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Vaison-la-Romaine, Provence, France

Vaison-la-Romaine is located approx. 30 km north-east of Orange, on the river Ouveze. It is divided into two parts. The first is a medieval old town from the twelfth century, situated on a hill. The second part lies below the hill and it is a "new town", but also contains a very interesting monuments from the Roman period (we will show them in the next episode).

Parking in Vaison-la-Romaine

There is a fairly large parking lot (P1; GPS: 44.238393, 5.075982) next to the town, on the river Ouveze. However, if possible, you should arrive earlier, since the number of tourists can be quite high in the season. There is also a second large parking lot near the Roman ruins, where you can park your car if you want to explore them (P2; GPS: 44.242845, 5.072071).

The Roman bridge

The first thing that is most noticeable after arriving, is the beautiful Roman bridge (A; GPS: 44.238934, 5.074648) over the river Ouveze connecting two parts of the town. It was built by the Romans in the first century AD and has a length of approx. 18 m. It is still used - if you come to the town from the Orange direction, you will need to use it to get to the other side of the river, where the parking lot is located.

The old town

First, we visit the old medieval town on a hill. We pass shaded squares wandering along the narrow, cobbled streets. There are beautiful fountains in the squares, and the buildings have interesting facades from the 16th-17th century. At the top of the hill there are the ruins of the feudal castle (B; GPS: 44.237238, 5.073002) built by the Count of Toulouse in the twelfth century, as well as the cathedral of Sainte-Marie-de-l'Assomption of the fifteenth century. There is an excellent vantage point (C; GPS: 44.238455, 5.074793) near the cathedral for great views of the surrounding area and the Mont Ventoux.

The new town

The new town has a lot of restaurants and cafes - many of them you can find in the plaza de Montfort (D; GPS: 44.240841, 5.075415). We happened to hit on a Provencal market, so the traffic was quite heavy, and the sellers spread their stalls and offered a variety of goods for sale on almost every street. People walked by, watched, but relatively few decided to buy the goods. This market was, however, a good opportunity for restaurants owners :)

The Roman ruins

The town has a lot of interesting remnants of the Romans. We presented them in the next episode.

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