Image by Wolfgang Staudt via FlickrYou don't need to visit Rome to explore Roman ruins and amphitheatres. A trip to South France will grant you plenty of opportunities. The region is filled with Roman remains and history.
Arles is one of the very charming cities by the delta of the Rhone river and Camaque marsh. The city was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and has since served as an important port for the Romans when they took over control. The city is filled with Roman monuments, amphitheatre, triumph arch, circus, theatre, baths and thick city walls.
During the last two thousand years the city has been the scene of many historical events. Celtic ruling, Viking attacks, the Saracens and later Arles also plaid an important role in both French and European politics. It has been the capitol of the Frankish kingdom Arles, which included Bourgogne and parts of Provence.
It's a great experience to explore the city, and this not just because of the Roman trances. The streets are narrow and winding, full of soul and cobble stone. There are cafés and restaurants which invites you to sit in the sun and enjoy your lunch. The city-market takes place outside the walls and is filled with life and hagglers promoting everything from food and spices, to clothes and oddities. The old city centre lies by the Rhone river and several beautiful old bridges span the water. The amphitheatre is still in use this day today. Roman shows, festivals and bull-fighting.
Vincent van Gogh once lived in Arles and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his stay. Unfortunately his mental health deteriorated during his stay, which lead to the situation where he cut of his ear. The citizens demanded that he was arrested and van Gogh caught the message and left the city.
A beautiful city to visit with a rich history.