Is it French? Is it Roman? This is Arles, once conquered by the Romans (and as my French hostel mate says, Romans conquer everything) and is a 30 minute train ride from Avignon, my base city.
Nestled in Provence the south of France, Arles is a rugged beauty. Much of it was destroyed and what remains are its ruins. One of them is the classical theater. It was once able to hold 10,000 people but it now looks like its been halved. Piece the image of the theater together as you look around you and notice the broken statues and arcs.
Walking down the street, one feels as though they were in Rome. Roman inspired buildings and.architecture surround Arles. One of the main attractions in Arles is the Roman Amphitheater (and also my substitute to the Colosseum). Beautiful and magnificent, the amphitheater used to house 20,000 spectators who would watch gladiators fight wild animals. Today is it an arena for bullgames.
Also hometown to Van Gogh, one can see the buildings and landmarks that inspired him to paint. There is the Van Gogh cafe, the view of Starry night over the Rhone river and Van Gogh's square.
Arles is a very attractive city and one of the most enjoyable things to do is to put down your map, walk around and get lost. It's small and after a while you'll see familiar tourist faces. Beautiful houses with falling paint and cobblestone streets await to be explored. Stop for some gelato, admire the views, listen to local buskers and people watch.
This is my idea of getting lost in a place.
Van Gogh's Cafe