France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Arles, France Guide




Arles, located on the banks of the Grand Rhône 94 km (58 miles) northwest of Marseille, 745 km (463 miles) south of Paris, is a small, delightful, manageable Provençal city with impressive Roman ruins and a lively market.

Located just north of La Camargue, the Rhône delta, and west of the minor mountain range of Les Alpilles, Arles is famous also for Vincent Van Gogh who, though he lived here for barely a year (1888-89), captured Arles and vicinity in more than 300 of his best paintings.

Moreover the Musée Réattu holds works by its namesake, painter Jacques Réattu (1760-1833), as wel as by Dutch, Italian and Provençal painters including Dufy and Vlaminck, and also important works of Picasso.

If you arrive in Arles on market day and wander through the market just off the boulevard des Lices, you may not even guess that there is a great Roman theater and a nearly-intact amphitheater (colosseum) just over the hill on the other side of the Jardin d'Éte park...but so there are.

Not far away are the largest Roman baths extant in Provence, the Thermes de Constantin. You soon realize that Arles was an important Roman city, with the great institutions to prove it.

Oddly enough, the vast necropolis (Roman cemetery) of Les Alyscamps is a prime Arles attraction, and with the time to visit. More...

La Camargue

Les Alpilles




About Provence

Where to Go in France


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Roman Amphitheater, Arles, France

Roman Amphitheater in Arles:
still in use, set up for a bullfight.

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