Taking a visiting friend over to Vaison to explore the Roman ruins this week prompts me to post about what is a ‘must see’ attraction for anyone coming to the area.
The town of Vaison la Romaine (to give it it’s full name) is an ancient town full of fascinating archaeological sites and beautiful historic architecture. The upper medieval part of the town, high on a sheer, castle-topped rocky cliff-side, is dramatically split from the lower part of the town by the river Ouvèze and the massive Roman bridge that spans it. Crossing the bridge & strolling across the lower town, which is the modern town built on the ancient Gallo-Roman city, brings you to the entrance of the complex of Roman archaeological sites. You can buy a ticket here that gives you access to the Roman complex as well as all other historical buildings in Vaison.
Once inside the complex there are extensive remains to explore that give a real sense of what life was like; stunning mosaics, marbles and pottery preserved in the archaeological museum; villas of wealthy Roman nobles etc. This week’s visit, however, was a low-key one that simply involved strolling along the shady ancient boulevards and winding our way up-hill through the oaks and cypresses to enjoy the views of the medieval town across the plain and take a quick look at the amphitheatre (followed by a cold beer in the town square, but eating & drinking in Vaison are for another post).
For information about the Roman archaeological sites, museum and Vaison’s other historic buildings, including opening times and other practical information please visit the official website.
Vaison la Romaine is a 15 minute drive from your base at Le Maupas.