Arles is the quintessential southern French city with its own special atmosphere which comes to head at the time of the Feria which many say is a relic of Roman times when Arles or Arelate was a favoured city of the emperors.
Its great rival in early Roman times was Marseille. However, the citizens of Arles had the good sense to back Julius Caesar in his fight with Pompey while the folks from Marseille backed the wrong side. Big mistake. From this time Arles prospered and eventually became a major religious centre in the middle ages. At the head of the Camargue, Arles is today an important centre for rice and agricultural produce generally.
Don’t miss the Roman Theatre, the Amphitheatre or the splendid Église St-Trophime. Also, if you visit during festival time look out for Les Arlésiennes . These are young ladies in traditional dress who compete for the title of Queen of Arles. Don’t forget the Van Gogh connection!