Walking Tour of Arles

The Roman amphitheater of Arles, which dates to the first century
Today's activity is a walking tour of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site abounding with culture and history. This ancient city is located in southern France between the Rhône River delta and the wetlands of Camargue Natural Park. It's a unique place in that it is defined as much by its historic Roman architecture as it is by its quintessentially French shady squares and café-lined streets.

Arles is probably most famous in modern times as the city that inspired Vincent Van Gough—his famous 1888 oil painting Café Terrace at Night was done in Arles. It's possible to visit the exact spot where Van Gough painted this masterpiece, Le Café Van Gogh, located in the historic city center. But it's only worth a brief stop to snap photos—the restaurant itself has nothing to recommend it.

Café's aside, this walking tour takes place mostly in the historic city center. A pleasant stroll down the old streets reveals the historic legacy of this once provincial capital of ancient Rome. The tour includes stops at some of the most famous Roman, Christian, and medieval sites and monuments in the city, including the well-preserved amphitheater (which dates back to 90 ACE and still hosts bullfighting matches), and the 11th century Church of Saint Trophime.

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