. Georges*
    4 rue Saint Georges

    La Saint Georges
    11 rue du Chapitre

    Crêperie An Erminig *
    77, rue Jean Guéhenno

    Crêperie des Portes Mordelaises *
    6, rue des Portes Mordelaises


    Baron Rouge
    15, rue du Chapitre

    16, rue D'Isly

    La Fontaine aux Perles
    96, rue de la Poterie

    Le 2 rue des Dames
    2 Rue des Dames

    Le Carré*
    34, Place des Lices

    Le Galopin
    21, avenue Jean Janvier

    Le Moon
    4, avenue Jean Janvier

    Le Piccadilly*
    Place de la Mairie

    Leon le Cochon*
    6, rue du Pre Botte

    Picotta (Pizza and Tapas)
    20 rue de Saint-Mâlo






    As a reminder, if you are joining the bike tour you must make those reservations directly with the tour company, Contact Alexandra Pitzer at 877-462-2423 or direct 423-756-8907.