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Arles

The centre of Arles mixes Roman remnants with narrow stone streets alongside the River Rhone. The town dates back to the 7th century BC when it was a major Gallo-Roman city. The major Roman sites, such as the arena and the theater, are unique in that they are integrated into the houses and buildings of the town, rather than sitting apart as they do in places such as Orange.

The famous French painter Vincent van Gogh came here from Paris in 1888 and stayed for 14 months during which time he had one of his most prolific times producing 200 paintings including the Cafe Terrace and Cafe de Nuit.  The current Cafe la Nuit in the Place du Forum (which itself turns into a giant cafe terrace during summer) is dedicated to van Gogh. He enjoyed patining here due to the light and brilliant colours of the region.

Also gateway to the wild, natural Camargue and the bulls from this area can be seen fighting during festivals in Arles at EAster and in September.

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