Before the conquest of Roman Empire (27 BC - 395 AD, Vienne was the capital of Allobroges (Gallic tribe). Due to its strategic location along the river, in 47 BC it was transformed into an important Roman colony and provincial capital. Numerous ruins of Roman constructions can still be found in the town.
In 1311, at the Council of Vienne, Pope Clement V (1264-1314) abolished the Knights Templar order. During Middle Ages (5th-15th centuries), Vienne was part of Kingdom of Provence (Holy Roman Empire dependancy).
Town's current economy is based on food and tourism industries. Among the most popular tourist attractions are the annual Jazz festival (held in July), Roman ruins (Augustus and Livia temple, and a truncated pyramid with 4 arches), St Peter church (5th century, rebuilt in 9th century, former Benedictine abbey, now lapidary museum), St Maurice cathedral (basilica built 11th-16th centuries), St Andre en Bas church (former Benedictine monastery, rebuilt in 12th century).