The idyllic landscapes of Provence are home to some of Europe’s finest Roman remains. Triumphal arches, amphitheatres, theatres and aqueducts – at one and the same time, feats of engineering and a clear demonstration of power to the local Gallic tribes. Today, many of these monuments remain remarkably complete - from the magnificent amphitheatres at Arles and Nimes to the ruins of Glanum - an abandoned Roman town dramatically sited in a cleft in the hills.
Expert Romanists and archaeologists tell the story of the Romans in Provence. Hannibal marched his troops across the Provençal hills en-route to cross the Alps; Marius defeated Germanic tribes here; Julius Caesar settled his veterans in the region.
- See the beautiful Pont du Gard, a remarkable feat of Roman engineering, with an optional swim beneath the famous arches
- Free time to absorb the atmosphere and epicurean lifestyle of the area at your own pace
- Enjoy the Roman architecture of Nîmes, including the white marble baths and the perfectly preserved Maison Carrée
- Small Group
- Just One Hotel
- All Inclusive
- Special Access
We fly to Marseille and transfer to our hotel in the typically Provencal town of St Remy de Provence.
We begin in Nîmes, once a thriving Roman town with a population of c.60,000. Nîmes was ‘gifted’ numerous ostentatious monuments under Roman rule, many of which still survive. Visits include the arena and the Maison Carée - one of Europe’s best preserved Roman temples, dedicated to Augustus’ grandsons and heirs. We also see the original spring of Nemausus, around which the pre-Roman settlement grew up, now landscaped into a lovely park, with the remains of the Temple of Diana. Nearby, continuing the watery theme, is the castellum divisorium, where the water coming in by aqueduct was directed towards the various parts of the city.
A free morning to explore St Remy de Provence. We visit the nearby site of Glanum in the afternoon, set in a cleft in the Alpilles on the edge of the modern town. Once more, the town grew up around a spring to the god Glan, and the sanctuary continued to be used into the Roman period, with a substantial town growing up around it. Just outside the town is a triumphal arch and a funerary monument, both well-preserved, known as Les Antiques.
We begin the day by visiting Orange and its famous theatre and triumphal arch – again, both exceptionally well-preserved by being turned into fortifications in the Medieval period.
This is followed by a special private wine tasting and lunch at the Vergers des Papes in the Châteauneuf du Pape region.
We have some free time on our early return to St-Rémy-de-Provence or you could make an optional visit to St Paul de Mausolee, the asylum where van Gogh stayed.
The Roman past of Arles still seems remarkably close, with its monuments sitting comfortably within the later town. These include an amphitheatre (still in use for bullfighting), a theatre, baths and cryptoporticus tunnels under the forum. The modern Archaeological Museum has been built alongside one end of the Roman circus, and it vividly tells the story of Roman Arelate with its remarkable collection. This is one of the best museums of its kind in France. We return to St Remy de Provence via the multiple mills lying on the line of the main aqueduct of the city at Barbegal.
We spend the morning visiting the spectacular stretch of aqueduct that once fed Nimes known as the Pont du Gard. This was a remarkable feat of Roman engineering to get the water channel running efficiently over the gorge, and we have a private tour here, which includes the opportunity to walk along the water channel. We have lunch beside the aqueduct before a free afternoon here – there is the chance to swim in the river flowing under the Pont du Gard itself.
We leave Provence today, taking our coach to Marseille airport.
We fly to Marseille and transfer to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
We begin in Nîmes, once a thriving Roman town. Visits include the Arena of Nîmes — the former amphitheatre remodelled as a bullring in the 19th century — and the Maison Carrée, a beautifully preserved temple façade. We also see the original spring of Nemausus, around which the pre-Roman settlement grew up, now landscaped into a lovely park.
Enjoy a free morning in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a charming village where the Provençal way of life is alive and well. We visit Glanum this afternoon. Just outside the town is a triumphal arch and a funerary monument, known as Les Antiques.
We begin today by visiting Orange, home to a famous Roman theatre and triumphal arch. Afterwards, we enjoy a special wine tasting and lunch in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, before taking some free time to enjoy at our leisure.
The Roman past of Arles still seems remarkably close. The modern Archaeological Museum has been built alongside one end of the Roman circus, and it vividly tells the story of Roman Arelate with its remarkable collection.
We spend the morning visiting the spectacular stretch of aqueduct that once fed Nîmes: the Pont du Gard. We enjoy a private tour, which includes the opportunity to walk along the water channel. We have lunch beside the aqueduct, before a free afternoon here.
We return home today.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
6 nights in an laid-back, comfortable hotel close to the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, with bright, country-style rooms and interiors
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