The Romans in Provence

The Romans in Provence

Provincia Nostra

Archaeological Tours

1st - 8th September 2021
(8 Days)

Expert Historian : Dr Harry Sidebottom

Tour price: £2,695

click here to book

The Romans in Provence

Provincia Nostra

Archaeological Tours

Your Holiday Essentials

1st - 8th September 2021
(8 Days)

Return flights from London, 4 star hotel, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks on 6 evenings, all entrance fees and expert historian throughout

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Harry Sidebottom

Tour price: £2,695

Single supplement: £225
Deposit: £250
Price without flights: £2,545

Booking open

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

click here to register your interest

Tour Introduction

Some of the finest remains of the Roman Empire are to be found in the beautiful landscape of Provence. During this comprehensive archaeological tour we explore Nimes, with its amphitheatre, Gate of Augustus, enigmatic tower (the Tour Magne), and wonderfully preserved temple (the Maison Carrée), and nearby Arles, which boasts an equally impressive amphitheatre, as well as a theatre, the Baths of Constantine, and the superb museum of antiquities. We see the public face of Roman power in the triumphal Arch at Orange and the Pont-du-Gard aqueduct, and private life in the homes and funeral monuments at Glanum (St.-Remy-de-Provence) and Vaison La Romaine.

During a relaxed paced holiday based in the lovely city of Nimes, “the Rome of France”, each day we will drive to a different Roman site to explore its archaeological remains on foot with frequent stops to interpret the history and enjoy our historian’s vignettes.

Background

The French region of Provence takes its name from the Latin Provincia. The Romans established their first territory north of the Alps in 125 BC. Officially it was the provincia of Gallia Narbonensis, but it became known as just the Province, hence Provence. From here Julius Caesar conquered the rest of Gaul (58-52 BC). Several colonies of veterans from the Roman legions were founded, including Arles and Nimes. The locals rapidly adopted Roman culture, and were seen as more civilised than those living in northern, or 'long-haired' Gaul. The Province produced famous writers, including the orator Favorinus, and possibly the great Latin historian Tacitus, as well as many Roman Senators and the emperors Antoninus Pius (138 – 161 CE) and Carus (282 – 283 CE). The towns of this peaceful and wealthy province flourished and have left us some of the most spectacular and evocative archaeological remains in the whole empire.

Highlights

  • With expert historian & author Dr Harry Sidebottom
  • Spend the full day exploring the city of Nimes
  • Visit the Temple of Diana and the Maison Carrée
  • Visit the archaeological district of Vaison La Romaine
  • See the Roman Bridge over the river Ouvèze
  • Explore the labyrinthine corridors and passageways of the Amphitheatre of Arles
  • Spend a whole day at the archaeological site of Ambrussum
  • Explore the magnificent aqueduct known as the Pont du Gard
  • Visit the Théâtre Antique d'Orange, one of the finest remnants of the Roman Empire

What's Included

  • Return flights from London
  • 4 Star Hotel Throughout
  • Buffet breakfast each morning
  • A three-course dinner party on 6 evenings hosted by your expert historian and tour manager
  • Two drinks i,e wine or beer with dinner each evening and a welcome drink on first evening
  • Dedicated Tour Manager
  • Entrance fees for all site visits
  • Pre tour information booklet
  • Access to the Cultural Experience app
  • Helpful and friendly travel advice
  • The company of like-minded travelers

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart

Fly London Heathrow to Provence. Travel to Nimes, where we check in to our hotel, our base throughout, and enjoy a late dinner.

Day 2 - Nimes

We spend the full day exploring the city, including the amphitheatre, the Tour Magne or the Great Tower, and the Porte d'Auguste, a remnant of the Augustan fortifications which demonstrated the power of the colony of Nimes over the Volcae. We will visit the Temple of Diana and the Maison Carrée; the latter one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world, offering a window into the regime introduced by the Emperor Augustus.

Day 3 – Vaison La Romaine

The archaeological district of Vaison La Romaine, known as Puymin, boasts a theatre, shops, the Nymphea (a fountain and pools), the so-called "Sanctuaire à Portiques", an area containing the “House with the wreathed Apollo” and the Roman Bridge over the river Ouvèze, built in the 1st Century AD.

Day 4 - Arles

In Arles we wander the labyrinthine corridors and passageways of the Amphitheatre and stand on the tiers and imagine the gladiatorial combat. We also visit the theatre, the Baths of Constantine, the only remaining part of the imperial Palace, and the superb archaeological museum at the edge of the town.

Day 5 - Ambrussum

We spend the day at the archaeological site of Ambrussum, to appreciate how native Gauls adopted Roman culture. We explore the Pont Ambroix, a 1st Century BC Roman bridge, the on-site museum and the ongoing archaeological excavations. Thence to the charming medieval town of Aigues-Mortes where we find lunch and time to explore, perhaps walking its perfectly preserved and imposing walls and towers to gain magnificent views of the town and the strange red salt lagoons.

Day 6 - Pont du Gard and Orange

We explore the magnificent aqueduct known as the Pont du Gard, built in the 1st Century AD to carry water to the Roman colony of Nimes. Thence to Orange with its Triumphal Arch, built during the reign of emperor Augustus (27 BC–AD 14) to honour the veterans of the Gallic Wars; the Museum of Art and History housed within a 17th C mansion; and the Théâtre Antique d'Orange, one of the finest remnants of the Roman Empire. Dinner is not included this evening and you are free to find your own restaurant. There is also the option to dine with your tour manager and historian at your own expense.

Day 7 - Les Antiques/Glanum and Saint-Remy

We begin the day at wonderful Glanum where we find Les Antiques, a mausoleum and arch of the 1st Century BC. We stroll through the well-preserved streets and houses which demonstrate the processes by which the local Gauls acquired Roman culture. Thence to nearby Saint-Remy for a lunch break and to explore the Hôtel de Sade Museum, a Renaissance mansion housing the fascinating finds from Glanum.

Day 8 - Return

Fly Provence to London Heathrow

Recommended Reading List

Dr Harry Sidebottom

Dr Harry Sidebottom

Dr Harry Sidebottom was educated at various schools and universities, including Oxford, where he took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Corpus Christi College. In similar fashion he has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he is now Fellow and Director of Studies in Ancient History at St Benets Hall, and Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College.

Read more

Your Holiday Essentials

1st - 8th September 2021
(8 Days)

Return flights from London, 4 star hotel, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks on 6 evenings, all entrance fees and expert historian throughout

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Harry Sidebottom

Tour price: £2,695

Single supplement: £225
Deposit: £250
Price without flights: £2,545

Booking open

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

click here to register your interest

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