Summer in Provence ─Helen Yeh
Picture a land of great beauty, where ancient stone buildings meet your eyes as you walk along country roads and sleepy villages overlook endless fields of purple lavender. The scene you’re imagining is Provence, a region of southeastern France where history, culture, and nature meet to create something very special.
Provence consists of several small towns, many of which date back to Roman times. In Arles, visit the first-century Roman amphitheater, where staged races and battles once entertained audiences. Discover the Church of St. Trophime, with its finely carved marble exterior. Le Cafe la Nuit is a good place to stop for an afternoon coffee. Its exterior remains basically unchanged from when Vincent van Gogh painted it over a century ago.
Avignon is another town that’s well worth a visit. It was once the seat of the Vatican, recalling a glorious moment in history that one can explore today at the Papal Palace. This is the largest Gothic palace ever built, with a dozen towers and grand religious paintings on its walls and ceilings. At this palace—along with other locations in town—the Avignon Festival is held for three weeks every July. Offering hundreds of performances, it’s a true treat for fans of theater and the performing arts.