Charming and laid back city of Arles makes a perfect day trip from Avignon. Thanks to paintings of Vincent van Gogh its cobbled streets. Stone squares and colorful houses baking in the strong sun seems very familiar to me.
Best known sight of the city is Roman Arena. Two-tired, prominent building in the heart of the city impress with 120 Romanesque arches. Built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and hand to hand bloody battles between gladiators.
These days. Except some concerts in the summer. Bullfighting is a main activity of this place. It said to inspire Picasso to create his famous series of drawings capturing the essence of this dramatic and ecstatic spectacle.
Miscellaneous blend of Roman. Medieval and some 16th and 17th century influences create an unique outlook of the city. Do not miss great Hotel de Ville standing proudly on the Place de la Republique and amazing cloister of St. Trophime.
Ever present ‘art of living’ and feverish atmosphere has a Spanish feel. During our visit heat is overwhelming so numerous ice-cream shops seems like an oasis on the sun-dried desert.
People claim that city knows how to go festive and furious at the corrida festivals. Primeval legends say that infectious trance takes hold of the town over ‘ferias’.
But Arles is as well a city of fine art with outstanding collections displayed in Arlaten Museum and Reattu Museum. This modern center of photography holds famous The Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. Major festival of photography in France founded back in 1970 by Arles born photographer Lucien Clergue known for his ‘Nu Zebre’ and ‘Nu de la mer’ series and striking Pablo Picasso portraits.