Published: July 10th 2012July 6th 2012
We visited Arles on our last day in Provence. There are several Roman structures in town, with the Roman amphitheatre being the largest. The drive was about 1 hour from Aix.
We first went to the Museum of Ancient History a little outside of center of Arles. It covered the history of Arles from prehistoric times to the Roman times. There were very interesting artifacts: coins, jewelry, statues, intricately carved building decorations, gorgeous mosiac floors, sarcophaguses. And there were also interesting models of the amphitheatre, the theatre, a Roman housing complex built into the side of a hill that used aqueducts and gravity to supply the houses with water and other structures.
After the museum we drove into the center of town and went in search of lunch. We found a little sandwich shop that sold croissants, paninis, and baguette sandwiches. They had a "meal deal" that included a sandwich and bottled soda for around €5. We found a park bench on the main boulevard in town and had a nice lunch.
After lunch we walked through the center of Arles to the amphitheatre. There have been extensive renovations to the Roman arena so it looks very impressive.
They still use it for bull fights. We missed the reenactment of gladiator fights and other shows since they don't start until next week. But there was some kind of stretching show being filmed in the arena while we were touring it. At one point in the tunnels there were speakers playing very bizarre poetry in English and French that did not have anything to do with the Roman arena.
On the way back to the car we stopped in the post office to buy some stamps and mail some postcards. We also bought some collector sets of stamps.
We headed back to Aix and went to the parapharmacy closest to our apartment before dinner. The day we went to the beach I had gone to the parapharmacy to buy sunscreen. I had gotten a free beach bag when I bought the sunscreen and the girls wanted another one so we went back to buy more sunscreen. The parapharmacies are so interesting since they have all kinds of French drugstore items like body wash, shampoo, lotions, some makeup, herbal remedies, band-aids, etc. I could have spent hours in there looking at everything even though the shop was quite
small compared to American drugstores like Walgreens and CVS.
There are more photos below